Tackle Life Together

A blog by Sally Waters

sally [at] homescrum .co.uk

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birds on a line

Who to choose for your Home Scrum team

How to choose your team

There are too many birds here to form an effective Scrum team.

You need at least one other person to do Home Scrum. You can have more than one—the official Scrum Guide states that a Scrum team should be small, “typically 10 or fewer people.” In some cases, like ours, it will be obvious who you want to ask to be on your team. If there’s only you and a partner, and you want to use Scrum to organise your joint home-life, then the choice is clear and you can skip right ahead to the next post. In other cases, you might be asking yourself ‘who could I ask to help me stay organised?’

If you’re not sure, then there are three factors to consider:

  1. Who shares your goals for using Scrum?
  2. Who do you have access to?
  3. How does the potential team member make you feel?

Who shares your goals for Home Scrum?

A team member doesn’t need to have exactly the same goals as you to share a similar purpose. Do you both want to feel more in control of your lives? Do you both struggle to meet your responsibilities? Do you both want more structure to help you deal with the extra challenges of neurodivergence? Then you could both benefit from doing Home Scrum together.

Even if you don’t know anyone who shares your underlying problem, there might be someone who is already invested in helping you. For instance, a parent or a spouse is probably going to want to help you overcome your obstacles, even if they don’t need to use Home Scrum themselves. They can still become a team member, but as a ‘helper’ rather than a ‘user’ of the system.

Who do you have access to?

Who could you ask? The first place to look for Scrum team members is in your household: a parent, a partner, a house-mate. Home Scrum can work well with children too, including teenagers, as long as they feel some ownership of the process.

If you live alone, or don’t want to work with anyone in your household, then the next option would be working with family or friends online. In this case, I imagine that they would probably take a ‘helper’ role in supporting your own use of Home Scrum, as it is harder to use the same system together from different places.

If that option doesn’t appeal, then there is plenty of scope for meeting a potential Home Scrum partner through an online community—in fact, it could be easier to find a good fit by looking for someone with a similar problem. For instance, if you’re already a member of a Facebook group for adults with ADHD in your local area or country, that would be a great place to post about this Scrum thing you’ve found and see if anyone’s interested in doing it too. Or you can join this blog’s online community on Reddit or Slack and find an accountability partner that way. You could both be the ‘helper’ for the other person’s Home Scrum system and the ‘user’ of your own.

If all else fails and you need a stop-gap measure while finding your Scrum team, I highly recommend the website focusmate.com. You book a 50 minute session with a fellow random stranger, and you keep a webcam on throughout so you can both watch each other work. It is surprisingly effective and I use it all the time, for anything from writing to stripping wallpaper. You can get a few free sessions each week or pay $5 a month for unlimited sessions.

How do they make you feel?

The final consideration when choosing a potential team-mate is how they make you feel. The most important prerequisite for a successful team is having ‘psychological safety’—that is, trusting your team enough to show your authentic self. In some cases, the most obvious choice (e.g. a family member in the same house as you) might not be who you need. Maybe your relationship with them is a bit strained and you don’t think you could be vulnerable with them. Maybe they’re eager to help you, but they tend to take over and make you feel incompetent. Maybe they take it a bit personally when you don’t want to do something that they think is a good idea. It could still work, but think carefully about it and try to set boundaries early about what they can and can’t do to help.

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