Scrum Master? What the heck is that?!

[Image credit: Varunm.com]

I was looking at my LinkedIn feed and happened to see a paid advertisement from a job site looking for a “Scrum Master.”  It caught my attention because I had absolutely no idea what a Scrum Master was! In a “previous life” (several decades ago) I was a project manager, so my surprise was double when I found out they defined it as NOT being a Project Manager. Well, I would have not even thought that PM had any relationship with SM.  Scrum Master sounded like something in the Healthcare Industry…… well, it is not. From the website TechTarget, I have learned that

“… a scrum master is a facilitator for an agile development team. Scrum is a methodology that allows a team to self-organize and make changes quickly, in accordance with agile principles.”

So, you might say:
–Why would translators and interpreters care?
I would respond:
–Really? Do you need to ask?

First, we need to be aware of what is going on in the world, and in the world of business in particular. Terminology is part of our lifeline.

Second, “Scrum Master” talks to the dramatic changes occurring in the business world itself. The concept of “agile development teams” is central to this new profession.  I guess Project Managers are so 20th century! Think about that. The term agile development  has very specific connotations related to the shift of power to the “product owner.” Think about that. The “product owner” has the say.

Additionally, the Scrub Master “is not held accountable for outcomes. The team as a whole is responsible for outcomes.”  What a concept, eh? No more “leaders” solely responsible for outcomes but the team as a whole.  Sports kind of got that notion from the get-go.

There is an entire methodology around “agile development.”  Because agility has come to the forefront of how we do things in the 21st century. That is why the entire business model of translation and interpreting needs to be re-thought.  Because, as it stands, it is anything BUT agile. I see some companies struggling to understand how to best render services in an interconnected digital world. That is a good start, but we need to move fast.

One thing is clear: we must become “Agile Organizations” (full disclosure: my company is NOT!… yet).  Those of us who are not AGILE enough to “sprint” (yes, a term with a new connotation too) have a larger chance of falling behind. As we look at the business models we have been using for the past 50 years and try to make them AGILER, we must also accept that certain processes will no longer be needed, new strengths have to be developed, and new delivery mechanisms are urgently required.

Parenthesis: Freelance translators and interpreters: we are micro-enterprises. We, too, need to change our business model to adapt to the times. I don’t have the answers.  I have no idea what is best and what is not, except to know that we MUST BECOME TECH-SAVVY A.S.AP.! That should be our priority right now as freelancers. This becoming tech-savvy translators and interpreters is just a basic step to be able to “participate” in the language industry of the future (the very near future, by the way).

I  believe we have an expiration date if we don’t change soon.

What think you?

 

Advertisements

Learning to Improve Our Use of LinkedIn

I met Debbie Wemyss of DW Consulting Solutions LLC via the excellent seminars offered by the Small Business Administration’s SCORE program. I attended one of her training sessions on how to harness the power of Linkedin and came out of that class with a list of ways to connect with other professional and business interests in this cyber world platform. I am working on some of her tips and tricks but quote below some of her “Favorite tips for Linkedin Success” which are just the tip of the iceberg….

***********************************************************************************

QUOTE

  1. Back up your Connections – Get an Excel file of first/last names, title, company, email of all 1st level Connections. The default ‘Fast File’ will be ready to download in just 10 minutes! HOW: Click ‘Me’ in black navigation bar at top; choose Settings & Privacy; scroll down to ‘Get an Archive…’; click Fast File.
  2. Profile  Summary – Start it with a dynamic sentence or two to grab the Viewers’ attention! You must get them to click ‘see more’ to expand the rest of your Summary content.
  3. Include a CTA in your Summary – Viewers will not have access to your phone/email under Contact & Personal Info UNTIL they Connect with you. Include that info right in your Summary. Make it easy for interested members to reach you – don’t expect them to leave LinkedIn to search your website!
  4. Stay in front of your audience – A surefire way to do this is to post an Update on a regular basis (1x daily) that has value: Industry news, milestones, press releases, conference reviews, networking intentions, recognition accolades, etc. +TIP: Best time to post: M-F 7am-9am, 11am-1pm, 8pm-11pm (LinkedIn’s research). Include a photo or image whenever possible.
  5. Explore Groups – Especially those that are likely to appeal to your target audience. Use appropriate keywords to Search for Groups with large #’s of members. You’ll super-charge your Network. You can directly communicate up to 15x monthly with selected Group members so be selective! (+TIP: Group Members can also post available jobs – for free – using the Group / Jobs tab on Conversation boards.
  6. Personalize EVERY Invitation – Always… always…always! HOW: The onlyway to ‘Add a note’ is to click Connect ON THE MEMBER’S PROFILE. Clicking Connect anywhere else auto-sends a wordless invitation to connect…..

