Andrew Flett, CSM
I've been an active scrum master for Secureworks for the past 4.5 years working and coaching teams in the UK, India and the US responsible who are for developing the next generation customer portal. Working with different cultures has made me a better scrum master, more thoughtful, patient, questioning and curious. The senior management approaches in all locations is different and as a scrum master I've had to learn to adapt and find ways of working with each through education, relationship building and my passion from scrum. In addition to my regular activities as a scrum master I run the scrum-of-scrums for the portal teams to track cross team dependencies, remove impediments and ensure the teams continue to work as one towards a common objective. Since the adoption of scrum we have reduced our cycle from 6 months to a 30-day release cadence and are now working towards continuous delivery. This has allowed us to focus on delivering the minimal viable product or highest priority features first based on regular customer feedback.
This year I have also undertaken volunteer work with an engineering company based in Dubai helping them roll out physical scrum boards in their factory floor. This has allowed them to clearly understand the dependencies across departments, address those and keep orders on track and time for the customers fostering greater collaboration across the engineers and departments. It has also allowed them to plan, purchase and prioritise much more effectively than before with a very positive outcome for the business and staff.
I have also seen the power of scrum with kids and am currently exploring an idea to turn this into an app following a successful blog I posted internally on our corporate Confluence area.
March 2013 - Present, Edinburgh, Edinburgh, GB
Assigned to software teams in India to coach, guide, roll-out scrum software development practices on a critical project to deliver a new client portal. Travelled to Hyderabad, India to work with the teams and management directly to implement scrum to help the teams and company achieve the successful delivery of the new client portal. During my time there after initial training I established the daily stand-up for the teams, sprint planning, sprint reviews, retrospectives and backlog grooming. As a result, we have reduced our cadence from 6 months to 30 days enabling us to deliver more value, quicker for our customers. We're now working towards a continuous delivery model.
In parallel I also worked with teams in the US and UK on the same project with similar goals and objectives. My time was very much spent in the same way as it was with the Indian teams and we have now migrated 500+ clients onto the new client portal as a result of the successful implementation of scrum across our engineering teams. Throughout this time working with the software teams I also worked closely with and built solid productive relationships with the software managers and product managers coaching and guiding them in their new roles and ensuring they remain effective for the teams.
In addition I also established and successfully ran the scrum-of-scrums for the new client portal project to manage and prioritise the many cross team dependencies. This enhanced our cross team collaboration as well as our planning and prioritisation allowing us to focus on critical dependencies that could have impacted delivery if they had not bubbled to the surface at the scrum-of-scrums. I have also been responsible for many scrum training sessions for teams and new start employees during my time here as well as the occasional blog post. The most popular in the companies history being "Scrum for Kids" and how I use a fun scrum board at home for family tasks. It went down particularly well with my colleagues across the globe which brought a great deal of satisfaction.
I have also constantly worked with my teams on continual improvement and the retrospective has been a key area for us to evolve and keep fresh. We have recently transitioned to a squad model and in order to surface some of the challenges this brought to my teams I re-vamped our retrospective in partnership with my UK teams to allow us to identify the key areas that make up a successful squad and then track how we were trending on each of those areas. It allowed us to surface issues and help we needed from other parts of the business as well as making those transparent all the way up the management chain. This allowed us as a business to deal with these challenges head on rather than sweep them under the carpet and galvanised us to support the teams during this transition with support from the top. The end result is the number of issues have reduced and we are on track to have the squads in a much better place as they work to deliver continuous value to our customers. It was well received across the company.
AxSys Technology Ltd, Agile Project Manager
February 2012 - February 2013, Glasgow, Glasgow, GB
My role during my time at AxSys was primarily as the Project Delivery Lead of a Chronic Disease Management System working in partnership with CGI & eHealth Ontario, Canada. I was responsible for the software delivery by the development team based in India. I worked directly with the CGI team members on the planning and roll-out of the software whilst supporting the Development Director of AxSys based in Glasgow. Part of my role included the management of the Glasgow technical team, working directly with Senior Executives based in Canada, ensuring technical delivery remained on track from our offshore development team in Hyderabad, India. Much of my role also included relationship & conflict management, risk & issue management and ensuring we met our contractual obligations.Prior to joining AxSys I was the operations director of a software firm in Glasgow delivering a large health solution for a health board in England. The team used scrum throughout successfully and it sparked my interest, which later became a passion. I pursued my CSM certification and began the search for a full-time scrum master role. Unfortunately at that time not many companies were using scrum in Scotland and I was unable to find a role. However, it was during this time at AxSys I could see a clear opportunity for us to use of scrum to deliver our software projects and started exploring the options of rolling this out to our team in Hyderabad. It was near the end of my time at AxSys when I began to explore this with the management team and software staff in India but I decided to pursue my passion in this area and left to become a scrum master full-time when the opportunity arose with SecureWorks.
Conscia, Operations Director
March 2009 - November 2010, Glasgow, Glasgow, GB
Staff Portal (Project Gateway), NHS. Value: £5m. Operations Director £3 ½m t/o business – P&L – HR – Business operations - Direct day-to-day support to MD on Project Gateway – overall responsible for technical delivery, profitability of project, team management.