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Scrum Day Speaker Spotlight: Dave West, CEO at CEO Dave West will be our keynote speaker at Scrum Day USA 2023. His keynote will be your opportunity to hear directly from the “home of Scrum.” Founded by one of the co-creators of the Scrum framework, Ken Schwaber, is the world’s leading provider of training and certification.

Dave’s official backstory

Dave joined as its CEO in 2015 motivated by its mission—to help people and teams solve complex problems. In his previous position as chief product officer at Tasktop, a value stream management platform, he interacted with hundreds of companies using myriad different tools. Through this experience, he learned that the tools were not the defining feature of successful teams; it was their discipline, skills, and passion for their craft. Dave sees that same energy and passion among the community of Professional Scrum Trainers and practioners, and is driven to support the continuous improvement that the Scrum framework delivers.

Other positions in Dave’s CV:

  • Led the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) for IBM/Rational

  • Managed the consulting practice at Ivar Jacobson Consulting, North America

  • Was VP & research director at Forrrester Research

Published books:

  • Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design

  • Nexus Framework for Scaling Scrum, The: Continuously Delivering an Integrated Product with Multiple Scrum Teams

Dave’s introduction to Scrum

Dave got his introduction to Scrum more than 20 years ago from a presentation by Ken Schwaber. “I was the Product Manager for IBM’s Rational Unified Process (RUP) then,” states Dave, “The presentation was VERY different from anything I had seen, and I needed help to connect it to what I had learned about software development lifecycles. The presentation encouraged him to read a few books, including the book Ken co-authored with Mike Beedle, Agile Software Development with Scrum. “That led me on a slow but glorious journey to using, discussing, and even teaching Scum,” he states.

Biggest success with Scrum

Dave pins his biggest success with Scrum to his time at Tasktop where Scrum and agile practices were front and center in building the company at the start. “We delivered multiple products, innovated, and ultimately delivered value to customers, employees and shareholders. I’m pleased that Scrum was part of this journey,” he says.

Most instructional Scrum experience

Dave says that the RUP framework ultimately tried to remove people from the success of the project highlighting process, documentation, and review instead of learning, empowerment, and flexibility.” I realized that we need to trust the people on the team but that alone isn’t enough—we need to support them,” he states. He goes on to explain that Trust can set a team free to try and succeed at delivering anything despite challenges and have fun while doing it. But, trust without support will ultimately fail. “Trust doesn’t mean leaving the Scrum Team to just ‘get on with it.’ You need to lead by example, provide clear direction, and help remove obstacles.”

What Dave is looking forward to most at Scrum Day USA?

Dave states that he values three things from every Scrum Day he attends:

  • Learning new things and new ways to describe the ideas of Scrum.

  • Meeting new people and building new friendships.

  • Feeling the energy, passion, and success people get from using Scrum.

Scrum Day happens September 14, 2023, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. Don’t miss out on hearing from Dave West and our amazing speakers! Get your ticket to Scrum Day today while Early Bird pricing lasts.

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