Humanizing Business64

Forming Self-Selected Teams

How to Create Happy, Empowered, and Effective Teams

Amber King, Jesse Huth

February 24, 2017


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How do you create excited, engaged, happy, and effective teams? Start them off right by letting your engineers choose their own teams and projects! Through a proven technique called self-selection, Opower was able to turn a tribe of 40 engineers, many of whom were unexcited about continuing to work on the same old products, into six high-performing teams with engineers who were excited to embark on a new adventure, acquire new skills, and ship awesome code.

About Amber & Jesse

Amber King

Amber King is a Senior Manager, leading the Agile Program Management team at Opower (recently acquired by Oracle), the global leader in cloud-based software for the utility industry. Amber works in product operations with hundreds of engineers, product managers and executives to effectively scale Opower and transition Oracle to agile development practices.

Previously, Amber drove the transition from waterfall to agile development at National Geographic and has been leading agile teams in a variety of industries for nearly 10 years. She began her career as a Software Engineer at IBM and is passionate about environmental sustainability and tailoring agile solutions to improve software quality and time to market. She is a Certified SAFe Agilist, Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), and Project Management Professional (PMP).

Jesse Huth

Amber has spoken at Lean+Agile DC (2014, 2015), Agile DC (2015), IBM Rational Development Conference (2007, 2011), and the IBM Early Tenure Conference (2009) on a wide range of topics including lean release planning, agile project management, database architecture and innovation for IBM Rational Clearquest, eradicating poverty in Africa, transitioning National Geographic to agile development and the digital age.



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