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Robert Kalweit

  

Senior Technical Project Manager & Agile Coach, Fyber

Location: Berlin, Germany


Certifications

Certified ScrumMaster

Biography

My name is Robert "Kalle" Kalweit. At least this is how I introduced myself at the startup I joined in 2007 and kept that nickname until leaving it 6 years later.

During those 6 years, until 2013, the company had grown to 200+ employees and had finally compensated the huge growth pain with a proper agile transition including fully cross-functional teams that were 90% independent of other teams, self organized and supported by ScrumMasters and Product Owners each.

This mix of self determination of a team and value driven prioritizing through POs retained most of the startup "We're all in this together" culture up until today.

From 2013 to 2015 I worked in a wonderful UX agency in Dublin, Ireland. My title being Project Manager, I changed the way we did projects from very very traditional waterfall with huge losses through handovers between phases, to cross-practice collaboration. The spirit of creating Kanban boards on any blank wall using masking tape still prevails.

Since 2015 I'm driving the (slow) adoption of agile mindsets in a big Mobile SSP, again coming from silo teams, migrating to independent product lines.

On the side I'm giving trainings (of course no certifications) to companies and teams interested in starting an agile transition.

Work experience

Fyber, Senior Technical Project Manager & Agile Coach
May 2015 - Present, Berlin, Berlin
What started as Technical PM for component teams quickly turned into contributing to a Technology-department-wide Agile transition. Again I'm forming cross-functional teams, working with Scrum and help improving development processes.

Each&Other (formerly iQ Content), Project Manager
October 2013 - February 2015, Dublin, Dublin, Ireland

Working in an agency comes with entirely different challenges than working in a product company. Although the way of working might be similar, external clients bring in a component that is... different. Every single time.

Facing these challenges gave agile coaching a fresh new perspective!

GameDuell, ScrumMaster
October 2008 - September 2013, Berlin, Select a State, DE

10-2008 - 12-2008 Tournaments (ScM)
Supporting the implementation of a new tournament mode with a team of 2 developers and 1 PO as a ScrumMaster.

01-2009 - 12-2009 Scaling (PM & ScM)
Implementing a huge Scaling project migrating from a monolithic architecture to SOA. I was assigned as Project Manager. As this was a purely technical project, my first action (acting as an ScM) was to nominate a technical PO prioritizing and ordering the components to be migrated. We split the team from "one team of 12" to "four teams of 3". Each of those teams could then fully focus on one component at a time. Meeting boredom and overhead got reduced. Team collaboration hugely improved in those smaller teams.

01-2010 - 12-2010 New Business area (ScM & Agile Coach)
Trying to act as ScM for a new business area. First task though: Get PO hierarchies straight, because requirements to the team were coming from 3 product managers, CTO and business analysts. Established product management structure in a way requirements could flow to the team more smoothly (enabling proper estimation meetings before sprint plannings). Yet until that got fixed, the team had suffered a lot...

12-2010 - 04-2011 Enterprise Scrum Introduction (Agile Coach)
After applying basic Scrum best practices on project level the ScrumMasters felt it was time to take it to the next level. We radically changed the team structure, to focus our staff on the company's most important projects. Facing previous difficulties, we organized Scrum trainings for ProductOwners (with support of external trainers) and we ourselves gave Scrum introductions for the whole company. This was crucial for success, because the whole company needed to know, how IT worked on projects.

This approach meant a lot of change at once - but was the only way to proceed on our way towards forming hyperproductive teams.

02-2011 - 11-2011 JEE Migration (ScM)
ScM for a team of backend developers once more driving a technological migration directly driven by the CTO. Mediating conflicts between "recklessly pushing forward this project" and driving product changes and feature development in other teams. Establishment of agile estimations, thus offering better predictability for otherwise "unpredictable" software development.

12-2011 - 07-2012 Feature Development (ScM)
ScM for a feature team, coaching a junior PO in backlog creation and grooming. Supporting the team with continuous improvement, while at the same time mediating devastating scope- and priority-changes.

08-2012 - 09-2013 Feature Development (PO)
After 4 years of ScrumMastering I changed roles and became PO:

Having a ScrumMaster background definitely helped being a Product Owner. You know what a team wants and can prepare your stories this way. Nevertheless: Having an extraordinary team, that always gives creative input, was the main factor for being able to deliver projects on time and in budget. Amongst others during this year we worked on: Seasonal specials, new social features for the platform, updating our loyalty program and highscore-lists and did a payment redesign.

Articles I've written

Resume for Agile Professionals
Years ago I came across a developer's resume published via Y Combinator's Hacker News, and I was intrigued. . . . I looked up the original resume by Leonardo da Vinci and found that one even more bristling with self-confidence. Ever since then, I have wanted to write a similar resume for Agile project managers. So here it is. . . .

 

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