Effective Solutions Through Partnership

Category Archives: Scrum

How the Scrum Values can be used on more than just Agile Projects

Agile, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Learning, Professional Development, Project Management, Sacramento, Scrum, Training, Workforce Development

By Sumayyah Jackson, CSM

When I decided to attend the Certified ScrumMaster® (CSM) class through the KAIP Academy, I had knowledge about the Agile / Scrum process. Being a Special Projects Intern for KAI Partners, we discussed these processes frequently. My team and I attend daily sprint meetings every week. It is always on a timed schedule and gives everyone a clear vision of the tasks to be completed for the day.

One of my favorite parts of the CSM class were learning the Scrum Values: Respect, Openness, Courage, Focus, and Commitment. Here’s how I’ve seen the Scrum Values at work in my life:

Respect: To me, respect in the workplace means encouraging your team to express their opinions and ideas. At KAI Partners, my opinions and ideas were always respected. It allowed me to be comfortable expressing my thoughts when executing any project with my fellow team members. There is a difference between hearing and listening. Listening patiently to others’ discussion allows me to respond with insight and earn their respect.

Openness: I look at openness as being willing to open your mind to different ideas and change. Openness promotes trust. Trusting your team to uphold the company values will promote a friendly working environment. Accepting that people have different backgrounds will allow us to get past any perceived differences and realize that we are all people with similar goals.

Courage: Having the courage to overcome your fears can provide you with a sense of security to gain self-confidence and focus your energy on strengthening the organization through improved productivity and innovation. Moving across the country was one of my fears that I quickly got over. It took courage to leave behind everything I knew and start over in a new city. Because of courage, I have discovered new opportunities that have been positively life changing.

Focus: I think focus is an essential tool for success and can help you deliver the most efficient results. The ability to block out distractions is paramount and key to being successful. Being focused is a skill that has to be mastered.

Commitment: Commitment is to show effort and motivation and to recognize that sometimes satisfaction means going beyond the bare minimum expectations which takes discipline. I am committed to self-improvement by continuing to self-reflect and being open to change and growth. Ultimately, mistakes can be the best teacher.

Now that I am officially a Certified Scrum Master®, I look forward to applying the skills I learned to enhance my career, as well as provide a structure for my studies as a college student. These skills are not only applicable in the workplace, but they also play a role in day-to-day life.

Interested in learning more about how the Scrum Values can help in your career and life? Register for our next CSM session! Click here for all our KAIP Academy course information!

About the Author: Sumayyah Jackson works at KAI Partners as a Special Projects Intern. She recently moved to Sacramento from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She attends Sacramento City College, majoring in Psychology. Sumayyah is committed to her education & tackling her career goals. After she obtains her Associates degree, she plans on attending a 4-year university and acquiring a PhD in Psychology. She has previously worked in customer service, time and expense coordinating, and social media coordinating. On her free time, she enjoys reading, volunteering for non-profit organizations, graphic design, traveling, and spending time with loved ones.

KAI Partners’ Agile Services [INFOGRAPHIC]

Agile, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Continuous Improvement, Corporate Training, Digital Transformation, Innovation, IT Modernization, KAI Partners, Learning, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Project Management, Project Management Professional (PMP), Prosci, Public Sector, Sacramento, Scrum, Technology, Training, Waterfall

Did you know KAI Partners provides comprehensive Agile services? Check out this infographic to see what Agile is, why your organization should think about going Agile, and how KAI Partners can help.

How Agile Can Provide Value on any kind of Project

Agile, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Communications, Corporate Training, Information Technology, IT Modernization, KAI Partners, Learning, Professional Development, Project Management, Sacramento, Scrum, Training, Workforce Development

By Lucie-Anne Radimsky, CSPO

Agile knocked and I *sprinted* through the door.

I recently participated in a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) training through the KAIP Academy.

In my role as a Business Development Lead with KAI Partners, I serve as a connector between my organization’s service delivery team and public sector, non-profit, and private sector clients who need and would benefit from our services. I also help to bring individuals through our workforce development training programs.

Why is this important? Well, as you may notice, I don’t work on IT projects directly and I certainly don’t manufacture anything but opportunities. Agile isn’t necessarily a methodology that fits neatly into my role—or does it?

