Q&A with Christel Nijman - Scrum Master in Suriname

Christel Nijman joined Qualogy in 2009. She started out as an Application Developer, responsible for analytics, and was leader of several projects. Currently she acts as Scrum Master in one of the development teams at Qualogy Caribbean. In this role, she sees to it that her team stays on course to meet the goals they've set. Her role in this process is to support the development cycles and deal with possible impediments and blocking issues.

How do you use Scrum at Qualogy?

Scrum is a software methodology framework. Within Scrum, there are three roles that need to be fulfilled. The first role is that of Product Owner. His or her aim is to represent the customer. The Scrum Master supports the Team, which in turn makes sure it delivers working software.

Working in Scrum is an iterative process. Each iteration is called a sprint, and each sprint has a set duration (e.g. one week).

All these sprints start with a planning meeting, in which we determine which software should be built within that sprint. In this meeting, the team commits itself to a certain set of deliverables that should be done by the end of the week. “Done” means ready for delivery and fully tested. When the sprint ends, it gets closed. The next step at that point is to hold a planning meeting for the next sprint.

What are the challenges for a Scrum Master?

As Scrum Master, my main task is to keep all possible distractions and blockades away from the team. At the same time, I have to make sure that the team acts and stays within the rules of Scrum. This creates a challenge in which I have to protect my team from negative outside influence while making sure my team performs as well as it can.

What are the most valuable lessons you've learned so far?

Communication is very important, as this enables me to work much more effectively. But the most important thing I've learned in my role as a Scrum Master is to work as closely as possible with clients. Giving feedback, a good team spirit and good teamwork are just as important. And in the end, when everything works out, I learned that nothing is as rewarding as being able to deliver software tested and on time.

Christel: “Working in Scrum is an iterative process”