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Robert Merrill

UW-Madison Division of Information Technology 


Robert lives to see dejected spirits rise and the light of understanding go on. Before joining UW-Madison's Division of Information Technology (DoIT), Robert was employed as a research scientist, software developer, technical salesperson, agile coach, and independent consultant.

Robert first heard about agile in the early 2000s. He listened politely and then said he really needed to get back to his assignment, which was to come up with a failure-proof software development methodology for his struggling project contracting group. One thing led to another. The group redefined failure in terms of team, customers, and company and went all in on agile. They executed thirteen projects before the parent company was acquired. Twelve were "three green" successes.

Following the acquisition, Robert could not find a job but could find consulting gigs, seven years worth. A lot of them were about introducing agile into a variety of environments, ranging from start-ups to IT shops in telecom, biotech, and commercial printing.

Robert joined the UW-Madison Division of Information Technology almost ten years ago as a Business Analyst. Agile was then new to the university and Robert guided many sponsors, project managers, and teams through the transition. He currently serves as the change manager for DoIT Core Services' Making Work Visible initiative, which is bringing Lean principles to the mixed operations-plus-projects work streams that are the norm in many IT shops.

Robert will be presenting in the following sessions at Scrum Day:


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