Prior to working with KAI Partners, my understanding of Agile was limited. I believed it to be a language or mindset that only IT departments, consultants, and the manufacturing industry would use.

Entering my CSPO training recently, I felt a mix of excitement and apprehension. Having spent the last 17 years as an entrepreneur in communications, I was used to making it up as I went along.

My apprehension quickly faded to comprehension and total awe of the simple framework that Agile provides.

As specific as some of the processes are, what I gained from this experience is a greater understanding of how to navigate a project more effectively—piece by piece, sprint by sprint.

This understanding of how to navigate projects of any kind—not just IT projects—gives me a sense of accomplishment, keeps my stakeholders and team apprised of my progress via daily updates, and allows me to deliver a valuable end-product.

As I learned in the CSPO class, Agile provides an excellent structure for developing a project/product by assisting in the following:

  1. Identifying key objectives—the why that should drive all projects.
  2. Defining clear and simple goals that are realistic.
  3. Encouraging constant interaction with the team/stakeholders to ensure progress and buy-in.
  4. Prioritizing tasks so you can focus on the essentials needed to deliver a valuable product to the stakeholder(s) in a timely fashion.

Now think about this for a minute—where wouldn’t Agile apply?

Which reminds me, I need to stop by the store to buy whole milk so my stakeholder children can eat their cereal in the morning which meets my primary objective to ensure they are healthy and well fed. But first I’ll check in with my husband to make sure he hasn’t already done so and doesn’t have any additional items to add to my shopping list.

Interested in expanding your knowledge, efficiency, and skills and learning more about Agile? Register for our next CSPO session! Click here for all our KAIP Academy Agile courses!

About the Author: Lucie-Anne has over 15 years’ experience in communications and business development in the U.S. and Europe, on behalf of start-ups and non-profits. She has signed and represented clients within the technology, energy, and telecommunications sectors to government agencies, journalists, and industry analysts throughout the world. Lucie-Anne has both American and E.U. citizenship. She is fluent in English and French. Lucie-Anne is an active community volunteer and has served on numerous non-profit boards and led alumni groups in Paris, Washington D.C., and San Francisco. She holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. She currently resides in Sacramento with her Brazilian husband and two boys.

KAI Partners Internship Program

Agile, Business Analysis, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Corporate Training, Information Technology, Internship Program, KAI Partners, Learning, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Professional Development, Sacramento, Scrum, Technology, Training, Workforce Development

KAI Partners recently graduated the second cohort of our Internship Program in Sacramento! With interns from Sacramento City College and Sierra College, we were honored to have such hard-working interns adding value to our Special Projects team for the past few months.

We wanted to check in with our interns to get their feedback on the internship program. Here’s what they had to say:

Sumayyah Jackson: Since I was young, I have been exposed to IT consulting—my aunt is in the Organizational Change Management (OCM) field and my father is an IT Consultant. While I had some prior knowledge, IT is not something I usually focus on, so I knew this internship would be stepping out of my comfort zone. I have always been open to change and learning, so this opportunity caused excitement rather than fear.

During my time at KAI Partners, I learned about each field in IT Consulting and I was able to gain background on these fields by interviewing a few of my colleagues. I became a Certified ScrumMaster, learning the ins and outs of the Agile/Scrum methodology. I learned to facilitate meetings, assisted in planning and executing events, and mapped out Business Process Diagrams using the BPMN 2.0 standards. Overall, this internship sparked an extreme interest in me for IT and Business. My internal personal skills strengthened along with my analytical and research skills.

Shyanne Long: I wanted to be an Intern for KAI Partners for a few reasons. I have family members who either are currently in the business or were previously in a similar line of work. However, they were never able to give a solid answer of what they actually did on a daily basis for work. I never had a clear understanding until I started working at KAI Partners.

The KAI Partners Internship Program exceeded my expectations! I was able to become a Certified ScrumMaster and practice using Scrum methods throughout the program. I learned how to create and maintain a LinkedIn profile, how to plan and execute events, and how to write a blog post. I also learned BPMN 2.0 standards and applied them by mapping KAI Partners’ business processes. I supported special projects, the communication team, and the business development team. I was forced out of my comfort zone many times with facilitating meetings, events, and conducting interviews with team members. It felt great to do things I never thought I could do before!

