Karen Ferland grew up in a small town in north Louisiana (Ringgold). She attended Northeast Louisiana University in Monore, Louisiana (now the University of Louisiana at Monroe), where she earned a BA in English. After working for two years in a customer serivce enviornment, she returned to school to pursue a Master's degree in English with a Technial Writing emphasis. She earned this degree from Oklahoma State University in 1987.
In 1987, Karen began her career at DST in Kansas City, Missouri as a technical writer. Within two years of starting this job, she was leading a team of writers. She stayed in a technical writing role for 11 years before pursuing another opportunity within the organization as a Application Analyst. As an AA, Karen worked directly with development teams on new features. In this role, she had some project management responsibilities and found this to be her passion. Her manager had enough insight to guide her out of AA role so that she could pursue this passion. Karen earned her PMP in November 2008.
To get to work in project management, Karen moved to a position in Release Management, which was a new area for the division, which involved helping to ensure that our software releases were planned and executed according to plan.
While in Release Management, the division became interested in rolling out Scrum to the develoment teams and Karen become one of the first ScrumMasters within the division. Since 2009, she has worked with multiple Scrum teams throughout the division, often supporting as many as three teams at once (definitely not ideal). She has earned and renewed her CSM as well as maintained her PMP.
Being one of the first ScrumMasters in the division, Karen has been involved in mentoring new ScrumMasters. She has worked with both ScrumMasters in the Kansas City office as well as those in the Bangkok, Thailand office. She has also been involved in helping to identify and implement tools and techniques that promote Scrum such as Continuous Integration, pair programming, TDD, and an electronic Scrum board.
Karen continues to look for new ways to promote Scrum throughout the teams and within the ScrumMaster role. She constantly reads articles and attends webinars, looking for different ways of approaching Scrum topics that might appeal to the team. She initiated the idea of a book club among the ScrumMaster team and also worked to highlight Scrum techniques and principles to the organization through electronic media.
Karen is a member of the AgileKC users group and regularly attends meetings.