‘Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done.’

This principle from the Agile Manifesto – that teams are ‘self-organizing’ – may sound simple; however, supporting self-organizing teams can be one of the more significant cultural changes that a company in transformation faces. This is especially true in a large enterprise. You may see hierarchical structures and processes in place that prevent teams from aligning themselves around work to be done. You may even go so far as to think ‘there’s no way that would work here.’ But we’re here to say that it can work, and it can yield happy, productive teams who are more energized than ever before to deliver value for your customers.

We are scrum masters at American Electric Power, one of the largest electric utilities in the U.S., serving nearly 5.4 million customers in 11 states. The teams we are a part of have explored dynamic reteaming, self-selection, interviewing and hiring new team members, pairing and co-training in order to build the strongest teams possible for the work at hand. All of this was done with the support of our management, and through incremental change. While our path wasn’t always easy, we did learn a lot along the way. We want to share our story so that you might start to envision a future reality in which your teams can be trusted with organizing themselves.

About the Speaker(s)

Rob Reed was a project manager who turned Scrum Master as his company is transitioning from waterfall to a scrum framework. His scrum teams have enjoyed a lot of success delivering business value to customers. He has also helped his company in their agile transformation by helping management understand new concepts and mindsets. Recently Rob has moved into an Agile Coach role to work with more scrum teams!

With more than twenty years of project delivery experience, Faye Thompson is a consultant coach and scrum master. With a focus on agile methodologies and continuous improvement, Faye has had a positive impact in the financial services, healthcare, advertising, automotive and aviation industries. Passionate about using innovative solutions to drive business value, she helps workgroups transform themselves into highly engaged and energized teams. Faye enjoys serving on the board of directors for the Central Ohio Agile Association and as President of the Women in STEMM Alumni Society of The Ohio State University. She spends her free time volunteering as an emergency medical responder and public affairs coordinator for the American Red Cross.