Agile Interview – Alissa Quick (PMP)

Agile Interview – Alissa Quick (PMP)

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Welcome to the Agile Interview Series.  As part of this series, we ask agile practitioners 7 questions, focused around agile and agile related certifications.  Our goal with this series is to give you multiple perspectives from a variety of practitioners within the agile space.

How did you get into the agile space?

I work for a company that is transitioning from a waterfall to agile software development methodology. With a background in Project Management, I was fortunate to be one of the first to transition to a ScrumMaster and pilot the new approach.

What is your focus area/area of expertise related to agile?

I’m currently a Scrum Master for a kanban team and a scrum team. Both focus on software development.

What is your view on certifications?  Should people get them or not?

I firmly believe in them. Certifications are sought out by recruiters, so they are particularly valuable if you are looking to move into a new role or company. Certain certifications, like the PMP, require that you earn a certain number of PDUs every three years. This “forces” you to continue your own education, and a large part of the agile philosophy is continuous improvement.

What certifications do you have and why?

I currently have my PMP. Prior to becoming a ScrumMaster I was a Project Manager. The PMP ensured I was learning proper project management methodologies as governed by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Since much of my initial project management background was gleaned from self-education and hands-on experience, I wanted to ensure I was knowledgeable of industry standards and practices. I plan to pursue my CSM through Scrum Alliance next.

What is your favorite agile related book?

My favorite book is “Crucial Conversations.”

crucial-conversations-book

While not an agile book per se, this book helps leaders with the difficult conversations we often need to have through one-on-one interactions or during team retrospectives.

Any final thoughts for other agile practitioners?

Join web-based communities. There are groups you can join on Yahoo, LinkedIn, etc., that are community driven. I find these to be a wealth of information, as many of us experience the same type of challenges. It’s great to see how others approach them!

How can people contact you if they have specific questions?

The best way to contact me for additional questions is through my LinkedIn profile.