Wednesday, December 1, 2021 from 5:45 PM to 7:30 PM EST
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Pervez Khalid 
ASCM New Haven Chapter 

Team Leadership - Values AND Process for SUSTAINABLE & Continuous Improvements! 

The ASCM New Haven Chapter's next virtual PDM of the 2020-2021 program year will be Wednesday, December 1st, 2021

Presentation Title: Team Leadership - Values AND Process for SUSTAINABLE & Continuous Improvements!

Presenter: Mark Hervol, CSM, CSPO, ICP-ATF


Mark is an IT Professional, with hands-on experience in the areas of Development, Q&A, Program Management, Release Management, Documentation, Sales and Marketing, Customer and Technical Support, -- from small boxed product, to cloud-based enterprise solutions.  He has worked as an individual contributor, and as a manager of large teams; in the small business space, up to the enterprise level.  As a result of this diverse background, he is a master at communicating well between multiple groups.  Mark builds long term strategies, while meeting short term objectives.

Mark’s goal is to produce services or products that are so sublimely good, that the customer doesn’t notice at first.

He thrives in a fast-paced, agile, diverse, and ambiguous environment, as a servant-leader, with a great deal of experience working with partially to completely remote teams.  His experience includes introducing continuous delivery and agile development methods, to multiple teams, with excellent results.  His drive for incremental daily improvement, and clear accountability is a winning formula.  He uses soft skills to make hard decisions, and uses customer insight and engineering leadership to reach the goals.   He also has a very strong cultural sensitivity, and works well with engagements involving multiple and diverse cultures.  His key is to have a very strong customer focus in everything that is done.  One customer quoted “Mark is an unapologetic light, that brings inefficiencies out of darkness, and to my frequent delight, he pulls this off with an adept balance of seriousness and humor”.

 Mark’s background includes:

  • Scrum Master / Coach at Insight Global (current)
  • Agile Coach @ SAP Concur
  • Concur/Scrum Master/Mentor @ Logic 20/20
  • Sr Program Mgr @ Aspect Software (Project Mgr/Business Analyst)
  • Sr Program Mgr @ Microsoft

 Mark is also:

  • Certified Scrum Product Owner (Scrum Alliance)
  • Agile at Work / Building an Agile Team certification
  • Certified ScrumMaster (Scrum Alliance)
  • Certified SAFe 5 Agilist (Scale Agile Inc)
  • Volunteer at Atammayatarama Buddhist Monastery,
  • In addition to English, Mark also speaks French and Japanese

CHAPTERS INVOLVED: This is a joint virtual PDM with the ASCM/APICS Massachusetts Minuteman & New Haven & Northern New England Chapters, as well as ASQ New Haven:

Team Leadership - Values AND Process for SUSTAINABLE & Continuous Improvements!

In the movie Gosford Park, Mrs. Wilson the head maid says this about her job: "What gift do you think a good servant has that separates them from the others?  It's the gift of anticipation.  And I'm a good servant; I'm better than good, I'm the best; I'm the perfect servant.  I know when they'll be hungry, and the food is ready.  I know when they'll be tired, and the bed is turned down.  I know it before they know it themselves."  It might seem like a stretch to say that this embodies for me the concept of servant leadership with agile teams.  But, in this talk I hope to make that less of a stretch, and eventually, a truth.

What I do for a living is to shepherd teams through projects using agile - either Kanban or scrum.  It starts with interviews, and ends… well, it never ends, since that’s one of those agile things -- continuous improvement.   Long ago, I set a goal for myself to figure out how to create a self-sustaining agile team, as I had been surprised after stepping away from teams where some continued to progress, while others, some of the best, -- faltered and failed sometimes in as little as month.

Uncertainty in most processes is a given, that results in surprises, that everyone ignores each turn of the crank.  Agile makes it visible, and is something you embrace to inform future decisions.  As time goes on, you want to decrease uncertainty, while informing stakeholders, and still being open to change requests at any point.  “Fail fast”, & “Slow down to speed up” are two edicts in agile, which might appear contradictory.  And we will sort that out here.

Agile is a combination of values and process.  

  • Values without process gets you a team that's ready to go, but doesn't know how;
  • Process without values gets incremental improvement, but it won't be sustainable over time.

You need both.  To get both often requires some subtle changes over time, that people ignore until they look back and say ‘hey, things seem to be better’.  Mrs. Wilson hits it dead on: "I know it before they know it themselves".  During this presentation, I'll tell you some stories, since that's a part of agile as well, -- especially the one about how the cake was definitely not a lie.