GTFS speakers 2022


SPEAKERS for the 14th Annual GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM event (2022)


The Discipline that Scrum Promotes

The latest data on success rates of Agile Teams shows 58% failure to deliver on time with unhappy customers, the antithesis of Agile. This translates into 53% of Agile Transformations failing and of these failures 67% go bankrupt or are acquired. Years of analysis of these failures at Scrum Inc. using Toyota A3 analysis and other tools with thousands of companies has shown these failures are primarily caused by two factors – failure to implement Scrum discipline by managers, or (2) failure to implement Scrum discipline at the team level by Scrum Masters.

This talk will focus on the solutions developed for these problems – (1) the training of Leadership in the Agile Mindset, and (2) the training of Scrum Masters in removing well-understood blocks to team performance. Several important case studies in Fortune 100 companies will be used as training examples.

Dr. Jeff Sutherland is an individual that needs no introduction, but let’s take a shot at it.  Jeff is a former US Air Force “Top Gun” and the co-creator of the Scrum framework. This model, developed in 1993 and formalized in 1995 with Ken Schwaber, has since been adopted by the vast majority of software development companies around the world.  Jeff is a leading expert on how the framework has evolved to meet the needs of today’s business. Realizing its benefits are not limited to software development, he has adapted this strategy to several other industries including finance, healthcare, education and telecom.  Scrum and Scrum@Scale are now widely adopted and create hyper-productive development teams.  As founder and Chairman of Scrum Inc., creator of Scrum@Scale, Senior Advisor and Agile Coach to OpenView Venture Partners, Jeff trains executives and shares agile best practices with organizations around the globe.


What does Discipline Mean for Professional Scrum?

It often comes as a shock to people that observe Scrum for the first time, but discipline is a fundamental characteristic of a good Scrum Team. Discipline not in following mechanical processes that make no sense but disciplined in pursuit of value while removing as much complexity from that process as possible. Discipline manifests itself in many ways ranging from running the Daily Scrum at the same time and place every day to ensuring that Done means Done. But when does discipline become overhead? What happens when the process becomes more important than the outcome?

In this talk, Dave describes what he has observed as good and bad discipline and how effective teams balance the need for discipline with the need for flexibility and creativity. He illustrates how good discipline leads to value, innovation, and joy and how bad discipline leads to dogma, isolation, and waste.

DAVE WEST is the CEO of He is a frequent keynote speaker and is a widely published author of articles. He also is the co-author of two books, The Nexus Framework For Scaling Scrum and Head First Object-Oriented Analysis and Design. He led the development of the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and then worked with Ivar Jacobson running the North American business for IJI. Then managed the software delivery practice at Forrester research where he was VP and research director. Prior to joining he was Chief Product Officer at Tasktop where he was responsible for product management, engineering and architecture.


Ryan Ripley & Todd Miller

Fixing Your Scrum

Broken Scrum practices limit your organization’s ability to take full advantage of the agility Scrum should bring: The development team isn’t cross-functional or self-organizing, the product owner doesn’t get value for their investment, and stakeholders and customers are left wondering when something–anything–will get delivered. Learn how experienced Scrum masters balance the demands of these three levels of servant leadership, while removing organizational impediments and helping Scrum teams deliver real-world value. Discover how to visualize your work, resolve impediments, and empower your teams to self-organize and deliver using advanced coaching and facilitation techniques that honor and support the Scrum values and agile principles.

Todd Miller has practical experience as a Scrum Master, Product Owner, Software Developer, and Agile coach on a variety of technical and creative projects across a multitude of industries. He has been a professional Scrum trainer with since 2016. Todd lives in Pennsylvania with his wife Jessica and two children. His blogs can be found on the website and his twitter handle is @todd_miller11. Todd is the co-author of Fixing Your Scrum: Practical Solutions for Common Scrum Problems.

A professional Scrum trainer with, Ryan Ripley has experience as a software developer, manager, director, and Scrum Master at various Fortune 500 companies in the medical device, wholesale, and financial services industries. The host of “Agile for Humans,” the top agile podcast on iTunes. He recently co-wrote Fixing Your Scrum: Practical Solutions for Common Scrum Problems – published by PragProg. Ryan lives in Indiana with his wife, Kristin, and three children. He blogs at and is on Twitter @ryanripley.

