Heidi Geisler was first introduced to Scrum when a pilot project was selected at Old Mutual, and a consulting firm, Scrum Sense, was brought in in order to coach and train the team in the implementation of Scrum.
The training and concepts around the Agile Manifesto, the cadences of Scrum, the focus on self-managing teams, and the concept of having the customer as the Product Owner, and therefore part of the team, immediately hit home for me. I was a developer on the scrum pilot team for roughly 6 months, until the pilot project was complete.
Once the pilot project was completed, our department implemented Scrum across all teams. I became both ScrumMaster and developer/team member on my team. I could immediately see the benefits of open communication, both within the team, and between the team and the Product Owner. I played the role of both ScrumMaster and team member for roughly another year, before taking up the opportunity to be a full time ScrumMaster at Saratoga Software. This proved to be a challenging, but excellent move for me personally.
There were various new challenges for me in terms of changing priorities, changes to team structures and members, lack of involvement from the Product Owners and interference from Project Managers. However, these challenges allowed me to put into practice a lot of the Scrum principles and to fall back on values and experiences, rather than text book type solutions and decision making without taking the team into account.
During this year, I watched team members grow both in confidence and in their understanding and application of Scrum. The "people" aspects of the teams I worked with during this year were by far the most rewarding aspect of my job.
In September 2013, I took up an opportunity to join Unboxed Consulting as a full time ScrumMaster, and this move has presented, and allowed me to create, opportunities to run a one day Scrum training course for our office, facilitate company strategy sessions and coach numerous teams on a daily basis.
Once again, the highlight for me so far, has been seeing specific team members thrive within their respective Scrum teams.
My main focus area for the immediate future is working with the Product Owners who are situated overseas, and improving the relationships between the teams I am working with and their respective Product Owners.