Have you ever been excited because you learned new skills but then struggled to put them to use on a project quickly? This article tells the story of how the Silicon Valley Project Management (SVPM) gives me the opportunity to apply and strengthen my Agile Scrum skills.
As a product owner in my previous role, I focused on delivering value to our customers and to our business. I had a product vision and strategy, and I maintained a feature backlog. Our team accounted for value and effort when prioritizing features in the next release.
In job transition during Covid-19, I earned Product Owner and Scrum Master certifications via the Scrum Alliance. I realized that, although my previous team was somewhat agile, following the Scrum process adds key enhancements and structure. Since then, I have sought numerous ways to immerse myself in agile development through Meetups, conferences, or communities of practice.
Recently, a friend of mine invited me to participate in the Silicon Valley Project Management group. Since joining, I was assigned to a Scrum team that maintains this website. I actively engaged in the process that I had learned about in the Scrum certification classes solidifying concepts and appreciating nuances.
We engaged in the Scrum ceremonies.
- backlog refinement
- sprint planning
- sprint reviews
Our team members are distributed throughout the United States. One team member joined from Europe. We used the following online tools to help work remoately.
- Doodle – Select meeting times that work for most team members
- PlanningPoker – Estimating product backlog
- Slack – General communication and text-based stand-ups
- Trello – Maintain product backlog and sprint progress
- Zoom for live meetings standup
The stand-ups and burn-down chart provided transparency and a sense of motivation to complete my own tasks and not let the team down. Additionally, it became clear how using time-boxed sprints and fixed sprint plans allowed team members to focus. The team could complete committed tasks and deliver an increment of value.
Our meetings included our mentor Donald Stringari and sponsor David Bakhtnia. Together, they provided coaching with humility, gratitude and always a bit of humor. They helped establish trust and showed the team how to have fun working together.
Working on a SVPM team reinforced what I already learned about Scrum during certification classes. Using short time-boxed sprints with fixed requirements enhances a team’s focus, value delivery and agility for upcoming work. Transparency and trust are the foundation to the process.
In conclusion, by actively participating on these Scrum teams, I have gained confidence in my abilities to contribute and lead other agile teams. I am grateful to Silicon Valley Project Management for the opportunity to serve.