Anu Smalley’s Volunteer Journey with the Scrum Alliance

September 8, 2020

I am proud to be a member of the Scrum Alliance community, which has had a huge impact on my life for the past 10 years. 

My relationship with the Scrum Alliance started in 2013 when I received my Certified Scrum Master ® (CSM). I achieved my Certified Scrum Trainer® (CST) certification in 2015 and Path to CSP ® (Certified Scrum Professional) and CAL (Certified Agile Leader) Educator in 2017.

The best part of working with Scrum Alliance has been the opportunity to volunteer. I have always viewed my volunteerism with the Scrum Alliance as paying it forward. I got to where I am today because so many people helped me improve, and now I want to do the same. The Scrum Alliance’s vision is transforming the world of work one person at a time, and that’s what I hope to do by volunteering. 

My volunteerism started with reviewing submissions and volunteering at a Coaches Clinic for a Global Scrum Gathering. My next step was being a Track Chair for a Global Scrum Gathering. In 2016 I had the privilege of being a co-chair for the Orlando Scrum Gathering and after that was the Program Advisor for the next 7 Global Scrum Gatherings. I continue to share my learnings as a regular speaker at local meetups, 1-day events, Regional Gatherings and Global Gatherings and often provide free webinars. I am facilitating Voice of Agile forum and Your Voice Matter forum for the Scrum Community.

My Agile journey has involved many roles, Software Engineer, Project Manager, IT Leader, Scrum Master, Product Owner, Agile Coach, Agile Trainer and Entrepreneur. I formed my own independent consulting business in 2016, which has provided me with experience in growing and transforming organizations. I’ve worked with many companies of varying sizes, structures, products, and stages of agile evolution, all in an effort to help them better serve their customers.

As a woman of color and the first woman of color to become a CST, my journey as a multi-minority professional has come with experiences of gender and racial bias and as such, I bring a unique perspective to the Agile community. Navigating social and professional cultures to become a successful leader and business person has provided me with the skills and passion to mentor others, but also a desire to be a catalyst for changing our community to accept and value our diversity. Continuing the work that I’ve done with STEM for women, I want to expand to other minorities and underrepresented world regions.

As a CST, my focus has been on creating diversity in the guides group, working with minority CST candidates in India, Africa, and the US. I have formed a mentoring circle representing cross-culture of ethnicity and race.

I believe that:

• People want to matter

• People want their voices to be heard

• People want to contribute to a higher purpose

And I know I am now at a crossroads in my own journey where I can help further this by assisting those wanting to fulfill their potential in making a difference.

As the world gets smaller, we need to connect to the far regions that are underserved and underrepresented. Truly transforming the world of work will only be possible when the entire world is represented and accepted.

This is why I am deepening my volunteer commitment to the Scrum Alliance by wishing to join the Board of Directors. Now is the time is to build the momentum of increasing diversity and inclusion in our organizations and community.



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