Tip of the week by Scrum Master Tiina: Laugh together as a team!

Published: 9.5.2023
Categories: Culture
Reading time: 2 min
Portrait of Tiina

Scrum Master is the one who keeps the road open for the team to drive safely through. Sometimes it contains deep conversations with team members, sometimes just pure Jira puzzle. Scrum Masters are as diverse as the teams and projects they work with, and we are happy to bring them into the spotlight to share some of their tips and tricks. Meet our Delivery Manager Tiina Jokinen.

Hi, it’s Tiina here! At Wunder, I am a Delivery Manager, taking care of project delivery, service management, and client relations. I got my Scrum Master certificate about a year ago and have been practicing that ever since.

I feel I am doing my job well when all pieces fall into place: team spirit is good, including both Wunder’s and the client’s team, working methods have been mutually agreed upon, and they support the daily work in the best possible way, and communication is open and constructive. Then it works like a piece of art.

I am used to working on several projects and with several teams at the same time. Still, I find it challenging when the composition of the team changes. It requires forming a relationship with each member and learning their working habits. The whole team needs to adapt to the new members and the new situation.

What makes Scrum Master successful? Ability to create a psychologically safe space for the team from the very beginning. Open, kind, and supportive atmosphere. Kick-offs play a significant role here as well as retros are a good place to create the space for an open discussion within the team and with the client.

Here are a couple of my suggestions on how to succeed as a Scrum Master:

  • In sprint planning, I try to help plan the work evenly for each team member for the becoming sprint. In planning, it is important to understand the overall goals for the project so that the sprint goal is set wisely. So you need to have a good understanding of the workload of the team members if they are for example working on multiple projects. If the backlog refinement is done earlier and the prioritization is agreed upon with the client, it is easier to set the goal.
  • In the ideal Scrum world, the client would participate sprint reviews, retros, next sprint planning, and backlog refinement. Unfortunately, that is not always possible, therefore I invite them to join the dailies at least every now and then and ensure having a weekly meeting together.
  • Try to see the team non-officially or at least have non-work related discussions every now and then. Listen carefully and trust your instincts when trying to sense some blockers. One-on-ones with the team members are an excellent way to feel the team’s mood.
“Laugh together as a team! Things can become challenging, but you still don't have to be too strict about them or lose a good sense of humor.”

Tiina Jokinen, Delivery Manager and Scrum Master at Wunder

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