Says Stephen Alfano, KAI Partners’ Fall 2018 Intern Program Manager, “I’ve participated in many internship programs in my career. Of all the programs that I helped construct and lead, this one was the most rewarding for me personally. In addition to helping me drive special projects forward faster, this program provided me with a golden opportunity to deliver on our firm’s workforce development and diversity agenda—creating commercial value for our business in the process.”

Stephen continues, “Shyanne and Sumayyah were engaged and all-in from Day 1; I couldn’t ask for a better cohort.”

KAI Partners wants to thank our superstar interns for their diligence and dedication over the past few months. We know you will go on to do great things and we are excited to be just one small part of shaping your future!

Interested in applying for KAI Partners’ next Internship Program cohort? Email your resume to recruitment@kaipartners.com.

Increase Teamwork and Collaboration with Scrum

Agile, Certified ScrumMaster (CSM), Corporate Training, Learning, Professional Development, Project Management, Sacramento, Scrum, Servant Leadership, Training, Workforce Development

By Shyanne Long, CSM

As a young woman entering the workforce, I want to learn as much as possible. After being hired on with KAI Partners as a Special Projects Intern, I was delighted to get the opportunity to attend the KAIP Academy’s Certified ScrumMaster® class.

From day one, the internship program was structured using Agile and Scrum processes. My intern partner and I acted as the development team while our supervisor was in the role of Scrum Master. We use a Sprint plan as well as a Kanban. In addition, we commence in bi-weekly stand-up meetings. Although I had a base of understanding and knew Scrum processes were helpful, I wasn’t sure how Scrum could be applied throughout my career. After taking the course, my outlook has changed.

A few of the most valuable lessons I learned in the class include sprint planning, how to organize a Kanban, and how to hold a sprint review and retrospective. In addition, I have a good understanding of the Scrum team roles and responsibilities. The Scrum Master acts as a servant leader to the group, ensures events take place, and helps everyone practice the Scrum theory, rules, and values. As the class instructor, Bernie Maloney put it:

“Scrum is lightweight and simple to understand but it can be difficult to master. To master Scrum, it will take continual practice.”

One thing I really appreciate about Scrum is that it’s very collaborative. Teamwork makes the dream work! The class activities were collaborative and included a lot of teamwork, which is similar to real life situations. We practiced timed sprints, sprint review, and sprint retrospectives. Bernie also encouraged the class to be self-motivated and self-organizing. It helped the class come together to figure out the best way we can complete the activity.

In my day-to-day, I enjoy doing a daily scrum meeting in the morning with my team. It is a quick, five-minute check-in and it sets me up to have a productive day. It gets everyone in the team on the same page and allows them to be “in the loop.”

I know that Scrum will be relevant throughout my career because it can be operated in almost any project you work on. It can be applied because Scrum is flexible and adaptive. According to the Scrum Guide, Scrum has been used worldwide to research and identify viable markets, technologies, and product capabilities and develop, release, sustain, and renew products.

Scrum’s values will also drive me throughout my career. Scrum’s values include commitment, courage, focus, openness, and respect. I found it very interesting that these values line up well with KAI Partners’ core values as well. With these values in mind, I know that I can bring Scrum to the table wherever my career takes me and have a team of capable, respectful, and independent people.

Interested in taking our Certified ScrumMaster® or Certified Scrum Product Owner® courses? Visit our Eventbrite page to see our full schedule of upcoming courses!

About the Author: Shyanne is a Special Projects Intern at KAI Partners. She attends Sierra College and is exploring her career options. Ms. Long plans on transferring to a four-year university after completing her units at Sierra College. She has experience in customer service, childcare, assistant teaching, and is now in a business analyst role at KAI Partners. Shyanne is passionate about expanding her knowledge, working collaboratively, and making powerful connections. For fun, Shyanne enjoys spending with her family, reading, listening to podcasts, volunteering, and (attempting) to recreate home projects and recipes she finds on Pinterest.

« previous page · next page »