A recovering waterfall addict, I moved from a traditional project management role into the role of Scrum Master in September, 2011 as the company (then Avail-TVN) began to formalize its nascent Agile practices. In the three years since my move from a more traditional project management position into Agility, I have become a CSM and CSPO, served as scrum master for five different teams (not all at once!), built a team of scrum masters organized in a loose guild and now have responsibility for our Enterprise Scrum. We have collectively taken a rag-tag bundle of chaotic processes that varied across the organization and standardized as best we could around generally accepted Scrum practices. I have even been asked to relate our story to business school students at the University of Montana, my alma mater.
The organization’s foray into Agile has been a grass roots Scrum adoption, starting with a single team working on an R&D project that was organized about a year before I moved into the Scrum Master’s role. At that point, there were no scrum masters or product owners, testing was still largely a waterfall cascade after development was complete, team capacity was unknown and deadlines routinely blown. Since then, our agile practices have evolved to include 12 development teams in three countries, with an agile product organization and a group of scrum masters organized in a guild structure. I have been tasked with defining (and guarding) the company’s Scum practices, aligning them with our Behavior Driven Development (BDD) paradigm, building a team (guild) of Scrum Masters and evangelizing Scrum and Agile within the organization. It’s an iterative, constantly evolving process and an exciting one to help foster.
While I have built our scrum master’s guild, I have maintained a role as Scrum Master myself – currently serving a SM for a “Big Data and Analytics” team. Even though I could delegate this responsibility, I like to keep myself sharp and I believe that front line experience as a Scrum Master is the best way to accomplish that. As the company’s “Scrum Master of Scrum Masters”, I help guide the rest of the SM’s, clear their impediments and run the Scrum of Scrums. In my spare time, I’m creating an Agile dashboard for our CIO using some metrics and techniques that I picked up at this year’s Scrum Gathering, NOLA.
Prior to my personal Agile transformation, I held management positions in project management and operations for companies that, through mergers and acquisitions, became Vubiquity. I joined one of those companies (Auroras) in 2006, just out of business school with a freshly minted MBA and six months of consulting experience. I joined as employee number 12. The experience of working for a small startup that eventually evolved into a global company with close to 500 employees has been an interesting and exciting one.
In my personal life, I enjoy back country hiking, elk and deer hunting, cooking and the occasional premium cigar. If we had beaches in Montana, I would probably enjoy long walks on them. Instead, I enjoy long walks in our wilderness.