The OpenSpace Agility Handbook: Mezick, Daniel J., Pontes, Deborah, Shinsato, Harold, Kold-Taylor, Louise, Sheffield, Mark: 9780984875337: Books


Can Great Scrum Teams Emerge Without Discipline?

Discipline Creates habits, habits make routines, and routines become who you are daily. Self discipline allows you to stay focused on your goals. It enables you to stay in control of yourself and of your reaction to any situation. Self-discipline is like a muscle: the more you train it, the stronger you become. Scrum is the framework to strengthen the team-discipline muscle in service to better outcomes. The team is ultimately responsible for and accountable to each other for team-discipline. In this talk Deb will explore how to create the environment which invites team-discipline to emerge.

Deb Pontes has been a Boston-area Scrum professional for more than 10 years. Most recently, she has held Transformation Lead positions at Ascensus (Newton MA) and Fidelity (Boston MA.) Deb is also a co-author of The OpenSpace Agility Handbook ( and a proponent of 

Jason Tanner & Michael Whitaker

Exploring Levels of Discipline for Scrum Teams

When teams start using the Scrum framework, they embark on a journey. The Scrum Guide defines the “rules” for the journey, however when difficulties arise, teams must find the resolve and appropriate level of discipline to continue the journey. This interactive session explores the various levels of discipline for Scrum Teams at any point on their journeys. We’ll introduce a framework for evaluating the necessary level of discipline based on the current state of the team to help them to align on the right level of discipline for their context and situation. Mike Whitaker will share his perspective as a newer Scrum practitioner while Jason Tanner will add his insights from practicing and teaching Scrum to thousands of people.

Jason Tanner is the CEO of the training and consulting firm Applied Frameworks. He leads the company’s growth and consulting practice, and teaches as a Scrum Alliance Certified Scrum Trainer.  Jason has led Agile transformations at several Fortune 500 companies, including MassMutualCapital One, and CoStar Group. He also regularly leads engagements focused on product and portfolio management.  Jason co-created the Scrum Alliance advanced learning programs designed for the professional development of thousands of Scrum Masters and Product Owners. His background includes an undergrad in engineering from Cornell, 9 years in leadership roles in the US Marines, and an MBA from Duke.

Mike Whitaker is an Associate Consultant with Applied Frameworks, Michael coaches teams and business leaders to achieve results through business agility, product management, design thinking, collaboration at scale, and servant leadership.  Additionally, as a veteran Intelligence officer, Michael has vast experience researching and providing high-value analysis to senior US government and DoD audiences. Before joining Applied Frameworks, Michael was the Senior Information Technology Security Training Specialist at Zermount Inc. He trained and coached Transportation Security Administration (TSA) personnel on cyber governance, risk, and compliance requirements following the Risk Management Framework. Michael holds a bachelor’s degree in Leadership Studies from Regent University. In addition, he is a Certified SAFe Program Consultant® (SPC), a Certified Scrum Master and a Certified Scrum Product Owner.

Carmen Costache

Injecting Discipline by Adopting Scrum@Scale Concepts

In this presentation Carmen will discuss the impact to the discipline of her organization’s Scrum practice by the introduction of several Scrum@Scale constructs.  Working in an environment that is  sometimes resistant to change gave Carmen the perfect opportunity to grow while truly living by the 5 Scrum values. It increased her ability to identify the most important issues blocking good Scrum and to work with others to identify the right solution. In small incremental steps Carmen introduced events like the Scaled Daily Scrum to address inter-team dependencies and blockers, and a 90-day program level Retrospective to identify ways the organization can better support Empiricism and Continuous Improvement.  If you are working in such an environment and are unsure how you can be an effective change agent, you don’t want to miss this presentation!

Carmen Costache is the Scrum of Scrum Master for a large Scrum@Scale organization delivering AI based healthcare solutions.  Carmen has deliberately introduced Scrum and Scrum Scaling concepts to her organization over the past two years, including the creation of Value Streams, a Scaled Daily Scrum, a program level Retrospective every 90 days, and the alignment of team level work to higher level objectives enabling forecasting of major milestones.  Carmen is also serving as a Scrum Master for one of the supporting Value Streams.  Carmen has been a Scrum Master for several years, starting out in Banking sector, and is certified as a Scrum Master and SAFe Agilist.

Peter Fischbach

Engaging Leadership in Support of a Disciplined Environment of Learning

Scrum has taught us what we can achieve when we work in a focused and disciplined way. It also helps us to generate clarity. With each Sprint we gain more insights. In this talk I will introduce tools & tactics you can use to improve your own clarity working with leadership to support this environment of learning.

