Blog: One can be a scrum master both at home and at work

09. May 2017 Blog

I am now a Scrum Master. The course I took earlier this spring was excellent and very practical. It included intensive studying on the Scrum ideology plus loads of realizations and questioning. I realized some major things related to my work — and one conserning my personal life. Scrum is an excellent ideology also for keeping your family on the right track. 

Scrum is based on ways to act, self-guided teams and learning. Future development is always guided by what has been learned during the previous sprint. Yep. This is my main goal also as a mother. Last week I lost my nerves seven times, four times I found myself hungry and super-tired, indulged in endless parenting discussions with my pre-teenager — and two anger boosts of my younger one over why one simply cannot eat candy every single day. Okay. So, next week I will try to remember to eat (also dinner and before going to sleep), I will take a deep breath and be the adult when I see that everything my pre-teen simply needs is for mummy to hold her for a while and ask how she’s doing. 

Well, what about the self-guided team then? The most important mission for the Scrum Master is to facilitate. That means making things possible and removing obstacles so that the team can perform at its best and create added value to the Product Owner. In our family’s case, Product owner is LIFE, something that these little human beings are with all their hearts experiencing, living and practising. And I’m trying to do my best in removing obstacles and making LIFE possible.

But. This does not always mean just tidying up piles of clothes around the house, reminding kids to take care of their room or going through discussions on whether parents should be helped in small domestic chores. Making things possible means gently guiding people in the right direction, encouraging and strenghtening self-confidence of the entire team. Firming the belief that YOU CAN, you have what it takes and you can outdo yourself. Yes. This is something that we should all remember both at the office and at home!

Making things possible means gently guiding people in the right direction, encouraging and strenghtening self-confidence of the entire team. Firming the belief that YOU CAN, you have what it takes and you can outdo yourself. Yes. This is something that we should all remember both at the office and at home! 

Like in Scrum ideology, at home we have sprint planning, daily, sprint review and retro. Plus a continuous dialogue with the Product Owner. Sprint lasts one week at our household. On Sunday evening the family adults get together for sprint planning. Which meetings and events are ahead next week, is one of us (or both, for crying out loud!) travelling for work, who will pick up the kids on Thursday and who will drive them to their hobbies on Tuesday. When can I go to the gym, when have you scheduled for badminton…the list is endless but every time we work it out!

Daily includes the entire family. Usually held during the dinner. Daily is a time to catch up on how the day went and what is ahead tomorrow. Sprint review occurs on Friday with popcorn and movie. Retro means reflective discussions between me and my husband. Whenever there is time for that.

I am a Scrum Master, both at work and at home. And damn proud of it! These skills are easily adaptable at the office and in the family — and one can learn and use the best tricks from both perspectives. We as a family are a tight-knit team. Every one of us does their part, as well as possible — in the good and not-so-good moments. This is something that is good to remember also at work — each of us does their best, sometimes we win, sometimes the challenges overcome us. But with an open mind, ability to discuss, tackling challenges together as a team and with a good vibe we can do anything. ALWAYS.

Niina Nieminen

Niina works as a Project Manager at Dimenteq. Crazy about nature, long evenings and discussions with friends, summer parties and sports. Has been a scout for as long as she can remember.