Masterclass Tips: Advice from Frank Vassallo, Agile Practice Lead

Agile Practice Lead at South Australia Water, Frank Vassallo, spoke with us about the importance of organisational performance and agility, offering insider tips on understanding why aligning your business strategy and customer is so important.

WHY SHOULD I GET AN MBA IN GLOBAL PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

An MBA specialising in Global Project Management is an essential tool for a driven professional who is looking to providing coaching and establish organisational performance and agility within the workplace.

TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR CAREER

For the past few years I have worked for SA Water as the IT Delivery Program Manager for our Operational Technology Program, which is a series of technology investments aimed to improve the safety and efficiency of SA Water’s resources delivering customer services in the field. In conjunction, I have been a key member of our agile transformation and change, which has been led through program and project delivery and recently started a new role as Agile Practice Lead, leading and establishing a practice to provide coaching to build our capability and culture in the agile ways of working across the organisation.

HOW HAVE INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS BENEFITED YOUR CURRENT ROLE?

I have completed the following certifications:

  • Certified Professional Agile Coach ICP-ACC
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)
  • MSP® Managing Successful Programmes Practitioner
  • Prince2 Practitioner
  • Certified Scrum Master
  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)
  • Leading SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework) 4.5

Coupled with experience and on-going professional development to keep the certifications current and active, they have proven to be a means for me to achieve a certain standard of knowledge, be able to apply them with confidence and be a differentiator in many cases when being used in practice.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR STUDENTS?

Certifications, or in this case, an MBA specialising in Global Project Management provides a mechanism for you to continue your lifelong learning and in conjunction with real experience and connecting with peers, colleagues and your industry network/partners is invaluable. A university qualification alone (particularly through self-study approach) can provide opportunities for deep learning and to specialise in certain areas, while keeping at the forefront on training and development.

WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO GRADUATES AROUND NETWORKING, MANAGEMENT-STYLES AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT?

Today’s world is more connected than ever before, and collaboration/partnerships are vital to success, networking, styles and trends in modern leadership and project management need to be diverse, adaptive and fit for purpose or situational to be truly successful in our ‘connected economy’.

HOW DO YOU STAY AHEAD OF THE TREND?

How do you stay ahead of the trend, in business, and project management?
Through a variety of methods, listening, reading, self-study, experimentation, community of practice(s), industry groups.

WHAT ARE SOME PROFESSIONAL ACHIEVEMENTS YOU’RE MOST PROUD OF?

I’m proud to have worked independently and successfully as an IT professional across a broad range of industries in many varied roles in Australia and the UK, building strong and lasting relationships, having continuity of engagements and return work with many clients.

  • Greenfield software development projects which I was a part of with small and large teams.
  • Connection business and IT in many situations, being the bridge.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK?

I love playing golf and cycling, spending time with my family, I have a young Son who is active and enjoys sport, following Port Power. I am a co-organiser of the Adelaide Agile Community Meetup and like helping/connecting people, most recently helped create a connection between two groups which has led to software coding camps for teenage school children in the Northern suburbs.

WHAT WAS THE BEST PIECE OF CAREER (OR LIFE) ADVICE THAT YOU RECEIVED?

My Father, always instilled the following in me:

  • Nothing is impossible
  • Create and have a vision
  • Make a decision and never regret it
  • Take out the emotion

Took me a while, but it started to sink in. The reality is we are in permanent beta and lifelong learning, experience and experimenting is critical. 

WHAT CAN STUDENTS AND INDUSTRY EXPECT TO GET OUT OF YOUR MASTERCLASS?

Real life successes and failures in the adoption of agile ways of working within medium to large enterprises. The importance of ‘being agile’ versus ‘doing agile’ and the mindset shift required. 

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