This is an individual contributor role that provides leadership, guidance, and mentorship to other highly technical resources and business personnel working in Scrum Teams. This role coaches and supports self-organized teams using the Agile Scrum methodology to deliver IT and business solutions for CNA. Acts as a Release Train Engineer (RTE) and/or Senior Scrum Master, partnering with the Product Owners and/or Product Managers with effective product backlog grooming to maximize business value and removes impediments to the Scrum Team's progress.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities
Performs a combination of duties in accordance with departmental guidelines:
- Serves, leads, coaches, and supports multiple simultaneous Agile Scrum teams and/or an Agile Release Train on high-complexity initiatives consisting of internal & external (onshore and offshore) as well as business and technical resources in the delivery of IT and business products and solutions. Responsible for product delivery.
- Facilitates Scrum ceremonies and agile practices (such as Program Increment Planning (PI Planning), daily standups, Scrum of Scrums, sprint review meetings, retrospective meetings, cross-team coordination, and etc.), alongside the product owner, ensuring that Scrum Teams adhere to the Scrum values of courage, focus, commitment, respect and openness in delivering IT solutions.
- Identifies and resolves delivery impediments to optimize delivery flow. Resolves complex systemic impediments without support; escalates impediments that cannot be resolved to senior leadership. Manages risks and issues and acts to ensure they do not recur.
- Fosters an environment of continuous improvement / learning and drives substantial improvement at the team, portfolio and organizational levels. Guides team members in achieving maturity in Agile principles and Scrum practices, with a track record of increasing velocity as team matures. Proactively monitors and assesses team health and project needs.
- Serves as leading organizational expert on Agile and SAFE with deep hands-on exposure to agile processes, tools, best practices, and industry trends. Formally mentors and coaches junior scrum masters / teams
- Advises business and IT leadership (beyond the project team) on existing and emerging Agile concepts; is a sought-after expert. Assists leadership in structural / cultural change to increase agility, including advocating for introduction of new tools / processes. Contributes substantially to Agile and Scrum Master COE / COPs
- Proven track record of establishing strong team environments with high morale and team cohesion where the team members constructively challenge each other, have a sense of ownership, and advocate for the right long-term decision making
- Supports the Product Owner and/or Product Manager in managing backlog and guides the Product Owner / Scrum Team in prioritization including maintaining relevant metrics. Maintains and draws upon deep relationships across the business, within IT and with MSPs
- Coordinates interactions within and outside the Scrum Team. Builds a trusting and safe environment within the team, Product Owners, Product Manager(s), and other stakeholders. Facilitates and manages conflict resolution within the team and key stakeholders; escalates more serious conflicts to leadership.
- Promotes practices that ensure delivery of quality products, ensuring that transparency is maintained around delivery progress, quality and schedule.
May perform additional duties as assigned.
Typically, Assistant Vice President or above
Skills, Knowledge & Abilities
- Prior experience with Agile Scrum methodology in a Scrum Master role
- Experience acting as a servant -leader with strong coaching and mentoring skills; ability to get work done without assigning out / dictating tasks.
- Experience on teams delivering modern software for enterprises using Agile methodologies
- Excellent communication, facilitation, and interpersonal skills and the ability to work effectively with peers and team members
- Excellent personal organizational skills and prior experience using Agile management tools such as Jira
- Deep experience-based knowledge of Application Development best practices (e.g., automation, CI/CD pipelines). Provides direction on applicability to Agile teams within CNA's Portfolios
Education & Experience
- Scrum Master Certification preferred.
- SAFE Certification(s) preferred
- Bachelor's Degree in Computer Science, Information Technology, or related discipline; or equivalent work experience.
- Typically, a minimum of ten years of related work experience such as a project delivery background in an enterprise IT environment with experience using Agile delivery methods.
- Previous project leadership experience preferred.
- Applicable certifications preferred.