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09Aug2013

SEARCH ISP Director Achieves ScrumMaster® Certification

Andrew Owen

Andrew Owen

Managing complex software development projects is a challenging task—but SEARCH Information Sharing Programs Director Andrew Owen has learned a new, agile way to approach this challenge by becoming a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM).

Scrum is a framework for effective team collaboration on complex projects. It uses a simple but powerful set of principles and practices that help teams deliver products in short cycles, enabling fast feedback, continual improvement, and rapid adaptation to change.

Scrum has predominantly been used for software development projects, but works well for any complex, innovative scope of work.

“Scrum focuses on teamwork and constantly pleasing the customer,” said Mr. Owen. “I’ve learned useful techniques for managing backlogs, planning releases and iterations, and tracking and reporting

progress. The Scrum approach will help the SEARCH Information Sharing team better serve and respond to our clients.”

To achieve certification through the Scrum Alliance, Mr. Owen attended a 2-day training course and passed the ScrumMaster exam. He also learned how to effectively apply the principles of the Agile Manifesto, which guides Scrum.

Mr. Owen is the second SEARCH staff member to achieve ScrumMaster certification. SEARCH Executive Director Scott Came is also a CSM.

Scrum 101

Scrum is a framework for building a product, which is built incrementally over a series of short time periods called “sprints.” During each sprint, the Scrum team builds and delivers a product increment. Each increment is a recognizable, visibly improved, operating subset of the product, meeting understood acceptance criteria and built to a level of quality.

Scrum is also a team process that includes three roles: the product owner, the development team, and the ScrumMaster.

  • The product owner is responsible for deciding what work will be done. It is typically an individual closest to the “business side” of the project who is expected to “get this product out” and satisfy stakeholders.
  • The development team is made up of a cross-functional group of professionals who do the work of delivering the product increment.
  • The ScrumMaster is a “servant leader” who coaches the Scrum team to help it execute the Scrum process, removes impediments to the team’s progress, and keeps the Scrum team on track, productive, and growing in ability.
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