Photo by John Schnobrich

What the SVPM Project Management Scrum team can do for you?

For the next step in my career, I was interested in a technical program manager (TPM) position. However, I lacked experience with Agile, a key requirement for most TPM roles. While I had a solid understanding of Agile principles, I was by no means an expert. What I needed was to find a way to get credentialed and gain meaningful experience.

I started by taking The Job Hacker’s Agile Scrum training course this past March. After completing the course, I did some additional study on my own and became a Professional Scrum Master (PSM). With the credential in hand, the next step was to get hands-on experience in Agile. Through Job Hackers, I got connected to the Silicon Valley Project Management Organization (SVPM). SVPM was actively looking for new Scrum members for their website sponsored by the UC of Santa Cruz.

13 years ago, a group of project managers created and managed the first SVPM blogging site to serve as an online center to share their ideas and write about their experiences. Nowadays, the SVPM org is a renewed group of project and program management volunteers whose main objective is for the SVPM site to become the voice and platform of the project and program management community. In recent months, the main goal of the organization has been to refresh and adapt their website. This has included adding functionality, polishing content, and improving the site’s branding and design.

When I joined the SVPM Scrum team in May, one of the first things I valued was the ability to rotate through different Scrum roles. It was a unique opportunity to get exposure to roles aligned to my strengths and also to experiment with others that were new to me. For example, I was initially keen on the Scrum Master role but I ended up on the development team for my first sprint. I felt like a fish out water. But by the time we reached the second sprint, my perspective had gradually shifted. I started feeling more in control and eventually decided to stay on the development team for subsequent sprints.

From my experience on the development team, gaining exposure to WordPress (WP), the site’s content management system, has been a major benefit. Furthermore, during sprints I have come across challenges that I learned to solve through trial and error or teamwork. Aside from WP, the Scrum team also used Slack, Zoom, and Trello tools. Experience with these communication and project management tools will no doubt serve me well in the future.

I would highly recommend joining this Scrum team to anyone looking to gain experience in Agile and wants a challenge. If this is you, we’d love to hear from you! Submit a volunteer application form, and a member of our Scrum team will reach out to you. Thank you!

Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash


10 thoughts on “What the SVPM Project Management Scrum team can do for you?”

  1. User Avatar
    Suzanne Tolhurst

    Becoming a development team member in the SVPM organization has given me experience in how to run sprints in a technical environment. As a marketing technology professional, it is important to be informed, aware and have knowledge of Agile methodologies as that the role of digital marketing continues to evolve. Technology expands and grows rapidly so for me, the ability to speak about my experience with SVPM during interviews have been rewarding and valuable. My next role may nor may not have an Agile component. If this changes I feel I will ramp up quickly from what I have learned in SVPM.

    1. Great to hear of your experience Suzanne! I believe too that the ability to speak about our experiences with SVPM will make anyone stand out-it’s a great investment of our time

  2. User Avatar

    Love having access to tools and information and everyone sharing how things are going during the Sprint. I really like being part of the overall deliverable and that everyone on the team is hugely supportive. Seeing how everything is progressing throughout the Sprint and helping where I can. I am really grateful for the overall experience as others have already mentioned .
    Very much looking forward to the next Sprint!

  3. User Avatar

    A few months back when I was in the process of transferring from the entertainment industry to the tech, I joined the Agile MBA class by Larry Apke. I did not have experience in the tech industry, and I felt that I needed to get it no matter what. I was introduced to the SVPM organization during my Agile MBA class and decided to try the program. I knew most of the tech companies here in Silicon Valley were using the Scrum framework and I wanted to learn it. I started with the SVPM program right away and I realized how important this program is to me in getting hands-on experience, improving my exposure for networking and job searches, and improving my ability to use the correct Agile terms within my job interviews.

