Meet Ravi Konidena

CSP-SM Ravi Konidena lives in Mysore, India and is a Technology Consultant with STC Software.

For you, what is the main difference between where you began as a CSM®, CSPO®, or CSD® and becoming a CSP®?
I became a CSM when I was a technology lead looking for bright career prospects. I registered for CSM training from a reputed training institute, passed the online exam, and became a CSM. This certification gave me greater career security, and I started to receive complex leadership challenges. This gave me a lot of confidence regarding process, as being a CSM means following a project management framework through process.

I became a CSP after about three years. To meet the requirements, I mapped challenges I had undertaken successfully after becoming a CSM, which were unconventional and had required a lot of thought. I can confirm that becoming a CSM encouraged me to take on further challenges, whereas becoming a CSP really gave me a feeling of accomplishment.

What is your favorite part about becoming a CSP?
Becoming a CSP gives a true sense of accomplishment without making you aggressive. Also, applying for the CSP means you need to fulfill many SEU requirements, be descriptive in giving opinions about how to use Scrum, and give thoughtful biographical data. I found all this very satisfying.

Give us an example of how the CSP certification has helped you in your career.
The CSP has really done wonders for my career. I was very conservative in my career progression, without any independence in seeking ideas, despite having a great academic background and being known for regular and innovative output. This certification has made me more sure of my performance in the office, which has named me “expert” in the technology consulting process. I give a lot of credit to Scrum for this. What’s more, I have decided to take on a start-up venture based on Scrum training and technology consulting. I am also planning to become a CST® soon.

How did you first find out about Scrum?
I was working at IBM and my manager promoted Scrum awareness through a Daily Scrum meeting. This manager was experimenting with the possibility of using Scrum permanently.

What do you find easiest about Scrum?
For me, the easiest — or maybe I should say the best — thing about Scrum is that it can give IT a leadership role. IT project leadership has become more tactical than technical, and Scrum provides opportunities for tech-savvy leaders.

What do you find most difficult about Scrum?
The difficult part of Scrum is that customer collaboration is expected over contract negotiation. As this is still not common in regular project environments, IT leadership becomes complex and the ScrumMaster needs to handle more work-related dynamics than is ideal.

What’s your best/worst work experience using Scrum?
The best experience using Scrum was when I completed an entire product, from requirements to customer handover, with a team dedicated to using Scrum as its philosophy. I was the ScrumMaster and we worked in a contract-negotiated environment. Given that Scrum supports self-sufficiency and self-organization, we felt free to engage in our passion for the project. The Daily Scrum, sprint reviews, and so on inspired our daily progress but were actually less significant than the passion that the principles of Scrum inspired in us. Of course, it was also a great experience because the project outcome was one of our best.

The worst experience was with an overseas project; work dynamics caused a lot of trouble and turmoil. There was a lot of demand for collaboration, but it felt totally out of my control even though I was the ScrumMaster. I have not always found Scrum helpful in navigating through nasty work environments.

How has using Scrum changed you?
Scrum has given me a really good career path through IT leadership. It has strengthened my knowledge of software engineering as a discipline and moved me first toward management and and then toward corporate training, given that I am aiming to become a CST soon.

If you could add one thing to Scrum, what would it be?
If I could get one opportunity to add to Scrum, it would be advancement in the area of handling work stress for all the roles in the Scrum framework.

Do you use Scrum in your life outside of work? If yes, how?
I do believe in using Scrum outside of work; it is both empirical and elegant even in daily life. As a home entrepreneur, I find its emphasis on self-organization very helpful.

What advice would you give to someone new to Scrum?
Since my background is in software engineering and that’s the main area in which I’ve used Scrum, I would first advise someone new to Scrum to enjoy the subject of software engineering. Then I’d advise him or her to be a true student of Scrum — work hard to understand it, to adopt it, and to both contribute to and enjoy the process.

What is your favorite quote? And why?
My favorite quote is “Slow and steady wins the race.” Following this advice is very difficult, but it is the wisest quote to apply to all areas of life.