Irmgard Sabet-Wasinger lives in Vienna, where she studied physics at the technical university. During that time, she developed a passionate interest for programming and information technologies. Transforming her hobby into her career, she started working at update Software AG, a producer of standard CRM software, in 1999.
Irmgard has worked primarily as a product manager and program manager (a department she created within update Software AG), designing and releasing three major versions of the web-based CRM product (and numerours service & feature packs). During her time at update Software AG, the web-based solution evolved from a mere developers' side show to the main product used by our customers.
When the time came to release the current major version of our CRM software, the pains of the traditional waterfall method had become really frustrating. Therefore, together with a colleague - who has been Irmgard's Scrum Master since then - she helped introduce Scrum in her company.
In June 2011, Irmgard started as the product owner (PO) of one Scrum team dedicated for the new release. The team comprised both developers and testers, and as it grew quickly, based on the direct feedback of the team, it was split into two teams a few months later. When we added a 3rd team im January 2012, the challenge was to keep the teams in sync concerning their estimations as well as making sure that no 'specialist islands' arose which would inhibit tackling the most valuable stories due to personnel constraints.
As a PO, Irmgard provides her teams with user stories and (when necessary) more detailled specifications, and attends the daily stand-up meeting, the retrospectives and of course the sprint review meetings. Irmgard tries to be available for any questions or feedback from her teams "all the time", and loves it when the teams communicate new and fresh ideas for her stories, which often get incorporated when the business value justifies it.
Irmgard also discussed the release plan and the scope of the next release with her direct stakeholders. As Irmgard has felt at home with a facilitating role for many years, she utilizes the know-how of the different departments as well as direct customer interactions to create meaningful, valueable user stories, enriches them with technical details, and relays these to the teams (making sure they understand the purpose and value of what they are implementing).
Irmgard highly values the exchange with other Scrum practicioneers, as these are motivating and there are always fresh inspirations and new ideas to ponder. Thus she loves attending Scrum gatherings as well as local Scrum events.