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Brandon Barski

  

Scrum Master, Focus on the Family

Location: Colorado Springs, CO


Certifications

Certified Scrum Professional
Certified ScrumMaster
Certified Scrum Product Owner

Credentials

Biography

Brandon Barski

With a running total of 7 consecutive years of real-world Agile practioner experience split between the Video Game Software, Health Insurance, and Non-profit sectors, I bring unique and varied perspectives to the table as a Scrum Master. I have had the distinct privilege of learning Agile from the ground up as my first and only project management system, which has given me the time and opportunity to gather a deep knowledge of the framework. Proficient in both Scrum and Kanban frameworks, I have helped numerous teams become happier, more efficient, and more productive by focusing on the people and the process. I am a strongly structural and analytical thinker, which helps me pay attention to detail, make connections in order to see an overall picture of problems, and come up with practical steps to generate improvements. Additionally, my training in music has given me the unique ability to think creatively and conceptually -- utilizing both sides of my brain. This helps me work well with different types of people from engineers to developers to artists, and appreciate a diversity of ideas. I believe one of my key strengths is that I try to focus on not just what it means to practice Agile, but also the "why" behind the things we do. I think that this sort of education, as well as cultivating strong, healthy relationships within a team are the two basic building blocks for successful Agile in any organization, and that is what I'm committed to help bring about in my work everyday.

Work experience

Focus on the Family, Scrum Master
October 2015 - Present, Colorado Springs, CO, US
Scrum Master for the on-shore and off-shore Scrum teams for the Digital Media and Strategy department.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska, Agile Project Manager II / Scrum Master
March 2012 - October 2015, Omaha, NE, US
Scrum Master for the Platform Delivery Team and Platform Service Team **Duties: Facilitate Agile process for two, cross-functional teams (one using Scrum and one using Kanban) in the Information Services department, coach the teams in effective Agile process, monitor team dynamics and look for ways to create synergy, track Agile metrics such as velocity, lead time, cycle time, throughput, etc. and report via information radiators, work with the teams to inspect and adapt processes for constant improvement, assist in removing impediments to team progress, facilitate Agile ceremonies and other meetings, assist in conflict resolution, participate in the interview process for new hires, assist in coordination of intermittent program activities between several teams, regularly contribute to an Agile Scrum Master community of practice, administrate Agile project management tools for the team, etc. **Accomplishments: Stood up and visioned two cross-functional teams from the ground up, co-facilitated the Agile Scrum Master Community of Practice, brought more advanced Kanban knowledge to the organization that was demoed to and successively imitated by numerous teams, set up one of the first team collaboration spaces, presented to Directors and Resource Managers on how to utilize Team-centric metrics and Agile organization metrics to encourage constant improvement, worked with a group of Agilists to coordinate in-house demos, surveys, use-cases, and pilot trials to presnt an alternative Agile project managment tool to the department, etc.

LEGO Systems, Inc., Associate Development Manager
April 2011 - January 2012, Louisville, CO, US
Upon NetDevil being acquired by LEGO Systems, Inc. I was promoted to Associate Development Manager and reported to the head Development Manager. **Duties: Promote, improve, and innovate Agile processes across the studio. Increase transparency and accountability of our Agile processes. Oversee, advise, and mentor two junior Scrum Masters as they take on facilitation of their first teams. Facilitate, coach and administer Agile tracking software throughout the studio. Coach teams and individuals to solve problems and create solid workflow through Scrum and Lean. Facilitate data management and reporting between upper management and developers. **Accomplishments: Helped to establish a Community of Practice among the Scrum Masters, as a place were we could regularly touch base on how things are going, ask questions, and share knowledge. Assisted in facilitating a regular Scrum of Scrums to increase alignment and visibility among the teams. Assisted in implementing a FedEx day coding challenge as well as organizing regular studio demo days where everyone got to check out what each team was working on in a relaxed, party atmosphere. Embedded with and coached a newly formed team in Scrum methodology. Embedded with and coached an established support team in Kanban methodology.

NetDevil, Project/Development Management Associate
July 2008 - March 2011, Louisville, CO, US
Scrum master for a total of five stable development teams (not simultaneously) of between 4-12 persons each on a multi-year, AAA PC Gaming project called Lego Universe. **Duties: Guide the teams in Scrum methodology, facilitate Scrum ceremonies (Daily standup, Sprint Planning, Sprint Review/Demo, Retrospective), co-facilitate and participate in a Scrum of Scrums meeting 3x/week with various team leadership, track and report metrics to the teams and to leadership in order to measure performance, remove daily emergent impediments for the teams, coordinate meetings and facilitate conversations between teams in order to increase alignment and visibility, collaborate daily with Producers/POs to assure that work is progressing in the desired direction, administrate and teach developers how to use both physical task boards and digital Agile project management software, assist in implementing team suggestions for improvements from Retrospectives. **Accomplishments: Established a regular feedback session with studio executives to improve their communication with developers and ensure that concerns were being brought up and addressed by both sides, developed close working relationships with the other Scrum masters and Producers/POs so that we were able to maintain an open dialogue about issues and accomplishments, became studio administrator and coach for our Agile project management software system.

 

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