AMI Interview with Marina Pantcheva

In this episode of AMI Interview, we sat down with group manager Marina Pantcheva to talk about her history with the company. We discussed her journey to her current position and the challenges she's faced in the past and asked for her opinion on the Agile methodology and Scrum framework.

Video transcription

EH: Hello everyone! I have the pleasure today to sit here with Marina Pantcheva, who is Project Manager. Hello Marina!

MP: Hello Eliska! Nice to be here.

EH: Thank you. So, Marina. Can you tell us a little bit about your work history here in Moravia?

MP: Yeah sure. Well, I joined Moravia about six years ago, and that was at the time when I moved to the Czech Republic. And in the beginning I started as Linguistic Services Manager for a small project, the project then expanded and I became Group Manager within Linguistic Services. And then there was a big change in the beginning of 2019, when the client that I was working for decided to fully move, to fully change their localization model that was being used.
And the change was moving from the classic vendor-based localization model to the so-called gig or crowd-based localization model whereby translation is delivered by a community of translators and not companies, that provide translations.

EH: And what do you know about Agile?

MP: What I know about Agile is not much because that is not my domain of work, but I know that Agile is one of the existing software development methodologies and it is characterized by very frequent releases and continuous development. Basically with Agile, the software is developed in small chunks but importantly, every chunk is a functional chunk that can do something. And the product grows incrementally.

EH: And do you feel like there are any advantages and disadvantages in Agile in general?

MP: I feel that there are many advantages, some disadvantages, but probably they're balanced by the advantages. And the biggest advantage for me is the flexibility. So in Agile, the Dev team can very flexibly and quickly respond to the changing requirements by the customer. And we know customers internal or external, they always have changing requirements because the development, and actually the whole market is extremely dynamic. So that I find a very, very good aspect of Agile. And the other thing is that there are very frequent, quick and frequent releases. So when customer changes, changes the requirements, the Dev team can respond quickly and the new feature is released within one or two or three sprints. It depends but one
doesn't need to wait for a month or a year to have the change implemented.

EH: You're a stakeholder for one of our Scrum Teams. Did anything surprise you about the way they work?

MP: I was surprised indeed, but only in positive ways. What surprised me most was the team's resilience and flexibility. The team is truly amazing, and I already really love working with them.

EH: Okay, I'm really happy to hear that. My last question for you would be how do you feel about Scrum today?

MP: I feel really good about it. I am not familiar with other frameworks, really. So Scrum is the only one that I've been exposed to and working closely with the team, I think it is a very successful framework. But I also think that it puts a certain burden on the team because of the unpredictability of the work. And here I see it is very important to distinguish the role of the Scrum Master and the Product Owner, the Scrum Master being the one who takes care of the comfort of the Dev team, protecting them and helping them cope with the constantly changing requirements, and the lack of predictability.

EH: So, in your opinion is for the best that those two roles are separate?

MP: My experience is that this is a very successful model because the Product Owner can focus on the vision, the creative work, the Scrum Master is focusing on regulating and helping the team with the work, coping with the daily tasks and organizing them.

EH: Definitely. Well Marina, thanks so much for coming.

MP: Entirely my pleasure. Thank you for having me.

EH: Thank you. And thank you for watching.

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