Jess Brock, Project Manager in St. Louis, MO, United States
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Jess Brock

Verified Expert  in Project Management

Project Manager

Location
St. Louis, MO, United States
Toptal Member Since
January 12, 2021

Jess is a dynamic technical pro with over 16 years of experience in the application development industry. She has served as a senior leader, Agile coach, scrum master, product owner, developer, business analyst, and technical instructor to deliver tangible value. Throughout her career, Jess has worked closely with leadership in areas such as culture building, technical strategy, and product development and has led multiple Agile transformations.

Project Highlights

Published Article | How to Spot a Great Agile Coach
Wrote articles on Agile coaching, getting published on multiple channels as a respected Agilist.
Agile Curated
Created and produced a popular Agile publication enjoyed by thousands of people in the industry.

Expertise

Work Experience

Consultant

2006 - PRESENT
Technical Business Consultant
  • Completed over 1,000 web and mobile application projects throughout the course of my career. In many cases, this meant simultaneously managing clients and building solutions.
  • Managed staff augmentation for medium to large companies to assist with app development and marketing disciplines. This included executing SOWs, managing budgets and resources, and capturing customer needs.
  • Acted as an independent consultant, solely managing app projects with expenditures near the seven figures.
  • Adapted to the needs of each project while serving startups and Fortune 50 enterprises.

Business Analyst for Employee Experience Research

2022 - 2022
Owens Corning
  • Joined the team to help lead in-person employee interviews to identify ways OC may improve employee engagement. The interviews were often sensitive which required trust building and EQ.
  • Assisted in designing interview topics and questions and gathering reconnaissance and data to help facilitate successful interviews.
  • Contributed to the transcription and data synthesis to ensure data quality and enable OC to confidently pursue actions based on the findings.

Vice President

2020 - 2022
Undisclosed
  • Led the formation and growth of the US headquarters for an award-winning global business agility consultancy. This role blended strategic business development and hands-on coaching opportunities.
  • Provided deep experience with business development for a 7-figure entity, including market strategy, product strategy, operations strategy, and staffing strategy.
  • Interacted and influenced sponsors and stakeholders adeptly.
  • Exposed to international consulting in Europe, LATAM, and ASPAC.

Agile Coach

2021 - 2021
mathisit
  • Led a startup of seasoned professionals (creative and technical) in applying Scrum foundations to their existing work.
  • Fostered a safe space for experimentation and ensured that team members learn as they go.
  • Guided the team to decompose work in a way that delivers value faster than previously realized. Quick releases were crucial to carry the startup to the next rounds of funding.

Senior Agile Coach

2019 - 2021
Centene Corporation
  • Led the Product Dojo program to develop the product, Lean, Agile, technical development, and DevOps skills for over 400 development teams.
  • Led numerous Agile and technical training (CI/CD, Angular, and Go) sessions by taking on actual work from a team's backlog.
  • Demonstrated the value realization of the Dojo model by capturing meaningful measurements.

Agile Coach

2017 - 2019
Equifax, Inc.
  • Led the scrum master and multi-discipline product owner responsibilities for the respected Equifax Workforce Solutions data and analytics (D&A) department of 40+ people across multiple teams and disciplines with little to no Agile experience.
  • Appointed as the authentication gateway team lead to deliver security improvements to drive an improved security posture following the massive data breach in September 2017.
  • Worked alongside senior executives to ensure compliance with government standards, resulting in steep fines or the company closure if not approved. With this experience, I demonstrated that I worked well under intense pressure.

Product Delivery Lead

2016 - 2017
Panera Bread Company
  • Led the product delivery for the startup inside a corporation, learning how to manage startups on the go.
  • Acted as a key contributor to the project, from product conceptualization and release to supporting the game-changing Panera delivery service. Think end-to-end connectivity—back-of-house to customer-facing applications.
  • Implemented test-first and rapid product releases that involved thoughtful architecture and DevOps decision-making.
  • Partnered with an offshore development team, working with crew members and customers in the cafes.

Product Manager | Application Manager

2011 - 2016
Washington University in St. Louis
  • Led the web application strategies from technical architecture to product owner capacity.
  • Conducted vendor and budget management for key university initiatives with a sincere emphasis on cultivating and mentoring my direct reports of project managers, testers, and developers.
  • Broadened my career experience by working in the public affairs setting, emphasizing user research, UX, HCD, and design thinking.
  • Managed the support team over the university’s web applications. I also helped build and support a self-service website platform that served over 10,000 users, including students, faculty, and staff.
  • Served as a key contributor to the agile transformation from the very beginning.

E-learning Technical Administrator

2006 - 2007
CPI Corp.
  • Managed infrastructure operations for the JCPenney and Sears Portrait Studio learning management systems (LMS).
  • Supported the learning modules that affected thousands of staff at all levels of the organization and were necessary for operations as they pertained to essential job training, legal, and compliance.
  • Managed the third-party LMS relationship on my own, ensuring the LMS system health was stable.

Published Article | How to Spot a Great Agile Coach

https://blog.iconagility.com/how-to-spot-a-great-agile-coach-and-a-not-so-great-one

Wrote articles on Agile coaching, getting published on multiple channels as a respected Agilist.

My article called How to Spot a Great Agile Coach (and a not-so-great one) was published on the ICON Agility Services blog. To help my readers, I've noted five key qualities that make a great Agile coach, along with the positive signs that they're a good fit. As a bonus, I’ve also included bad signs, hopefully enabling them to spot the not-so-great coaches.

EXCERPT FROM THE ARTICLE:
If you should encounter a coach (or any Agilist for that matter) with these five traits, recognize their greatness and cultivate them. These are intrinsic qualities and usually cannot be learned.

Look for these traits during your next round of interviews. You may be able to pick up on whether the candidate is an active listener during the interview. However, don’t be shy to ask trait questions such as “How have you shown empathy in your coaching?” If you find yourself being open and honest with the coach, then that's an excellent sign!

Agile Curated

http://agilecurated.com

Created and produced a popular Agile publication enjoyed by thousands of people in the industry.

I curated the newsletter content and also worked with prospective sponsors. I partnered with writers, writing and executing contract documents. I also managed an extensive product backlog and readers' requests.
2017 - 2020

Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology

Lindenwood University - St. Louis, Missouri, USA

2005 - 2007

Certificate of Specialization in Web Development

St. Louis Community College - St. Louis, Missouri, USA

MAY 2020 - PRESENT

Certified SAFe 5.1 Program Consultant (SPC)

Scaled Agile, Inc.

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