Michael Marchi already had 15 years in software development under his belt when he joined Siemens Building Technologies in 2001 as lead developer on the company’s flagship front-end building-control product. At the time, Siemens was a strictly regulated waterfall environment, plagued by late deliveries and budget overruns. In 2005, following a mandate to improve predictability, Michael spearheaded the adoption of Scrum. Serving as Scrum Master, he coached two teams as a grass-roots proof-of-concept, unlocking the secret of on-time, on-budget delivery. Later, the program grew to include three additional offshore teams. Over the next four years, he became the chief agile trainer, travelling the globe to teach over 300 engineers and testers to adopt Scrum, and working with the PMO to adapt the validated SDLC to allow for agile workflows.
It was then that Michael realized that no two successful teams approached agile delivery in quite the same way. He started on a quest to study and find reasons for those differences. To that end, he co-founded the Agile Professional Learning Network of Chicago, and for 14 years this group has gathered monthly to kick the tires and discover what makes agile tick.
In 2014, he became a full-time agile coach, working on agile transformations with large enterprise clients like Allstate Insurance, USG, Aon, Vizient, Northern Trust, AbbVie and Pfizer. In that time, he has trained over 1500 individuals to operate as agile teams, scrum masters, product owners, managers, and agile leaders through adoption of agile practices. Working with a handful of teams at a time, Michael follows training with targeted coaching to reinforce the lessons learned, identify trouble spots, create and prioritize action plans and monitor progress.
Over the years, he has coached teams working in a variety of modes, from a single team operating independently through larger programs of up to a dozen teams managing dependency across the same product space. He has worked with teams doing software delivery of new products, as well as continuing maintenance of existing systems. He has worked with co-located as well as distributed teams, with members living in radically different time zones. He has applied agile ways of working outside of software, including PMO, legal, marketing, and infrastructure. In all these examples, the core principles of agility still ring true – working together in small increments, with frequent inspection and adaptation brings clarity to even the most complex problems.
In addition to his extensive areas of expertise, Michael holds certifications as a Scrum Master, Product Owner, Scrum @ Scale, SAFe, and as an Agility Health Facilitator. He holds a BS in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Management Consultant / Agile Coach & Trainer / Owner
at 42 North Unlimited (https://42north.llc)
APLN Chicago Founding Board Member (https://aplnchicago.org)
[here’s this agile thing] podcast Co-Host (https://htat.show)