Scrum Master: getting the best out of the team — that’s what you do it for

scrum master: getting the best out of the team — that’s what you do it for

As a Scrum Master, David Prinsen Geerligs prefers to work on several projects simultaneously. It allows him to make the best use of his agile mindset. At the same time, this also leaves enough time for his other great passion: hockey.

agile mindset

David Prinsen Geerligs is gifted with an agile mindset. “I really am like that,” he laughs. This is clear from the trajectory his life has followed so far. David started his studies in communication sciences in Tilburg and obtained his diploma in strategic communication from the University of Antwerp. He first worked in The Netherlands as a consultant for a software developer. That was where he first learned about Scrum.

“I prefer to work in a team rather than alone,” says David. “Getting maximum value out of a team, that’s what I like best about my job.” After several assignments in the people business — HR and people management — he decided to continue as an independent consultant. “It allows me to choose very specific projects and to always opt for an agile approach. That’s the way of working that best suits my personality. I’m very flexible, I adapt quickly, and I don’t mind at all when things are constantly changing.”

Agile working stands for flexibility and speed in project work. But this does not mean that a clear goal and a good plan for cooperation are not needed. It means that it requires preparation and Equalminds can help you with that!

Scrum master and team manager

Thanks to Equalminds David was able to start on a project at Toyota Motor Europe, where he worked as a product owner. “It was a small but instructive assignment,” he says, “which left enough time for my role as team manager and goalkeeper trainer for the Belgian under-21 national hockey team.” After completing the project at Toyota, David spent several months preparing for the World Hockey Championship in India. Upon his return, he immediately took on a new project that Equalminds had spotted for him.

Right now, David is working on a project for the Flemish government, at the CJM (Department of Culture, Youth, and Media). “I’m working with a team of eight process and file specialists to streamline the file flows of subsidy applications for the youth and culture sector. We must adapt two software packages to the new way of working. It’s a new team, made up of employees brought together from different departments.”

Pragmatic, never dogmatic

It’s a big challenge for David. “We chose to approach the process with agile scrum, but the team members had no experience with it. Fortunately, they’re very eager to learn this way of working.” As a scrum master, David mapped out a trajectory for the team, from an introduction to the origin and principles of the agile methodology to setting up a product backlog, sprint planning, and organizing the daily stand-ups.

“It’s a learning process,” says David. “We quickly sense what works smoothly within the team and what doesn’t. If something goes well, we keep going. If it doesn’t work, we look at what we can change. I’m pragmatic in that regard, never dogmatic.” The most important thing for David is that the team adopts an agile mindset. “The focus doesn’t have to be only on the product. The road to the result is also important. Anyone who works in an agile way learns to look at things in a different way.”

Several projects at once

The fact that David can still work freelance as a scrum master via Equalminds is all upside, according to him. “It allows me to work on different projects at the same time, which provides more than enough variety. And I also have time for the hockey team, which is great.

I keep working on my own personal development as well. This starts from my work as a scrum master and guiding teams in both business and hockey. How do people work together? How can we make teams function better and how do individuals develop? With those questions in mind, I went in search of more knowledge. I will soon obtain an accreditation so that I can guide coaches as well. I love to guide people and teams on their way to more fun, performance, and motivation.

Frankly, I prefer this variety over working full time on a single project for a longer period.” In practice, a project usually doesn’t require a full-time scrum master. “Actually, I’m in a role that makes itself redundant over time,” laughs David. “The smoother the team runs, the less the scrum master has to adjust.”


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