    Silicon Valley Project Management blog enables project managers and team leaders to improve their effectiveness as PMs by providing a forum for sharing wisdom, experience, and insight around the art and science of project management in a collaborative and mutually beneficial context. Each of the participants starts as part of the developer team and then move on to try different roles as a scrum master or product owner. You can participate as long as you want in the program. Most of our team members were able to find jobs after a few months of participating. The program provides people real experience and knowledge.

    Thank you SVPM, you helped us during our journey.

  4. I was on verge of completing a Project Management Certificate Program at UC Davis Extension when I met David Bakhtnia at a “Breakfast Roundtable” organized by PMI Silicon Valley. Mr. Bakhtina introduced me to SVPM and then Donald Stringari helped me to join the Scrum team.

    Before SVPM I never experienced Agile working environment. I learned using great tools and new techniques during this short period of time.

    Being part SVPM Scrum team was a valuable experience, and I am very grateful to be part of such a caring team. I love to see our team grow with current and new volunteers in future sprints.

    Thank you Saioa Velez for sharing your experiences and accomplishments.

  5. User Avatar

    In today’s world of meeting customer needs and aligning with the shifts of marketing demand there has been a huge shift towards Agile and Scrum methodologies in Project Management world.

    Before joining SVPM, I had two interviews for Project Management positions at top healthcare companies I was very interested in. I met all their needs, but since I did not have the practical Agile and Scrum experience, I was denied the position. I vowed to myself that I would do whatever it takes to get the experience in Agile and Scrum I needed to create the opportunities and be able to get the dream job I wanted. I then got my CSM (Certified Scrum Master) certificate and I am now getting the practical experience through the SVPM program. It’s a great place where you can learn Agile and Scrum methodologies and gain practical environment rotating through the various roles in a very supportive environment. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to get practical experience in Agile and Scrum. Thank you, David Bakhtnia and team, for allowing me the opportunity to be on the team! I am now confident that I will be able to confidential share my Agile and Scrum experience during interviews and be able to get the dream job I want!

  6. User Avatar

    I am currently 1 sprint old in the SVPM Scrum team. I could not agree more with Saioa on how important it is to know Scrum and Agile these days. I lost on a good job opportunity with one Consulting firm only because I could not substantiate hands-on knowledge of Scrum. I got introduced to SVPM Scrum team through a previous volunteer Ana Lievano. And I could not be happier! I got onboard very quickly. I still have a long way to go before I understand all the technicalities, but I am enjoying this ride. What makes it special, is the team which is an abundant source of knowledge and encouragement. “unquote

  7. User Avatar

    Thank you for your support and for being a part of our experience, Susannah.

    We all hear about (technical) professionals being overwhelmed by their workload! We seldom hear about the training provided or paid by our employees! To me, this is a crucial part of Silicon Valley’s success! Unlike life-as-usual for most people, we seek more knowledge and hands-on experience to add to our case-studies and increase the success rate of our projects! Thanks to the core team and volunteers at Silicon Valley Project Management, we try to link our professionals together in an Agile environment, so we can add to each others’ case-studies.

  8. User Avatar

    Experience or education–which is better? Thousands of people will weigh in with opinions and line up on both sides. There is, however, a truth that you cannot deny: a person with only education or only experience will never be the same as someone who has both.

    Silicon Valley Product Management is providing a critical piece of this recipe–experience. Once you have completed a bootcamp or a course in Scrum or Agile/Scrum, until you experience the scrum process, you’re still missing something. That’s why SVPM is such a fantastic program. It’s a volunteer organization that lets you practice your Scrum and Agile knowledge in a friendly, supportive group atmosphere. I’m very fortunate to have met David Bakhtnia who introduced me to SVPM.

  9. User Avatar

    Thank you for your nice sharing. My understanding is that started as the first blog of its kind (in Silicon Valley) to make it easier to publish experience-sharing among project and program managers. Thanks to the original founders, and UCSC Silicon Valley extension for their support. Now, thanks to professional PM volunteers like you who are trying to enhance the platform to share our experience and insights.
    Only together we become stronger.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top