DON’T DO THIS! ARE YOU MAKING THESE COMMON MISTAKES? 

  1. Forget your Settings & Privacy Controls: Always be aware of how and what you are displaying to Viewers of your profile. Take a few minutes to fo through your Settings. Click Me > Settings & Privacy > Review Basic > then Review Privacy list as well.
  2. Auto-send a wordless Invitation: Always visit the Member’s profile and click Connect from there to ‘Add a note’ to personalize your Invitation. Mobile: On profile, look for 3 tiny dots in upper right & click for personalization option. Your Invitation is 5x more likely to be accepted. (LinkedIn’s research)
  3. Pitch while thanking: I see this way too often: A ‘thank you for connecting’ note that turns into a lengthy pitch. Just don’t do this! You must build a relationship, establish the know-like-trust factor, and discover their ‘pain’ before you can attempt to offer a solution.

UNQUOTE
(Reference: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/TIPS-to-get-the-most-out-of-LinkedIn.html?soid=1113533254011&aid=P0gQVU1EOPM)

**********************************************************************

As a micro-entrepreneur, I wear many different hats every day. From content creator to educator to business administrator to customer service agent, to tax accountant, and of course, the dreaded functions of marketing and sales. These last two are, for me, the most difficult task in the entire experience of entrepreneurship. Although I recently completed a Certificate in Small Business and Entrepreneurship (complementary to my BS in Business Management), all the theory (and even practice) learned serve little purpose to my end goals of selling my courses at a profit. I have learned through the years that you may have a “warehouse” -physical or in cyberspace- full of the most fantastic products, but if you don’t know how to take them to market, it is the same as having nothing at all. On the other hand, I have seen individuals with very doubtful products become millionaires because they simply were genius at marketing their product or idea. It is a skill like any other but, just as you can learn some skills, it is also true that you can “not” learn other skills. If you lack balance, you will not be able to ride a bike.

I have reached the point where I must admit my Marketing & Sales “gene” is yet to be found! That is why my learning experience with Debbie about all the fantastic opportunities rendered by Linkedin will come in so handy in 2018 and beyond. Until now, I have used this medium more as a sort of professional Facebook account than as a marketing tool. I learned so many tips and tricks, that my readers hopefully will be seeing some changes in the coming months. I learned that I could not do certain things in Linkedin: for example, to comply with Linkedin’s User Agreement Regulations (I admit I had not read them), I had to close an account I was using to promote my business! Instead of it, I had to open an “appropriate” company account in Linkedin for BRAUERTRAINING under my “personal” profile (I did not know that!). I am now merging, updating and upgrading the “combined” pages. I will also be adding at least three new contacts every day and will be giving and asking for recommendations. I will be more proactive in my networks and groups…. ufff… sounds like a lot of work… and it is… but at least I believe it is grounded in solid recommendations.

Finally, if you let me know what subjects you would like me to address in 2018, I will start researching those topics and hopefully providing insights in the matters that are important to us as language experts or language-experts-to-be! Also, let me know where I can improve…. I am always receptive to comments and suggestions. Feel free to send me a note via Linkedin or email me at claudia@brauertraining.com. Thank you for your continued support!

PS: Also, make sure to check upcoming training sessions using the ProZ.com platform, visiting http://www.proz.com/trainer/1271125.

**********************************************************************

I am not the expert on Linkedin, so I will refer you to some of Debbie’s articles that will provide some fantastic tips…. and make sure to follow her and take some of her training sessions. They are worth your time!

Debbies short video

Half a Billion Members

Audience and Posts