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Robert (Bob) Martin

  

Agile & Lean Practices Lead, Agile Coach, The Weather Channel

Location: Atlanta, GA/USA


Certifications

Certified Scrum Professional
Certified ScrumMaster
Certified Scrum Product Owner

Credentials

Biography

Robert L Martin

I started my working life as an mainframe Analyst / Programmer in Financial & Accounting systems, working through various Waterfall inspired methodologies and processes including Method One, Navigator, and CMM. I worked my way through the ranks and eventually started to help develop and refine processes and practices. I continued to work my way towards the front of the process, spending time as a Data Analyst and Business Analyst, and on ocassion being asked to help 'troubled' projects.

In early 2011 we began experimenting with Agile/Lean practices at The Weather Channel, starting with a user story based approach and getting the teams involved from the beginning; although we were still a long way from aspiring to Agile Values and Principles. In 2012 we initiated an Agile transformation and hired Jeff Patton and Aaron Sanders from CoMakers to help us start in the right direction. We formed two trial Scrum teams, one of which I worked with as Scrum Master. After several months of steady progress we launched four more Scrum teams, and then three more several months later. Working in a fully functioning Scrum team is hard work, but very rewarding; working as a Scrum Master to more than two teams concurrently boardered on counter productive.

The biggest challenges we've had has been incorporating external service teams, working within legacy command and control structures, and trying to tame the volitale nature of our business. We are currently experimenting with a combination of Scrum and KanBan methods, which is working to minimize these challenges. I am continuing my Agile/Lean training and experimentation.

My future plans include continuing to serve my teams and organization using Agile / Lean to the best of my abilities, and to foster an Outcome based mindset with anyone who is ready for it.

 

Work experience

The Weather Channel, Scrum Master / Agile Coach
July 2012 - Present, Atlanta, Georgia, US
In mid 2012, the Digital org at TWC began to entertain moving to an Agile environment. TWC Digital brought in Marty Cagan from SVPG, to talk about developing a better Product organization and Marty suggested moving to a Agile/Lean environment driven by inspired products. Starting in July, I worked with Sr Management to plan for our transformation to Agile. In September of 2012 I did my CSM with Arlen Bankston at LitheSpeed. Following on from this, TWC Digital hired CoMakers to help in our Agile transformation; which included CSPO certification by Comakers. I started as a Scrum Master for one of the two original Scrum teams and eventually helped with the creation of eight more teams, hiring Scrum Masters, and eventually serving as Scrum Master to two and sometimes three teams. I am continuing my Agile education and expanding the definition of my role as an Agile Coach.

The Weather Channel, Director, Business Analysis
August 2000 - August 2012, Atlanta, Georgia, US
For the first ~10 years at The Weather Channel (TWC) I was the Director of Business Analysis, working primarily with the Local TV group, helping to define and document the products for Local on the 8s, Lower Display line, Severe bulletins, and localized Advertising. During this period, the technical team I supported was awarded a technical Emmy for thier work supporting localized TV (which only The Weather Channel had the ability to do). Also during this time I ran a small group of BAs and PMs that served localized TV, as well as supporting teams in Finance and Accounting, Advertising, and Affiliate Sales. In 2010, I started to work with the Digital org at TWC, helping the Product group to define requirements / acceptance criteria for enhancements to weather.com. At this point we started our foray into User Story creation and training Product owners to start backlogs.

IBM Global Services Australia, Analyst, Team Lead
May 1997 - May 2000, Melbourne, Victoria, AU
Telstra staff bought by IBM GSA. Continued to work on Telstra financial projects, as well as IBM projects for Sabre Travel, Victoria Police Forensics, Victoria Police Vehicles, and misc smaller initiatives. Before I left IBM GSA to move back to the USA, I was starting to specialize in helping troubled projects.

Telstra, Analyst/Programmer, Analyst, PM
November 1989 - May 1997, Melbourne, Victoria, AU
Beginning of career in IT working for Telstra. Started as an Analyst Programmer writing financial black boxes for depreciation and retirement of Telstra assets. Worked my way into pure data analysis and team leadership.

 

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