Giving Thanks For Scrum…..from Virginia

Oh how I wish I were at the Agile Boston “Give Thanks for Scrum”  event!  Unfortunately, travel and hosting Thanksgiving made the trip impossible.  Since I can’t give my thanks personally, I figured I would write it all down here.

My background is in Product/Project Management.  Back in the day, there wasn’t anything about IT that really and truly interested me other than getting things done so I could move on to the next challenge.  I was one of “those people”.  You know the ones….

  • It’s *just* a web page.
  • I need it by the <insert date here>.  You will need to figure it out.
  • Why can’t you tell me how long it’s going to take?  I sent you an e-mail with a full paragraph explaining what I wanted.

Then, I became the IT project manager and every one who had ever been on a project with me previously had their revenge.  Holy cow was it ugly.  I swear, when you’re coming up a seriously steep learning curve you find things out about yourself.  Who knew crying for joy when the file mounts were finally installed was completely acceptable?  Then along comes Agile and my very warped and limited understanding of it.  I botched it – completely.

Happily, there’s this class “Certified Scrum Master” you can go to and learn about being a Scrum Master.  Joe Little and Jeff Sutherland were teaching and my eyes were opened (WIDE) to the fact I was doing it completely and utterly wrong but, man!, did I leave that class inspired!!  Have you met Jeff Sutherland?  He’s got the best vibe about him; straight shooting, practical, kind and real.  Throw that Boston accent in there and there you go!

Scrum felt like home to me (once I learned what it was about for real).  It is so clean, straight, common sensical and simple (but not easy).  Following that class, for me, there was no other option and I began the journey of experimentation, learning and exploring.  Today, I get to work with people every day who want to learn this too.  I get to watch teams come together,  see minds opening, coach others, write about it, expand my own knowledge, teach, explore, learn, grow and try.  The list goes on and on.  If you had asked me, even 10 years ago, if I would doing this kind of work, I would have told you no.  Yet, here I am, having learned so much about myself and hoping against hope I can do the same thing for others as so many wonderful people have done for me.

I have accomplished much more than I thought (or dared to believe) I was capable of accomplishing.  What’s more, I believe I will accomplish even more.  I have a true, sincere passion for the work I am lucky enough to do and the people who are kind enough to allow me to work with them.  I’m very thankful for Scrum and I wish I could thank Jeff personally for the time he gave me, the framework he helped create and the course my life seems to be on right now.

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