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Scrum Day Speaker Spotlight: Josh Kochelek

Director, Atlassian Practice at Modus Create

Scrum Day 2023 welcomes Josh Kochelek to its roster of knowledgeable speakers. Josh is the Director of the Atlassian Practice at Modus Create.

Modus Create is an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, creator of the project management tools Jira, Confluence, and Trello.

Josh's official backstory:

"My relationship with Scrum began when I was working for a large healthcare organization as part of their IT Infrastructure team, where I became responsible for administering Jira and Confluence. During this time, I had the opportunity to support numerous software development teams, some of which employed Scrum methodologies. As I worked closely with these teams to facilitate their processes using Atlassian tools, I gained a deeper understanding and appreciation for Scrum. Although I am not directly involved in software development or Scrum teams, the Agile mindset has resonated with me and significantly influenced my approach to managing projects. By embracing the principles of Scrum, I've been able to create a more collaborative, adaptive, and efficient work environment in any project I undertake."

What makes Jira awesome – why has it been such an enduring feature of Agile teams?

"As someone with ADHD, trying to manage projects, tasks, and deadlines has always been a challenging endeavor for me. Throughout my life, I've heavily relied on various systems and tools to help me stay organized. I was one of the few and proud Palm Pilot users before smartphones became mainstream and have experimented with practically every to-do app on the market, implementing different productivity systems along the way."

"When I first encountered Jira, I was trained as an administrator and had the privilege of learning all of its inner workings. I was able to immediately see why Jira is so powerful and why Jira can sometimes be daunting to new comers. The platform's custom workflows and project configurations were unlike anything I had seen before. It wasn't just another app; Jira was a powerful process management tool that allowed me to build my own processes, reports, and automations, catering to almost any use case, including Agile.I think a big part of why Agile teams prefer Jira is because, Jira and Agile share many qualities. Both Agile practices and Jira instances are implemented differently across organizations, and people's opinions or perspectives on them are often shaped by their initial experiences, which can be either incredibly positive or negative. To be successful, organizations must be willing and able to continuously iterate on their own practices, processes, and how they use Jira or Agile methodologies to find what works best for them. This adaptability is at the core of what makes Jira an enduring and integral component of Agile teams."

Success with Jira

"Throughout my journey as an Atlassian Consultant, I've had the opportunity to collaborate with a myriad of organizations, helping them implement or reinvent their use of Jira and other Atlassian tools. My team and I are driven by the immense value these tools can bring to the table – supporting and streamlining processes, fostering collaboration, and enhancing overall efficiency."

"A success story that holds a special place in my heart is the transformation within my own company, Modus Create. When I first joined, teams relied on a variety of tools for planning, managing, and tracking work, making it extremely challenging for leaders to maintain visibility into the company's operations and ensure we were all working toward the same goals. Fast forward to today, and Modus Create now thrives on Jira and the Atlassian toolset. We've woven them into the very fabric of our organization, using them to plan, track, and execute against strategic goals, OKRs, and major initiatives, including mergers and acquisitions. Each department has embraced Jira as their collaborative workspace, significantly boosting productivity and transparency."

What are you most looking forward to about Scrum Day?

"One aspect I'm truly excited about for Scrum Day is the opportunity to meet, connect with, and learn from fellow professionals. There's something incredibly energizing about being surrounded by like-minded individuals who share a passion for Scrum and Agile methodologies. These events offer a unique platform to exchange ideas, discuss challenges, and discover innovative solutions that can transform the way we approach our work."

Scrum Day is scheduled for September 14, 2023, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin.

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