Steve G. is the Scrum Master for Bellwether Technology’s software development team. Scrum is a framework that helps dev teams work together to create products that solve complex problems. Steve’s role is focused on moving the team forward. He takes upcoming requirements and input from stakeholders and distills it into reasonable chunks of work for the dev team to tackle.
On a day-to-day basis, you’ll find Steve facilitating meetings, gathering information, communicating to stakeholders, and finding answers to questions. His activities resemble those of a Project Manager – and he’s certainly managing projects – but with Scrum, how the team works is viewed as the main contributor to the product’s success and that’s where Steve gets the most satisfaction from his work.
“The favorite part of my job has been helping to get the dev team to become a very high performing team,” explained Steve. “It’s helping to create the environment, process, tools and structure in how we approach our work that lets the team do what they do best.”
Bellwether’s Vice President Merrick Sloss agrees that Steve’s contributions have been invaluable to the dev team’s progress.
“The processes and frameworks Steve has implemented have transformed the department into a well-oiled machine,” said Merrick.
Freedom to Figure Out the Right Next Steps
Steve says that his own success is due largely to the environment in which he works, one that gives him the freedom to use his own strengths and abilities to get the team moving in the right direction. Because there’s no blueprint for what success is supposed to look like, he has flexibility to do what he thinks is best.
“Bellwether is a place where you can shape your own destiny,” said Steve. “They let you take on what you think are the right next steps and work through that. They reward people for taking the initiative and for being responsible for what they do and doing a good job at it.”
The dev team at Bellwether is one of the best teams that Steve has ever worked with. This makes his job both easy and challenging in all the right ways. Squeezing more performance out of a team that’s already performing well is a matter of thinking critically about how all the pieces fit together and then finding ways to improve on that.
These improvements have been observed by Bellwether’s President, Steven Ellis, who says, “Steve’s fresh perspective and insight, along with his ability to turn them into action, have been the cornerstone of our application technology team’s leap in effectiveness this year.”
Eliminating Distractions to Stay on Course
In his work to guide the dev team, Steve has gained a reputation for making sure that the team stays the course and doesn’t get distracted by doing things they don’t need to do or going in a direction that they don’t need to go, which can be easy to do when you’re in creation mode.
He knows that every decision that he has to make may not please everyone, but he values every opinion and considers everyone’s contributions. When he needs input from leadership, he’s found that if there’s a question or decision that needs to be made, it’s usually made fairly quickly and that is something else that enables team progress.
“Living in limbo is never fun if you don’t know how to proceed,” commented Steve. “Getting those answers enables you to act, while not having answers prevents you from moving forward.”
Gracious Response to Employee Situations
Steve has found that there are some things that can delay work – like Hurricane Ida. Hurricane season on the Gulf Coast was a new experience for Steve when Ida rolled through in August of 2021. While Bellwether’s management supported employees, he observed that other companies were not so gracious.
“Bellwether management basically said, if you can’t work, if you don’t have internet, if you’re dealing with your house, if you’re helping people – whatever it is you’re doing – take care of yourself and your family,” said Steve. “That spoke unbelievable volumes to me.”
While being set up for success in his role is important to Steve, it’s how he’s treated as an employee and as a human being that has the most impact on his job satisfaction. Whenever he’s had to attend to a personal issue there are no questions asked, no explanations needed. He’s trusted to act like an adult.
“I feel like it doesn’t take much for people to do that, but you don’t find that at all companies,” said Steve.
There are many things that are different about Bellwether compared to other places that Steve’s worked, and how he’s treated as a person is just one of them. He knows that his voice is heard and that what he says matters. Most of all Steve likes that he doesn’t have to wait for a promotion to advance his career. He can just grab an opportunity when he sees one.