Tom Bellinson

Tom BellinsonMr. Bellinson has been working in information technology positions for over 30 years. His diverse background has allowed him to gain intimate working knowledge in technical, marketing, sales and executive roles. Most recently, Mr. Bellinson finds himself serving as a Scrum Master for ITHAKA, a global online research service. From 2008 to 2011 Bellinson worked with at risk businesses in Michigan through a State funded program which was administered by the University of Michigan. Prior to working for the University of Michigan, Mr. Bellinson served as Vice President of an ERP software company, an independent business and IT consultant, as chief information officer of an automotive engineering services company and as founder and President of a systems integration firm that was a pioneer in Internet services marketplace. Bellinson holds a degree in Communications with a Minor in Management from Oakland University in Rochester, MI and has a variety of technical certifications including APICS CPIM and CSCP.


The Agile Practitioner: Business Process in an Agile Age

Tom cites a quote from The Agile Manifesto which states that the definition of Agile is “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools,” a phrase that he finds confusing. In this Column, he relates his efforts to uncover its meaning and shares his discovery with our readers.

The Agile Practitioner: The Importance of Trust

Tom’s role as a scrum master is to encourage practices that make the team more effective. Read why he considers trust an essential ingredient in accomplishing the goals if an “Agile” team.

Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

BPTrends Columnist, Tom Bellinson, is constantly on the lookout for material that will enhance his work as an agile practitioner. In one such search, he encountered Daring Greatly. What he found particularly compelling about the author’s analysis is that she uses empirical evidence coupled with statistical analysis to back her ideas. High praise from someone I know to be a careful and dead center critic.

The Agile Practitioner: Getting the Data

Tom Bellinson asserts that “To understand what is meant by “long-range planning,” we need to go back to the traditional approach to product planning.” In addition to gathering evidence, good product managers should also be directly interacting with users and associated product stakeholders.

The Agile Practitioner: Conflict is Scary

Tom Bellinson believes that conflict is scary, but he encourages risk-taking and change in the face of uncertainty. “Teams without a diversity of membership can fall into the group-think trap and become complacent.” Read his interesting take on the positive role conflict can play in leading to a successful outcome for the process team.

The Agile Practitioner: Striking a Balance–Meetings vs. Work

In this month’s Column, Tom urges practitioners to regularly evaluate what meetings are on their calendars and challenge their necessity. Meetings are, after all, time consuming and ultimately expensive in terms of sacrificing work time. He suggests a number of alternative communication methods and urges you to make sure that a meeting is the best option before choosing it.

The Agile Practitioner: Balancing Change

Tom Bellinson discusses lessons learned in a class he took to fulfill his scrum master certification training, “We must be willing to take bigger risks in the name of continuous improvement.” Read his compelling story drawn from Tom’s personal experience.

The Agile Practitioner: Agile Projects

Tom Bellinson states that “Agile project management is not an excuse to forego planning or architecture.” The fundamental flaw with the traditional approach to project management is that both the time permitted and the scope of work are fixed at the beginning. Read Tom’s Column to learn how an Agile approach can help overcome this problem.

The Agile Practitioner: The “Other” BPM

An attitude prevails in some organizations that too much business process management will stifle change, which is fundamental to being Agile. Tom Bellinson believes that trust is a very important characteristic of organizations that enjoy successful Agile practices. Read the examples he cites in support of his theory.

The Agile Practitioner: Stranded on Agile Island

Tom Bellinson’s experience as an Agile practitioner has led him to conclude that helping other teams become more Agile can ultimately increase trust throughout the organization and bring additional efficiencies to everyone. Read his Column for details.

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