Get certified - Transform your world of work today


Alicia McLain


Sr. Manager Program Management & Operations, WESTECH

Location: La Jolla, CA



Certified Scrum Professional
Certified ScrumMaster
Certified Scrum Product Owner



Alicia McLain has spent the better part of her career as a champion and driver for process improvement to increase organizational efficiency. Her emphasis with Scrum is on building high performing teams.

At Tapestry Solutions, a previous employer, she was brought in to an engineering organization to assist with creating and driving processes increase efficiency in engineering operations. She was introduced to Scrum because the organization had ‘researched the possibility’ of moving from a very loose ‘modified spiral’ process into the light, repeatable and dependable structure of Scrum.  She was sent to training, became certified as a Scrum Master and began to lead the grassroots effort to bring Scrum into engineering.   

At her last employer, CareFusion, she owned the process improvement initiative as the resident Agile Coach to design, develop and deliver a strategy to roll out a dependable set of iterative practices (User Stories, Estimation, Prototyping, Retrospectives, Sprint Reviews and Daily Stand Up) for all engineering teams (San Diego, Reston VA. and India) for within our Enterprise Solutions Engineering Division.  

Today, Alicia works with a medical software development company where she's trained Product Owners, Agile PMs and teams (with her firm, at Vanderbilt University Medical Center - Informatics & Development and West Corporation) in Agile practices like: building, managing and maintaining a product backlog, user stories, agile estimation, iterative development, Sprint Retrospectives and Sprint Reviews.

She was a contributor to Mike Cohn’s latest book, “Succeeding with Agile” and speaks locally and regionally for the PMI Chapters in Orange County and San Diego, SoTec, has been active in Agile San Diego as a speaker and was selected to speak at the first annual Scrum Day led by Carlton Nettleton.

Work experience

WESTECH, Senior Manager, Program Management & Collaborations
January 2014 - Present, La Jolla, California, US
As the Program and Collaborations Manager I am responsible for managing and participating in collaboration-related research projects. My position works with external collaborators to maintain communication and manage relationships. In addition, I provide internal project leadership and direction on assigned collaborations and participate in project reviews in order to provide consultative advice. I drive the establishment and execution of standards and approaches for assigned projects and act as a mediator during discussions on projects and provided services. I create and maintain all project management deliverables throughout the project life-cycle.

University of California, San Diego, Adjunct Faculty
April 2013 - Present, La Jolla, California, US
Link to class: Link to me at UCSD:

CareFusion, Manager, Program Management
March 2010 - January 2014, San Diego, CA, US
I was hired specifically for my experience in Agile organizational transformation. I started as a PM and in the first 9 months, I began introducing practices at the team level. There had been previous attempts to introduce Scrum and there was really bad energy around the word, so we called our initiative (once it got rolling) Enterprise Technology Solutions (ETS) Lean/Agile Practices. My role began as an Agile Coach. In February of 2011, I led a division wide roll out of 6 core practices (#1-The Daily Stand Up, #2-The Sprint Review, #3-The Sprint Retrospective, #4-Using User Stories, #5-Establishing a Product Backlog, #6- Story Point Estimation and Task Breakdown (essentially Sprint Planning 1 and 2). I designed and delivered all of the training for the 'Communication and Collaboration' sessions #1-3. We hired a consultant to help us with #4-#6. I fired up a coalition of subject matter experts that I and the consultant trained to be our 'Core Team' and 'sales people' to go out into the organization to help with the transition. We trained 375 members of our division in San Diego, Reston, Alabama and Chandigarh India. Teams were very excited to put the practices into play. After a little while, teams needed guidance on getting to an “Optimized” level with the practices. We moved along until we started stalling in a few places. To keep the momentum going and support the PMs, I created a series called 'The Agile PM', a monthly webinar with special topics on leadership, tips and lessons learned on the Agile practices we were using and was generally a forum for the PMs to get help. Every month, I came up with the content from the questions I got in email, the hallway and the ladies room. I was the resident Agile Coach. I owned the implementation and roll out of all this with a dotted line report to our division general manager and vice president. Our division raised our street cred by increasing our ability to deliver to target, putting out quality work and having motivated teams. We went from 4 releases per year across the division when my GM started in 2008, to 114 releases per year in 2013. My GM frequently 'farmed out' the services of me and my team to start seeding other organizations by conducting Retrospectives, etc..Our division got recognized by other divisions at the company and now our GM wanted to partner with the IT and other development divisions who wanted to know our secret. I worked with the heads of those divisions to start moving Agile into their camps. CareFusion was asked to present our 'Non-Traditional' PMO at the 2013 PMO Symposium. We were no traditional in that we were 'agile' with a lowercase A, and a lean mean machine with the right amount of structure and process even for an FDA regulated environment. We made it work! Right before I left, I began writing Product Owner Training that included User Story writing, Product Backlog management and general expectations of the role. I designed and delivered that training with the head of marketing from our division to a cross company audience before I left.

Tapestry Solutions, Team Managers, Software Development
May 2006 - May 2008, SAN DIEGO, CA, US
I was hired as the manager in software development, responsible for all incoming new hires onto our development team. The organization had researched Scrum and decided it was the way they wanted to take the development teams. I was sent to training with our lead Engineer and a staff development. We came back, and I designed, developed and deliver customized training for all of our functional teams. I adapted the ‘Scrum Master’ training to be more team focused. At the time ‘Team’ was not a recognized role. I did a lot of self study to continue to develop the training material and was the lead trainer along with the lead Engineer We trained over 85 people at our local office. I became the ‘go to’ resident and 'De Facto' Agile Coach. I developed and delivered customized ‘Scrum Master’ trainings and was just starting the draft the Product Owner training when I was part of a RIF. I also attended Scrum Product Owner Training and became certified by Mike Cohn and Ken Schwaber. I was promoted twice because of the success of this roll out.


Newsletter Sign-Up