March 2013, Amsterdam. Ken Schwaber and I semi-simultaneously express the thought that there is likely more value in us engaging in a close partnership. We already have a pretty intense collaboration at the time. I decide to leave consulting, a well-known environment that I have been in for twelve years. I take some time off, do a couple of Professional Scrum classes, and lay the foundation for my book „Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A smart travel companion)“.
June 1 2013, Boston-Antwerp. I embark on this somewhat unexpected journey of working at the home of Scrum, Scrum.org.
Over these past two years a three-fold pattern of activities emerged being part of the Scrum.org team:
- Shepherding the Professional series. Developing and sustaining Professional Scrum assessments and courseware, training trainers, working with the global community of Professional Scrum experts and within the small-ish, creative organization of Scrum.org.
- Representing Ken and Scrum.org in Europe. Visiting partners and friends of Scrum.org, and taking up speaking and learning engagements.
- Teaming up with Ken. Engaging in all sorts of interesting development activities, with the most important thread probably being the road from Agility Path to Scaled Professional Scrum and the Nexus.
Not working for a traditional enterprise turned out such a relief, the end of thinking and acting in terms of money and commercial motives only. No hour-based work, no office hours, working (mainly) from my home office, no timesheets. Instead mission-driven efforts, autonomy and valuable goals. Money is obviously important, up to the level of being able to pay our people a decent salary and to invest in the community. Beyond that however our goal is to support people, teams, organisations, with resources for assessment, improvement, maturing Scrum, growing professionalism, improving the profession of software development. It is not the most common model for a business, but it is what we do.
The two years at Scrum.org have shown me that there IS an alternative to the traditional way to run a business, an alternative that is financially viable, yet doesn’t revolve exclusively around financials.
Over these two years I’ve maintained mental stability, remained sane. No different than in every other environment I’ve worked in before, I’ve had my crises, my identity doubts, my ups and downs. I’ve come to terms with aspects of me that used to confuse me in the past, often in my past positions as Scrum Master. I’ve come to terms with blending in and still not fitting in. The best and most fascinating relationships are developed by not fitting in. It took me years to accept that, let alone exploit that. It’s a solid basis to continue my journey, my remarkable cobblestone path.
I wish you all the best. I thank you for all the inspiration. I am proud to be able to continue serving many Scrum professionals around the globe.
Shepherding the Professional series