About

The following is Belief #5, the drive behind how I create play and all my personal projects:

I believe that lowering the barrier to creating & sharing catalyzes the fuller expression of every person.

What it is! My name is Merrill B. Lamont III, CSM, CSPO, and welcome to ScrumOfOne – the Lamontanious Blog of Personal Development through Scrum.

This is what I look like. When blinded by movie set lighting for an elevator scene. Long story.
This is what I look like. When blinded by movie set lighting for an elevator scene. Long story.

This is where I usually get asked, “What? Scrum? Isn’t that the process methodology for software development TEAMS? You’re just ONE guy. Are you the ScrumMaster, Product Owner, AND committed team members? Wait… so that means… do you really ask yourself those three questions every day? Do you actually stand up and… TALK TO YOURSELF every morning?”

(Wow, that escalated quickly. Lemme dial it back. I live with my wife and daughter in Cambridge Medford, Massachusetts. Between the West Medford commuter rail stop and the traffic circle that is Winthrop Square, if you know the area. We are surrounded by trees, playgrounds, and flight paths. And yes, the rent is much more reasonable out here.)

Lucky for you, I step through my System in some detail. Further intrigued? Excellent! Feel free to email me or follow me on Twitter. Want to learn more? Check out my growing treasure trove of Resources.

Curious about those other links at the top of the page? Yeah, I’ve overloaded this blog to hold a few other projects I hold dear, but still Agile-related, I swear! My AgileByTheHour consultancy is… pretty self-explanatory: “Conspire with us on your Agile Journey! We’re a pretty fun group. Of one.” Then there’s AgileNeighborhood, where I cultivate “hyperlocal Agile communities of practice, per Boston neighborhood, gathering locally and frequently to embrace all levels of Agile curiosity and engagement.” So I don’t lose myself as I start new projects, I’m grounded by what’s on the Beliefs page.

(What’s this? Another purposefully placed parenthetical paragraph? Now you get a sense of my blog posts. I try to keep it light. Writing these is generally a joy, as this journals the journey at the junction of Personal Development and Agile Philosophy. Man, that last sentence was a jammin’ gem. Kinda reminds me of my blog posts tagged as a personal favourite.)

How did this blog get started? That story is in four parts…

Part-Pig

With a new VP of R&D came a mandate to step away from traditional Waterfall software development and embrace Agile / Scrum. In came a coach to train a bunch of us over two days, myself included – out went a troupe of cautiously excited future chickens and pigs. I was assigned to a team and eventually two teams concurrently, learning first-hand (first-hoof?) of the associated inefficiencies.

Double-pig? Overcommitment!

Part-Chicken

The values of Scrum (transparency, inspection, adaptation) over a short time frame truly allow the organization to embrace change, a characteristic of evolutionary success I could not ignore as a biomedical engineer. Thus, I wanted to learn more and convinced my boss to get me trained. Thanks, Dave!

I am now a Certified ScrumMaster.

Think Big

Since no ScrumMaster positions were immediately available, I sought out a team who would gladly take on an eager newbie as a fun facilitator-leader, promoting self-organization and practicing the principles of the framework and philosophy. Lucky for me, I found one in the mirror.

That’s when it hit me.

Scrum Livin’

When not at work, I was not developing software. I was developing… myself. There is much I want to do in this world. Much I want to be. I had just moved into an apartment in Boston’s Back Bay, so there was much to make of my own space. BOOM: I could populate a to-do list! But… but all these things to do… I can’t get them all done at the same time. BAM: the list became prioritized, turning into a product backlog! But… but ‘life’ happens and priorities change. POW: kept the sprints short and honestly reflected on progress via a demo and retrospective! But… but if I play out the rest of this Scrum stuff, I’m now grabbing tasks from my own sprint backlog every morning while asking myself the three questions. BOOM AGAIN: yes, and getting stuff done became an odd yet effective adventure!

And the adventure continues, documented on this very blog.

(SKADOOSH: Commentary’s back! That story’s all true: I started out pretty disciplined with the Scrum artifacts and ceremonies. My current process involves way less overhead, yet I am still aware of the next highest-value things to do. I still find ways to regularly reflect and adapt. I still have an eye on personal continuous improvement. And I am still working on balancing all that with ‘embracing the now’. I’m getting better, and I’ve gotten here by indeed simultaneously holding in my head the roles of ScrumMaster, Product Owner, and committed team members. This is a model that, since 2011, has worked for me, and maybe, just maybe, it will work for you. My name is Merrill B. Lamont III, and welcome to the show.)