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Meet Peter Hyde

peter-hyde.jpgCSP-SM and CSP-PO Peter Hyde lives in Sussex, England, and is an Agile Referent at Thales UK.

For you, what is the main difference between where you began as a CSM®, CSPO®, or CSD® and becoming a CSP®?

I was happy holding CSM and CSPO qualifications, which gave me the confidence to perform ScrumMaster and product owner roles (on different projects, of course!).

To me, achieving the CSP was a personal accomplishment enabling me to learn more about Scrum. To others it added credibility while I was performing a coaching role.

What is your favorite part about becoming a CSP?
I have enjoyed meeting with other CSPs at Scrum Gatherings and Scrum Alliance User Groups in London to discuss issues and solutions. Everyone has been so friendly and willing to talk about what they are doing and offering to help in any way they can.

Give us an example of how the CSP certification has helped you in your career.
Moving into an Agile consultant role has made the CSP even more valuable in my everyday work. I believe that by referencing the CSP certification on LinkedIn, at presentations, and when training, it raises the belief of others in my Scrum knowledge.

I hope that gaining the CSP acts as a stepping-stone in working toward a Certified Scrum Coach® certification with Scrum Alliance®.

How did you first find out about Scrum?
After experiencing death marches and struggling to deliver products within tight budget and time constraints, all with unhappy teams, I looked around for a different way to work and read an interesting article on Scrum.

I struggled to believe the statistics given and really could not see how it would work in a large, traditional product development company -- but with several of the signatories of the Agile Manifesto being software heroes of mine, I was willing to give it a try.

What do you find easiest about Scrum?
The (deceptively) simple framework of Scrum makes running projects easier, with planning straightforward and progress transparent. Having an honest and clear status for the project at the end of each sprint makes stakeholder management and customer engagement almost a pleasure.

What do you find most difficult about Scrum?
Due to the popularity of Scrum, there is often an unrealistic expectation by stakeholders for instant performance increases by new Scrum teams. Forming teams, changing development practices, and transforming an organization's culture all take time and effort.

Silver bullets are great for werewolves, but improving a company's ability to produce the highest business value takes time, effort, and focus.

What's your best work experience using Scrum?
My favorite Scrum experience is working with new teams, seeing the transformation from micromanaged, dysfunctional groups to high-performing teams focused on delivering great products. The best experience has been holding retrospectives when changes actually happen in a short timescale and make a real difference.

How has using Scrum changed you?
Working within a team and being able to consistently deliver on commitments has made me happier at work and home. On a personal note, Scrum has enabled me to spend more time with my daughter instead of putting in long hours at work, striving to deliver to unrealistic constraints.

If you could add one thing to Scrum, what would it be?
The success of Scrum derives partly from its simplicity. Adding another item to Scrum, such as backlog refinement, would be OK, but really I think Antoine de Saint-Exupéry best answers this for me:

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add,
but when there is nothing left to take away.

Do you use Scrum in your life outside of work? If yes, how?
I am a Scrum evangelist, and in addition to my job I also use it for day-to-day family life and even when constructing a new garden. I have also persuaded my wife to use Scrum in the charity sector, which has worked very well.

The strength of Scrum is empowering self-organizing teams to produce value. This seems to work across domains and not just to develop software. I am heartened when visiting other departments to see task boards used and stand-up meetings taking place. I have also seen Scrum used successfully outside of work in the creation of art installations and the building of a hospital.

What advice would you give to someone new to Scrum?
With the breadth of knowledge available for Scrum, I recommend learning from every source you can. There are many great sources to improve your skills, including books, websites, videos, webinars, blogs, user groups, conferences, articles, and forums.

As always, the knowledge is gained by doing, but it is great that we can learn so much from others and hopefully avoid some of the pitfalls.

What is your favorite quote? And why?
My favorite quote at the moment is from Martin Fowler's book UML Distilled, where he states, "You should use iterative development only on projects that you want to succeed."

I am often challenged on why we should use Agile and for which project types it is relevant. I generally use in-house project examples, along with statistics of moving from Waterfall to Agile. Honestly, though, this quote is what's going through my mind.