Spotlight: Lisa Wang, AEP’s First Scrum Trainer in Mainland China

In 2019, Lei-Lisa Wang became the first Scrum Trainer in mainland China. Over a decade of experience in IT Service Management at major technology companies, including Nokia and Microsoft, gave Lisa the knowledge and tools to help organizations adopt new Agile practices. But the simple adoption of agile methodologies did not inspire Lisa to become an Agile consultant and trainer. It was the results of adoption that she was interested in: happy, healthy, and fulfilled team members.

This month we are pleased to spotlight Scrum Trainer by Scrum Inc. and Scrum@Scale Trainer Lisa Wang. As a dedicated, passionate member of the Agile Education Program (AEP) powered by Scrum Inc. community, Lisa is committed to the growth and reach of Scrum education and training. In July 2020, AEP and Scrum Inc. highlighted Lisa’s commitment as she joined other Scrum Trainers to “Raising Thousands of Dollars for the World Health Organization and Colors of Change”.

Discovering the Secret to a Happy, Healthy Team

As a Project Manager and Team Lead in 2008, Lisa faced one major challenge: delivering her projects on time and within scope. In the IT department at a major telecommunications company, projects followed a predictable pattern: the first phases of a project ran smoothly, but at the end, near delivery, things fell apart. It was impossible to avoid the “red” near the end of the project. That all changed in 2008 when Lisa attended her first Scrum training.

For Lisa, Scrum was a life changer. It saved her, her projects, and her teams from failure. When she first realized that the Scrum framework allowed her, as a Team Lead, to build a healthy, happy team, a lightbulb went off. She recognized that as team happiness increased (due to an adoption of Scrum values and an Agile mindset), performance increased. Delivery was better. Customers were happier. As teams stormed, normed, and formed, they built trust, healthy communication, and a sense of autonomy. In addition to being recognized as one of the top-performing teams in the IT department, Lisa’s team was truly happy.

The Impact of Team Member Engagement

The Chinese market has encountered a number of challenges in the adoption of Agile methodologies. In particular, the recognition of and support for autonomous, independent teams has faced pushback. In the past, traditional waterfall approaches created a culture of command and control, and left individual team members feeling powerless and unattached.

Many leaders are resistant to adopting a truly Agile mindset. But to Lisa, it’s crucial to communicate the true “essence” of Scrum to those who want the benefits of agility (improved delivery, increased speed to market, enhanced customer experience, etc.), but are resistant to transforming the culture and ways of working. Themes of experimentation, continuous improvement and retrospective, actively seeking immediate customer feedback, and transparency were shied away from.

Scaling Her Reach

From Lisa’s perspective, embracing new and uncomfortable themes is actually the key to success. Culture is the main driver of positive business outcomes. In the early days of her career, Lisa worked hands-on with product and delivery teams to adopt the Scrum values and revolutionize their approach to work; this resulted in a visible culture change that inspired her to introduce others to the Scrum framework. Her “boots on the ground” experience showed her that Scrum can truly save people from life-draining corporate systems and give meaning to their work.

The drive to help others find fulfillment inspires Lisa everyday in her current position. As an Agile Consultant for Raysdom, Scrum Trainer by Scrum Inc., and Scrum@Scale Trainer, Lisa is able to host public training courses, coach Scrum teams internally for clients, and consult with large organizations on their Agile transformation. Her vision is focused on the future of Scrum in China – Lisa and Raysdom are working to enhance their internal Agile training capabilities so that they can continue to spread Scrum throughout Asia.

Learn More About Lisa

Lisa describes herself as a true believer in Agility and Scrum. In addition to being the first Scrum Trainer by Scrum Inc. in mainland China, she is one of the select few Agilists in APAC that has co-trained with Dr. Jeff Sutherland, the co-creator of Scrum. She brings that educational expertise to her current position with Raysdom, a consulting firm based in Beijing, China. Since joining Raysdom in 2019, Lisa has provided Scrum consulting, training, and appraisal services to dozens of clients worldwide, and credentialed over 100+ students through the Agile Education Program powered by Scrum inc.

In early 2021, the Agile Education Program welcomed Raysdom to the Authorized Agile Education Provider (AAEP) Program, with the ultimate goal of making trusted, high-quality Scrum training more accessible to the APAC region.

Connect with Lisa: