Stephen is a Digital Project Manager here at Fusion and has also been a Scrum Master with Fusion for almost 5 years. While working with Scrum Teams, Stephen creates uplifting team environments that benefit both the client and their customers.
Q: What does a typical workday look like for you?
A: Probably cliche to say this, but as a Scrum Master, there is not a typical workday. Here are a few things I could be doing on any given day:
- Meeting with organization stakeholders to discuss a blocker that the team is experiencing
- Facilitating an ad hoc meeting with Scrum team members to solve a sequencing issue on the work provided
- Communicating with stakeholders before an upcoming sprint review to let them know what items will be included
- Working with the product owner to look at upcoming company initiatives, discuss how our team can support them, and map them out into loose, upcoming releases
- Facilitating Scrum ceremonies
- Researching or reading about effective Scrum implementations
- Doing “nothing” – This is honestly one of the overlooked aspects of a Scrum Master job. Sometimes the best thing you can do is not rush to do what needs to be done. Sometimes you have to let the team learn from a mistake, or maybe you reflect back to the team and say, “I am seeing _____. What can we as a team do to help solve this?” And honestly, sometimes you just need to be around and available to observe the daily interactions of the team. If I’m intentional about my “nothing” time, I can usually pick up on interactions and ways we could improve so that we can work more efficiently and effectively on our items.
Q: What did you do prior to joining Fusion? How does your previous experience help you in your role now?
A: I worked for a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Partner for 1.5 years prior to joining Fusion, but before that, I was actually in Grad School for a master’s degree in Bible and Religion.
As odd as it may seem, I find my grad school experience was immensely helpful in my current role. During grad school, I gained important skills like listening with empathy, effective written and oral communication, schedule management, and meeting facilitation. I think back often to how that time prepared me, even when I wasn’t aware of it.
Q: Do you have any certifications:
A: I’m kind of a training and learning junkie, which Fusion has wholeheartedly supported. This has led me to gain the following certifications during my time here:
- Certified Scrum Master, followed by Advanced Certified Scrum Master (ScrumAlliance)
- Certified Scrum Product Owner (ScrumAlliance)
- Certified Associate Project Manager (Project Mgmt Institute)
Q: What impact do you want to make on our client’s businesses?
A: By nature, I love teams and continuous improvement, which is why I’ve come to greatly admire Agile processes. I’ve been able to witness how an Agile approach can create team structures that empower and engage members to their full abilities, while also driving ever-increasing value for our clients and their customers. When you see our clients begin to experience the benefits of continuous value improvement, while their team members flourish as empowered individuals, it’s incredibly energizing.
Q: Do you have any mentors at Fusion:
A: Kristina Frazier-Henry is the best! Ever since I started at Fusion, she has been an empowering and encouraging presence for me. When I need help troubleshooting something, she’s always there. And when I do well, she’s there to celebrate with me and publicize my success to leadership. Everyone needs a boss like Kristina.
Q: What do you do for fun outside of work?
A: I’m a big sports person. Major League Baseball (Reds), the NBA (Pacers), and College Basketball (IU) are all things that capture my attention. I’m also heavily invested in some long-running Fantasy Baseball and NBA leagues.
I also love to read, mostly non-fiction. Technology, Christian Theology, Film, and History are always in the rotation. However, I do tend to deep-dive on a Fiction series when it resonates, which is why I’ve read through both Harry Potter and Game of Thrones multiple times.
In the last few years, I’ve started to get very interested in films. I try to watch all the Oscar-nominated movies before the Academy Awards each year.
Lastly, my wife and I love taking road trips together to see long-distance friends and enjoy delicious food. We did a West Coast trip that took us west to Los Angeles, north to Seattle, and the East back to Indianapolis. We’ve also done a Canada/Northeast US trip that went through Montreal, Quebec City, Prince Edward Island, and then down through Maine, Boston, and Philadelphia, before heading back to Indianapolis.