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John Gillespie

Professional Scrum Trainer / Agile Coach

Palm Coast, FL, United States
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About Me

John Gillespie MBA, MSCS, PST, SPC 6, PMP is a technology and business executive with significant experience in data centers/cloud migrations, solutions architecture, and continuous delivery, including mobile application development and product management in financial services institutions.  For the past ten years, he has guided organizations in adopting Lean/Agile frameworks and has been integral in leading enterprise-wide transformations, including helping infrastructure teams learn how best to work with Scrum teams.  As an entrepreneur, John founded 2 profitable technology firms selling one to a publicly traded company and the other to a venture capital firm.  John earned an MBA specializing in finance and leadership from NYU Stern School of Business and an MS in Computer Science along with a BS in Economics.   

Work Experience
Agile Coach / Chief Technology Officer/Founder at Agile-ity Inc. Sep 2011  - present

Accomplishments Include:
Licensed to teach all of the classes.  In 2019-2020, I provided Agile/Lean/DevOps training to over 1500 people at various Fortune 500 firms and government organizations. Training included Agile Leadership, Scrum Master, Advanced-Product Owner, Scrum with User Experience and Scrum with Kanban. Licensed to teach all classes as well as providing Google Design Sprint and Release Planning Workshops. Clients include: Walmart, Capital One, Merck, US Army, Homeland Security, Wells Fargo, Credit Suisse, Marathon Petroleum, Shell Oil, Occidental Petroleum and Apple.  Trained and coached over 250 people at CapitalOne on incorporating Design Thinking practices into their Scrum cadence using Lean/UX.

Enterprise Agile Coach for Marathon Petroleum supporting Finance and Refining departments in their agile transformation.
Enterprise Agile Coach for an agile transformation at Moody’s Corporation with a focus on the successful delivery or the One Ratings Platform.  Providing Professional Scrum Leadership, Product Ownership, Scrum Master and Developer training along with guidance to the Project Management Organization on scaling up to nine scrum teams focused on ratings and six scrum teams focused on finance.  Worked exclusively with Product Management to help them better align with customer demand.
Started an enterprise agile transformation for BNY Mellon innovation/agile transformation group.  Completed a successful pilot with the Enterprise Workflow Solutions team. At the completion of Sprint 12, the team has achieved the Sprint goal each of the last 10 sprints and continues to improve their definition of done and automated end to end testing while producing a working software increment each sprint.  Coached the Product Owner on the importance of having a Product Vision that aligns with the Business Mission and Strategy as a tool to help with backlog ordering.
Coached ten scrum teams for the transformation of the Middle Office outsourcing product and service.  Coaching teams on the Scrum framework and prioritization of a product backlog in support of several client product deliverables.  Trained 100+ people on Scrum and have facilitated four Product Backlog Increment planning workshops.
At J.P. Morgan Chase, coached the product groups on the development of user stories and using story mapping to help with prioritization along with coaching 2 teams on utilization of the Scrum framework and lean engineering practices.  This engagement was focused on improving the marketing capabilities related to A/B testing.
Served as an Agile Coach at AIG in their Business Excellence Department teaching agile and lean methods to their team members and executive leadership in the Multi-National Operations Group.  Trained 70+ team members and 20+ executives on Agile and SCRUM.
Consulted as an Agile Coach at Neuberger Berman Investment Bank to teach agile and lean methods to their Compliance, Financial Reporting, and High Net Worth groups.  Interests include how to scale agile frameworks to include enterprise architecture and technology investment/project governance.
Consulted at Warner Music Group as a Product Owner Coach for the development of their Strategic Mobile Solution along with a Platform as a Service solution, Continuous Integration and Deployment and infrastructure build-out related to the Warner Cloud Platform (hybrid cloud using Pivotal Cloud Foundry). Current cloud environments being supported included AWS EC2, Tier1 and Bluebox.  The development environment includes Ruby, JavaScript, Java, ElasticSearch, Cassandra, and Titandb.  In addition to managing the development of the Cloud Platform, I am also responsible for managing infrastructure support and the migration of all business technology solutions to the cloud. Coached teams on the use of Agile techniques including best practices concerning software development as they migrated from a data center to a complete cloud architecture. (Test driven development, continuous integration & deployment, pair programming and automated testing.)
Provided Agile Coaching consulting services to MetLife’s Corporate Benefit Funding (CBF) business to better integrate agile software projects into enterprise governance and improved risk management.  Introduced the Envelope method as a framework being utilized by portfolio management on the Annuity Customer Experience program with the goal of continued customization for MetLife so that it could be leveraged in future efforts. 

Chief Technology Officer at FAIR Health Inc. Aug 2010  - Sep 2011

Responsible for the software product development and infrastructure design, procurement and provisioning to enable eight product lines and two websites. Provided infrastructure architecture leadership in the build out of a new data center and migration of an Oracle data warehouse and applications to support the delivery of eight information products being delivered to 700 customers including Aetna, WellPoint, BlueCross Blue Shield and Emblem Health. • Management responsibilities included HIPAA & PCI-DSS compliance efforts along with design and development of our consumer and eCommerce website projects. • Led a team of developers in the design and development of The FAIR Health Consumer Cost Lookup website using of ASP.NET/C#. Developed an Android based cost lookup application using eclipse/java. • Managed the implementation of customer relationship management system.

Senior Platform Architect/Infrastructure Architect at The Hartford Nov 2003  - Aug 2010

Responsible for platform architecture designs, infrastructure cost estimates and facilitation of project governance for Business Insurance/New Business Vision and Enterprise Content Management. As a Technical Account Manager I was aligned with Hartford Investment Management Services Corp, Corporate Law and The Hartford’s Specialty Insurance lines of business. Responsibilities included the alignment of tactical business requirements with the Infrastructure Solutions Department direction along with strategic architecture and capacity planning considering the business area goals.

MBA from New York University – Leonard N Stern School of Business
Jan 2009 - Jan 2011
Finance, Leadership

NYU Stern 2009 New Venture/Business Plan Competition Semi-Finalist (EMR Application), NYU Stern 2010 New Venture/Business Plan Competition Semi-Finalist (Physician Services pricing application)
MS from University of New Haven
Jan 1985 - Jan 1988
Computer Science
BS from Southern Connecticut State University
Jan 1981 - Jan 1984

Rugby Team


Improve Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) With Key Result Validation

Defining an objective that a company, team, or individual needs to meet by the end of the quarter or year is only one-third of the job of OKRs. One-third of the effort is identifying key results, which, more often than not, are activities that allow the company, team, or individual to meet the defined objectives. These key results tend to have a quantitative quality to them since the objectives are almost always qualitative.

“Not Everything that can be counted…” (Cameron, 1963)

Is it possible to deliver 100% of the planned scope within budget and on time yet still be unsuccessful? These metrics are often not good proxies for the desired outcome and may contribute to the sub-optimization of your ability to deliver value to your customers even while 100% of your internal service level agreements are met.

The Benefits of Integrating User Experience (UX) With Scrum

A big part of Scrum is the act of participating in various learning activities. Remember that there is value in learning. Learning becomes an even more significant part of the process when UX activities are included within each Sprint. Allowing the designers to lead some of the learning activities helps teach and socialize valuable insights regarding user experience to the entire Scrum Team.

The Best Product Owners Have Great Facilitation Skills

Anyone working as a Product Owner with multiple stakeholders having diverse opinions has their hands full. The Scrum Guide states that the Product Owner is accountable for effective Product Backlog management, including developing and communicating the Product Goal, Creating Product Backlog items, Ordering the Product Backlog, and ensuring that the Product Backlog is transparent and understood.
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