Joe Morgan

  

Development Manager, Pramerica Systems Ireland

Location: Letterkenny/Ireland


Certifications

Certified ScrumMaster

Groups I belong to

DubSUG

Biography

Public Company; 501-1000 employees; pru; Insurance industry

October 2001Present (10 years 2 months) Letterkenny, Ireland

My current role involves management oversight for a team of thirty eight technologists supporting multiple client groups. My responsibilities in this role include:
•Financial Viability and ownership of enterprise project management product within Pramerica cost center.
•Management of an overall annual budget of $3.5M
•Implementation of Agile (SCRUM) development methodology to improve value add delivery to client base
•Management of eight individual client groups utilizing the product functionality
•Research & Promotion of product usage within Enterprise.
•Strategic growth across multiple .NET development teams, through identification of client challenges and proposals to address those challenges
•All PM responsibilities detailed below in Technical Project Management role.

Public Company; 501-1000 employees; pru; Insurance industry

October 2001Present (10 years 2 months) Letterkenny

My responsibilities as TPM included:
1)Interaction with business representatives to clarify business requirements.
2)Assigning of appropriate resources to pipeline project work.
3)Production of estimates for development and Quality Assurance support
4)Managing budgets and schedules of active project efforts.
5)Capacity planning for coming year.
6)Risk escalation to senior management.
7)Managing scope creep with senior business and systems representatives.
8)Reporting status on a daily and weekly basis to both onsite and offshore senior management.
9)Assisting in the accurate and speedy resolution of production issues.
10)Personnel management:
Recognition of a job well done
Objective setting
Performance Reviews
Team building through mentorship programs and social activities.
Recruitment

Public Company; 10,001+ employees; IRE; Banking industry

July 1998October 2001 (3 years 4 months)

I was employed at the Bank of Ireland as a Contract computer consultant. Initially I worked with a team responsible for maintenance of the banks bespoke clearing and eurocheque systems. This maintenance was specifically aimed at giving the systems the capability to process the Euro currency in preparation for Ireland's entry into the European monetary union.

I also had responsibility within a Y2K testing team and have been responsible for running baseline, renovated and aged tests to prove Y2K compliance.

Responsibilities include COBOL and JCL enhancements, program specification, unit testing, system testing and implementation planning.

Education

John Moores University of Liverpool

Computer Studies

Completed a 1year placement with a software house working with MF COBOL on a UNIX platform.
TRAINING
Project Management
Jan 2007 - Accredited to Project Management Institute
Dec 2009 - Achieved SCRUM Master Certification

Work experience

Pramerica Systems Ireland, SCRUM Master
October 2009 - Present, Letterkenny, na, Ireland
I moved in to a management role with a team responsible for strategic development, infrastructure, upgrades and configuration of an Enterprise project management product. The team was practising traditional Waterfall development methodology. Following attendance at a Mike Cohn SCM course in London, I began the transition to Agile. We started our first Sprint in January 2010. We struggled with the change in process for some 6 months before we got to a place where we started to see the process bed down and delivery real value to our end users. Our BA staff sourced User stories from end users and brought them to a full day sprint planning day. In truth sprint planning never managed to complete in those early days within that timeframe but we made adjustments in our process and have managed to confine the sprint planning session to not more than 4 hours today. Our two most significant adjustments were one, to allow the team to act as two groups within the sprint planning session and progress breaking down user stories. The groups were only separate from an administration perspective and collaborated across groups to clarify task detail: and two, we introduced smaller more regular estimation sessions, facilitated with Planning Poker, to get to a relatively strong estimate prior to sprint planning. These adjustments also familiarised the team with the content of User stories prior to Sprint planning and therefore expedited design & solution discussions. We utilised traditional postits on large white paper to break out our User stories to task level. These boards were then trasnported to our SCRUM room and referenced daily to assess progress. Our initial attempts to track burndown were manually intensive. We utilised a spreadsheet which each individual team member was required to update daily. The process was clumbersome and not very Agile. We evolved this process by configuring the tool we were responsible for to take staff timesheet information and illustrate their record of activity as burndown against the total committment of the team. Horray! Simple, easy and workable! We've hit other challenges such as the presence of multiple product owners and performance issues which we've managed to address through further process improvements. We recently removed our only Systems Analyst from the team for a career development opportunity. The ease in which the team continued to operate following this departure was truly mind blowing. A lead technical resource steps up immediately taking ownership of tasks we'd typically have associated with teh systems analysts. Our BA's realised an enhanced level of independence in discussing complex financial capabilities of the product. This was only possible because these resources had already been volunteering for tasks that sat just outside their comfort zone. True cross functionality.

Pramerica Systems Ireland, Development manager
August 2011 - Present, Letterkenny, na, Ireland
I myself have moved from my previous role as SCRUM Master and now have responsibility for a collection of teams. I continue to have responsibility for my SCRUM team and have mentored a new SCRUM master into my role. I hope to bring this resource through SCM accrediation and beyond. I also continue my advocation of SCRUM and joined the Prudential (USA) Agile Workforce in 2011. I presented at the Prudential Project Management Council addressing the corporate myth that Agile lacks control and Agile's facilitation of building cross functional teams. I hope to leverage my experience to introduce Agile to more areas within my current organisation.

Articles I've written

Yes, We're Doing Scrum
In July 2011, the Scrum Alliance website featured an article by Alan E. Cyment entitled "Compasses, Trees and Pains." It posed the question, "Am I doing Scrum or not?" Interestingly, one reader responded, '"Yeah, we're doing Scrum, but we have thr...