I started following scrum philosophy before I got certified as CSM and CSP. The company I worked for, BAE Systems had seen the values in it. I haven’t looked back since 2010-2011.
Scrum has become a part of me. Whether it’s work, home or my mentorship for robotics team, I have always used scrum methodology and have tried to teach others early.
As a part of scrum team during 2010 – 2013, we developed products for internal use and as each sprint progressed we received feedback from user and other stakeholders. We continually improved and incorporated the feedback and defects were very few. Being a large company, the process was very hard to change to follow Scrum throughout but we definitely tried our best to make changes at our location in Sealy, TX. The entire IT team was definitely very excited about scrum.
Around 2012, I took up a new role in my volunteer life! As my son entered High School, I accepted mentor ship in the FRC Team 624, the high school robotics club and a part of FIRST Organization started by Dean Kamen. As Digital Media mentor, we tried to revamp the entire website which was pretty outdated and almost of no use. I guided four (to begin with) High School students and later more joined, in phases (sprint like) we upgraded the website and today it’s being used immensely by students, mentors, parents and other outside organizations. The website is Team624.org or CRyptoniteRobotics.com.
Meanwhile, I also started coaching a FLL Team (Robotics team in middle school) and proud to see them getting organized using Scrum (they came with a bucket (backlog) of tasks, categorized, color coded and had a process (new, in progress, done) within set dates! It paid off hugely when they made it to Legoland invitational twice in a row – now they are looking forward to their high school robotics journey with CRyptonite again.
This year I am leading the booster club as its President and all my work definitely follows Scrum. After every competition/event we do retrospective. We plan for the whole year (sort of release plan) and break them into chunks, align students with mentors in small scrum teams and follow up with meetings.
In the beginning of 2014, I joined a startup, a software product company that builds very critical software for BOP Testing and other tests happening in oil well. From the day I joined, I started the Agile journey for the company and today I can proudly boast of tremendous success. Every month we have sprint review, stakeholders get to see the progress, give their feedback and we change process to make it more effective.
It is very nice to see the software team to grow from two developers to three teams and in each team is comprised of developer, architect, QA, product manager, designer and other SMEs as required. Sprint retrospectives always follow the review and everyone is encouraged to give honest feedback. The action items are written on white board where we have our daily scrum. It’s not perfect as we are still struggling to come up with better estimation and writing good user stories but only in two years we have come a long way and we continue to learn!