Dave Sharrock
Dave Sharrock, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CST®, CEC, CTC®, REP, CAL-E

Dear members of the Scrum Alliance,

There is a greater need and more opportunities than ever to transform the world of work, and more competing voices and ideas. As a member of the Board of Directors I want to help the Scrum Alliance navigate a rapidly changing landscape, bringing the global community even closer together, and creating a clearer value proposition to the organizations and enterprises that trust our members to help lead, coach and train their people.

I’m a Geophysicist with a PhD in Seismology, but that’s not why I’m here talking to you. My IT and Agile journey started a few years into my career when I stepped into the internet revolution, joining a web agency and eventually heading up their production department (one of the many hats I would wear). During this baptism of fire I uncovered two lifelong passions that would guide much of my career: product delivery as a team sport, and the successful adoption of game-changing ideas into the enterprise.

First, as a production director, IT director and ultimately CTO, I’ve continually been drawn to the human aspect of technical product development. Production is more than the sum of its parts, its a team sport. Great product delivery depends on understanding how teams work together - delivering beyond clearly defined roles executing specific instructions. The advantage is not in better coordination of work, but in the untapped capabilities of a strongly aligned group of motivated people working together towards a common goal.

Second, as a coach, trainer and consultant, I’ve observed first hand how organizations successfully - and unsuccessfully - approach new ideas that challenge how their business operates. I’ve guided organizations on their journey towards leveraging a new way of thinking about their business; in the first instance, the Internet, in the second, agility. In the process I have learned that there is no blueprint to identifying the best adoption strategy, but rather it is a complex problem that requires a case-by-case solution. It requires cultural coherence, leadership commitment and an iterative application of new ideas. It’s a gradual, organic process rather than a high intensity quick fix.

Since 2010, I’ve led agile42 in North America and have been able to combine both passions - creating human-centric production teams around the globe and guiding enterprises in their journey towards agility, leveraging the promise of agile development far beyond IT.

Working closely with the Scrum Alliance, I became a CEC in 2011 and a CST in 2013. I have contributed to a large number of international conferences as keynote speaker, presenter and reviewer. I’ve also been fortunate to chair several conferences, including the Berlin Regional Scrum Gathering in 2014. As a big believer in education, I’ve even worked to get Agile into 1 Scrum Alliance Board of Directors Dave Sharrock Summary Statement schools and universities, for example, creating the UBC (University of British Columbia) Sauder Business School Associate Certificate Program in Agile Leadership .

Scrum is now commonplace, but a common understanding is rare. This is why institutions like the Scrum Alliance matter. The Scrum Alliance raises awareness, educates and consolidates emergent practices. It fights for mindshare and challenges incumbent thinking. The Scrum Alliance also puts the spotlight on success as Agile and Scrum are internalized and companies look to justify their investments. The need for great Scrum teams and organizations that strive to adhere to agile principles has never been greater.

Like the Internet before it, agility is a game-changer for some organizations, and a way of keeping up for others. The Scrum Alliance will continue to transform the world of work, but the playing field has grown beyond IT and beyond individual Scrum teams.

Peter Drucker - who coined the term knowledge worker and is often referred to as the founder of modern management - once said “the greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.” Today, the Scrum framework is used in the majority of technical product development organizations, but more importantly Scrum and the application of an Agile mindset is creating its own turbulence in the field of management. Scrum has penetrated every conceivable industry and dominates the landscape for continuous improvement. As a member of the Board of the Scrum Alliance, I will strive to grow the influence of you, as members of the Scrum Alliance, and the community as a whole by:

  • Helping organizations realize the promise of Scrum and understand and leverage the value Certified Agile Coaches bring to the creation of high functioning agile organizations
  • Elevating the training experience in a crowded market, helping our members and their colleagues understand and recognize the Scrum Alliance stamp of quality
  • Sharing powerful stories from our members about what it means to be in an agile enterprise so that other organizations can build on a common understanding of success

I don’t know what the journey will entail, but I will bring the energy and enthusiasm to help the team move forward. I would be honoured and excited to be elected by you to be your voice on the Scrum Alliance Board of Directors.

Dave Sharrock

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