Tom Fry (Agile Delivery Manager, Ordnance Survey, UK)
I’ve been involved in and around scrum teams since the mid 2000s. Firstly seeing it done badly, as people tried running scrum teams without Product Owners, without stories and without any ceremonies at all. Then in early 2011 I was given the opportunity to be a scrum master and set up a development team using scrum, with a dedicated coach running alongside for the ride. Using the approach properly we successfully replaced a web mapping service in record time and also introduced a whole range of new supporting practices and process like Continuous Integration, Test Driven Development, using Open source software and building on a public cloud platform. The experience of how to do scrum and see it working well in practice was invaluable and I became certified scrum master in 2012.
Using the first-hand experience gained as a scrum master enabled me to spread the word around the organisation and I started doing a lot of agile awareness sessions with other areas of the business. My approach also meant that I was also used a lot with other scrum teams who had less experience, both in terms of helping them to adopt better agile practices and behaviours and also to start using XP related approaches.
This training and getting involved across multiple teams led me to do my current role which is an Agile Delivery manager and in essence I’m responsible for the output of 5 agile teams across a number of technology stacks in areas from ecommerce, to web, to mobile to pure java. My main areas of responsibility are:
- Guiding and defining the levels of agile practices and behaviours which we want to see and ensuring that the teams adhere to these and continuously improve
- The recruitment of staff and general engagement with them to ensure that we are building teams and adopting the correct agile behaviours.
- Guiding the teams further adoption of software engineering practices which enables faster delivery if higher quality software
- Engaging and guiding the business with respect to the use of the agile teams, for example the training of product owners, and ensuring that the ongoing engagement with product owners is successful.
- Encouraging the adoption of agile across the organisation, particularly in its behaviours and processes and fostering an agile culture which encourages for examples the scrum masters to self-organise and mutually support each other.
- Being a key liaison person with respect to all things agile to other government and partner organisations.
My main ethos, which enables me to achieve all of the above, is to proactively approach problems with enthusiasm and build bridges and collaborate with people, who we can work with to achieve results. To do this I have to be personable and success driven.
Key Skill areas:
- Agile / Scrum / Kanban
- Line Management / Team Management / Team building
- Mentoring & Coaching of staff, especially scrum masters, products owners and members of agile teams
- Project and budget management
- Software engineering
Ordnance Survey, Agile Delivery Manager
August 2012 - Present, Southampton, Other
Agile Delivery Manager
In this role I basically use my experience gained as a scrum master, to effectively act as an overall scrum master to up to 8 delivery teams (120 people). As a servant to the teams I spend a lot of time preparing the ground so that the teams have everything that they need to deliver (e.g everything from representing their needs to various recruitment boards and ensuring that they have sufficient training budgets, to ensuring that they are following the scrum ceremonies properly and adopting better technical practices). As a leader to the teams I am always inspecting what they do and challenging them to improve and coaching the individual scrum masters to achieve and deliver more and constantly improve.
Ordnance Survey, Scrum Master
May 2011 - July 2012, Southampton, Wiltshire, GB
I was the Scrum Master for the Web Services Consolidation Project, where we were the first development team to use end to end scrum to provide an in-house developed web map service to supply the company's core geospatial data to external customers. The project successfully delivered a solution to the required specification within budget and within the stated deadlines. Along the way we secured a number of company firsts:
- first to use end to end scrum processes and ceremonies
- first to use open source software on a customer facing solution
- first to use cloud based infrastructure hosting in a secure way
- first to use TDD
- first to provide and use an automated CI environment using Mavern/Jenkins and SVN