From 20 years at the Police to Scrum Mastery at INSTANDA, meet Jennifer Moss

Posted on 28th March 2024

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From 20 years at the Police to Scrum Mastery at INSTANDA, meet Jennifer Moss

Posted on 28th March 2024

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Like all our INSTANDA employee interviews, we were looking forward to catching up with Scrum Master, Jennifer Moss, who joined INSTANDA in September 2023. Swapping a 20-year career at Yorkshire Police to further pursue her passion for Agile working, Jennifer’s journey to INSTANDA is anything but ordinary.

Already nominated as Employee of the Quarter, the specialist skills Jennifer acquired at the police are proving to be a great asset at INSTANDA.

Jennifer, could you tell us about your unique journey into scrum mastery?

Well, my journey is a little bit unusual. Before joining INSTANDA, I was in the police force for 20 years. I started as a junior officer when I was quite young and worked my way up to become a Mounted Public Order Commander; a position I held for almost seven years. Here, I organised, led, deployed and controlled horse-mounted units at large scale public events all over the UK. As you can imagine, the role carried an enormous amount of responsibility as I held operational command for the entire unit. My main priority was to make sure that everyone understood their roles, the roles of others and the parameters in which they could operate.

The role was rewarding but also very demanding. It involved liaising with lots of different partner agencies and public bodies, as well as tending to the welfare of horses. The team and I had challenging KPIs that we had to meet against a backdrop of limited budgetary resources. Part of my role was to outline and evidence the value of the mounted unit. This led me to implementing Agile working into the mounted section. This gave the team a measure and framework to work to, dramatically increasing accountability.

I enjoyed a successful career at Yorkshire Police. I am enormously proud of what I achieved. I only left because I had just become a new mum and the long shifts and extra hours were not family friendly. I took what seemed like a huge leap of faith at the time and left the force to achieve a better work-life balance and pursue an alternative but linked career path. I had already seen the transformative impact of applying the Agile methodology in a complex working environment, and so I was looking for a role where this would be my core focus.

Scrum mastery seemed like the most logical fit and so I decided to gain additional qualifications in this area. In 2023, I became a certified Professional Scrum Master (PSM II), before completing the Scaled Professional Scrum and Professional Agile Leadership – Evidence-Based Management (PAL-EBM) courses with

What led you to INSTANDA?

I took my time in finding the right role. One that would make full use of my people skills, evidence-based team leadership and knowledge of Agile working. The role of Scrum Master at INSTANDA was a natural fit. Plus, working from home in a non-shift-based role that enables me to drop my little boy off at nursery and be there for bath time, was also a key factor.

More than anything else, though, I knew that I would like to work at INSTANDA. From the moment that I spoke to Yagini in the HR department, I knew that the company’s values aligned with mine. Yagini and the team could see that I have a highly transferable and specific skillset. Knowing that my experience and background was going to be of direct value was one of the reasons I accepted the position.

At the time, I had another job offer on the table but the most important thing to me is the people I work with. I could see that I would fit straight in despite not being from a software background.

What does your role involve?

My role as Scrum Master is similar to the position I held at the police. I am heavily focused on team building; making sure that everyone within the team is concentrated on one goal to provide the agreed value at the end of a set period of time.

We achieve this by splitting our time into three-week boxes to make sure the team goes through a set of processes and ceremonies to reach their objectives.

In achieving this, a key part of my role is looking after the team’s welfare. I check in on them, ask them how they are feeling and support them wherever I can. I use the behavioural detection skills I acquired as a police officer. This means, to avoid things from escalating, I am quickly able to recognise when someone’s not feeling themself.

What do you like most about your role?

I love people and understanding what makes them behave in the way that they do. I appreciate the value of a well-functioning team and I know how to create team environments where people feel empowered and respected. I find it rewarding when I help a team member find a resolution to something hindering them from doing their job.

I also love the friendly banter amongst team members. It’s a great place to work.

What have you been most proud of in your first six months at INSTANDA?

Beyond my change of career, which was a big step for me, I’d would have to say seeing the team flourish in such a short space of time and become really passionate about changing dynamics.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #InspireInclusion. What does inclusion mean to you?

Speaking from experience of having worked in male-dominated environments, I’d say that inclusion is about making sure that everyone’s voices are heard and respected, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, race, religion, background, or health.

For me, inclusion is about being balanced and fair in all situations. In an inclusive work environment, everyone must feel psychologically safe to be their authentic self and voice their concerns, opinions and ideas.

Equally, it’s important that a person’s individual experience is valued. For example, the team could have excluded me for having a different professional background. They could have questioned what I was doing at INSTANDA, but they didn’t. From day one, I felt a huge sense of inclusion.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone thinking about making a big career move?

If you put your mind to it, anything’s possible. Self-doubt happens to us all. I was incredibly nervous when I joined the mounted unit at the police. I had never ridden a horse before, but after 16-weeks of intensive training, I was ready. Little did I know that I would have the honour of riding in many high-profile ceremonial events and the responsibility of mounted command for large-scale disorders.

The same with my role at INSTANDA. It was a big departure from what I was doing before but it was absolutely the right decision. You just need to be passionate and believe in yourself.

What are the main benefits of working at INSTANDA?

For me, the main thing is that I don't have to choose between my career and being a great and present mum.

At INSTANDA, there’s no compromise. I have a good work-life balance and I feel fulfilled and challenged in my career. I am constantly pushing to improve and that gives me a great sense of satisfaction. There’s a real focus on continuous learning, supported by a generous training budget for each employee. I think it's phenomenal that people get that opportunity and are supported to be their best.

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