PETER FISCHBACH is an executive coach and Scrum trainer located in Berlin, Germany. He has co-delivered Scrum education with Scrum co-creator Jeff Sutherland over 30 times across Germany and the European Union. Peter worked more than ten years as stage actor and acting coach. He has trained hundreds of actors how to discover their most vibrant personality onstage. As an executive coach specializing in Scrum, he now helps other coaches to develop their presence and have more impact. Within the Scrum Events network, Peter is a co-chair of SCRUM DAY, Germany’s oldest and largest Scrum conference. Scrum Events established eduScrum Germany in 2016, where Peter is an active team member.

Avi Schneier

How Discipline in Scrum Leads to Business Agility

The Scrum Guide explains the rules of the game of Scrum. How you operate within those rules differs from place to place. Many also say that teams & organizations move through three states: Shu, Ha, and Ri. And many teams (& organizations) throw the rule book away at some point. But how does all of this tie into the ultimate aim of why they adopted Scrum (or any Agile way of working) in the first place? That depends upon your goal. And if your goal is Business Agility, then running Scrum in a disciplined way is how to get there. In this presentation, Avi Schneier will explain what Business Agility is and how the discipline of following the rules of the game can get you there.

Avi Schneier is a Principal Agile Transformation Consultant & Trainer at SCRUM INC and a contributing editor of the Scrum@Scale Guide. Avi’s current emphasis is “Scrum Beyond IT”, working within various industries from biotech to consumer-packaged goods. Avi sees Scrum as THE key to delivering better results through innovation where rapid change is now the norm.



Ann Brea is member of the Agile Boston leadership team and is teaming up with Daniel Mezick (listed below) to serve all participants by recording, sequencing and delivering the event.

She’s also a 1st degree black belt in martial arts.



Joe is the operational leader of the group, inviting, welcoming and supporting our speakers, and executing our monthly events. He’s been the MC of the GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM event for 5 years running. Joe works at NUANCE (recently purchased by Microsoft) where he leads and coaches process improvement via agile methods.

Here is Joe in his own words, via his LinkedIn profile:

“I am an Enterprise Transformation Leader, Executive Leadership Coach and expertise in Product, Business and Leadership Agility. I am a cultural game changer who can quickly transform any organization to utilize the Agile mindset and frameworks to create instant engagement and higher productivity, while strengthening customer relationships and improving service quality.

“I have been recognized by others for my work ethic and a “do whatever it takes” attitude, as well as for my sense of ownership, passion for my work, providing candid and honest feedback, and an ability to strike a balance between short-term wins and long-term vision. I have expertise in a variety of enterprise technologies and solutions as well as strong experience working with offshore centers of excellence.

“As an organizational change agent, I set a high standard of excellence by example and I care deeply for the people I work with. As a coach I create a collaborative environment where the Agile mindset is understood is adopted by invitation, information is shared freely and safely, and individuals grow in their roles and confidence. I have a proven track record of successfully re-energizing cultures that are collectively aligned to clear and visible business objectives.”

He’s also a serious tennis enthusiast and lifelong player of the game.

Daniel Mezick Photo


Daniel is the Master of Ceremonies for the 14th Annual GIVE THANKS FOR SCRUM event, teaming up with Ann Brea (listed above) to serve all participants by sequencing and delivering the event throughout the day.

DANIEL MEZICK is an expert on business agility and an author of three books on organizational change. A frequent keynote speaker at industry conferences, Daniel’s list of clients include Capital One, INTUIT, Adobe, CIGNA, Pitney Bowes, SIEMENS Healthcare, Harvard, and dozens of smaller enterprises.

His books include  THE CULTURE GAME , which describes 16 specific patterns that extend Agile ideas across the organization, beyond software; the OPEN SPACE AGILITY HANDBOOK , which pioneered the Open Engagement Models concept for agile and digital transformations; and INVITING LEADERSHIP: Invitation-Based Change in the New World or Work™, which introduced the concept of Invitation-Based Change and introduced the domain of Authority Studies. INVITING LEADERSHIP published in 2018 and upon publication it reached #1 on the Amazon bestseller list in the Organizational Learning category.

Daniel’s enterprise consulting practice is built upon the core concepts found inside these books. He conducts workshops based on these books, and also offers enterprise Agile coaching, Agile training programs for teams, and management consulting. You can learn more and contact him at