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Laura Howley


Empower Agile

Location: Portland


Certified ScrumMaster
Certified Scrum Product Owner


Groups I belong to

Portland Agile and Scrum Group


Laura Howley is a Certified ScrumMaster and Product Owner with the Scrum Alliance and has been actively practicing Scrum since 2007. At She has worked with a range from state and federal governments to private retail organizations, helping build Scrum teams and coach organizations to healthy agile practices and then scale those practices across the enterprise.

Laura comes from a product development and marketing background at startups and the fortune 100 bank, JPMorganChase. She was introduced to Scrum in 2007 at Danube Technologies and was profoundly moved by its effectiveness, its simplicity and its attention to the people elements of project management. In practice, she couldn't imagine a better way of working. Danube incorporated the principles and practices of Scrum into all elements of its operations from software development to sales. Learning from the practices that were so successful at Danube (acquired by CollabNet in 2010), Laura now helps other organizations transform their workplaces into fully Agile operations. Laura is especially interested in working with organizations that desire to spread Agile practices beyond software development, creating purposeful, effective and successful organizations in which autonomy, purpose, delivery and a welcome attitude toward change are valued across the entire organization. 


Work experience

Empower Agile Coaching, Co-Owner
March 2016 - Present, Beaverton, OR, United States
Empower Agile Coaching provides training, coaching and mentoring in Agile principles, frameworks and practices to create highly collaborative and productive environments focused on delivering value to customers. Whether you are looking to kick-off your first Agile team or need support with an existing Agile implementation, we will work with you to develop a program that meets your needs. We partner with organizations of all shapes and sizes to help them understand and embrace Agile and lean thinking and apply the associated principles and practices to effectively manage their products from solution ideation to solution delivery. We have a dedicated and experienced team of Enterprise-level coaches to help you improve performance, decrease time to market, increase customer satisfaction and improve the quality of your solutions. We can help you with: Delivering training on topics including Scrum, Kanban, customer-focused product development, program and portfolio management, adaptive and servant leadership, and scaling Agile Launching pilot projects and Agile teams Establishing a continuous improvement program for existing Agile teams Facilitating hands-on workshops for agile planning, portfolio prioritization, story mapping, writing user stories, and custom workshops to address specific problem areas Coaching and mentoring on-site and remote Company Founders Ryan Fullmer and Laura Howley have over 30 years of combined experience working with startups, multinational corporations, and state and federal government agencies.

Agilex, Agile Coach
December 2012 - June 2015, Chantilly, VA, United States
Agile Coach for clients in the government sector. Worked with a team of Agile Coaches at a State agency, focusing on implementing continuous improvement practices at the portfolio level. Implemented Rolling Wave Planning on a regular cadence that is appreciated and the value recognized at all levels, including the Scrum development teams, Operations teams and Business leadership.

CollabNet, Agile Coach/Product Owner Proxy
February 2010 - December 2012, Portland, OR, United States
I develop and deliver comprehensive training sessions that educate customers on agile values and practices. I listen to the myriad questions customers raise about how to enact agile practices and help guide them to a potential starting point for implementing Scrum. I find Scrum to be the most effective pathway for teams and organizations to discover and benefit from agile practices. My approach to Scrum is to present it as a framework to problem-solve, rather than manage. I teach the concept of embracing agile values as the goal to an agile transformation, rather than a perfect implementation of process. Full-time Scrum Team Member since joining the CollabNet Training team in 2011.

Danube, ScrumMaster/Team Member
September 2007 - December 2012, Portland, OR, United States
Scrum Team Member in an organization that operated 100% in the Scrum Framework from product development, marketing, sales and services delivery, even the finance team used Scrum. As a Sales and Services Team Member I served on a cross-functional team of people responsible for delivering product demos, soliciting and prioritizing customer feedback for feature enhancements, product sales, developing Scrum training and coaching engagements and researching future markets. We worked in 2-week sprints and rotated the role of Scrum Master on a quarterly basis in order to create a learning environment and an opportunity for everyone to experience the role and receive feedback.

JPMorgan Chase, Project Manager - Jumbo Lending Marketing
May 2002 - September 2007, Portland, Oregon, United States
Project Manager for large-size lending (Jumbo) group serving Oregon and Washington. I developed and executed marketing initiatives to capitalize on a growing network of clients in need of large-lending services in the area. Planned initiatives and negotiated budgets between the VP in Oregon and headquarters in New York. Implemented several online marketing initiatives (email newsletters, landing pages, banner ads, etc.) increasing web presence from essentially zero web representation in the area in 2002 to a significant increase in search results., Project Manager, Assistant Website Producer
January 1998 - April 2001, Portland, Oregon, United States
Responsible for creating web content for a financial research start-up, that had been successful in print publication and was looking to expand reach. I managed projects that turned existing material into categories of educational content customers could access online. I researched and wrote original content for the website and eventually moved to the web production team, responsible for creating and posting banner ads, creating the weekly newsletter and managing the database of recipients. True to start-up nature, I also assisted production of the weekly radio program, conducting customer interviews, editing clips and posting radio content on the website.


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