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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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Andrew Owen

AndrewOwenMr. Andrew T. Owen is Director of Architecture and Development for SEARCH, The National Consortium for Justice Information and Statistics, where he oversees SEARCH initiatives to support justice and public safety information sharing nationwide. These initiatives focus on providing direct assistance to federal, state, local, and tribal organizations to improve their use of technology, information sharing, and communications interoperability in mission-critical projects. Initiatives include consultation and facilitation, strategic planning for information sharing and technology deployment, architecture development, business process modeling and analysis, service specification development, performance management, voice and data integration planning, application of technology standards, and developing effective governance and funding models.

Since joining SEARCH in 2006, Mr. Owen has worked on multiple projects focused on integrated justice information systems planning and implementation, including the National Information Exchange Model (NIEM), the Global Reference Architecture (GRA), and the Justice Information Exchange Model (JIEM®). He has provided programming and configuration assistance, consultation on implementation architecture, training, technical assistance, and research to jurisdictions nationwide in planning and implementing information sharing solutions, as well as developing information sharing standards and technical architecture. He has also played a key role in supporting members of the Open Justice Broker Consortium (OJBC) and serves as its Executive Director.

Mr. Owen formerly was Lead Systems Analyst for the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center–Northeast (NLECTC-NE). In this role, he provided information sharing technical assistance and consulting services to many state and local law enforcement, courts, and corrections agencies.

Mr. Owen is experienced with JIEM, NIEM, and the IEPD development process. He has supported a number of Global and NIEM efforts, including developing corrections-related reference IEPDs, the New York State in-state Rap Sheet IEPD, California Courts IEPDs, , and several incident reporting projects that leverage the FBI’s Law Enforcement National Data Exchange (N-DEx) IEPD. Mr. Owen regularly serves as a presenter at conferences to discuss information sharing approaches and methodologies and has authored technical briefs on JIEM, NIEM, Web Services, XML, and related topics. He has led the policy and technology aspects of establishing identity management federations, using the GFIPM (Global Federated Identify and Privilege Management) guidelines and open source software, at the state level, allowing integrated justice initiatives to improve security while providing practitioners with seamless access to information.

Mr. Owen also has provided support to the U.S. Department of Justice’s Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative (Global). He participated on the Global Tech team and its XML Structure Task Force (XSTF), is actively involved in NIEM curriculum development, and is a NIEM training instructor. He has developed training materials, provided training to local and state justice agencies, and instructed at NIEM “train-the-trainer” events. In 2011, he was appointed co-chair of the NIEM Technical Architecture Committee (NTAC), representing state, local, and tribal organizations. Since becoming co-chair, he has played a lead role in establishing a Unified Modeling Language profile for NIEM and in developing the NIEM 3.0 technical architecture.

Mr. Owen has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Networking and Systems Administration from the Rochester Institute of Technology, New York. He has achieved SEARCH JIEM certification and is a Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM).