Experimentation, hormones and Gen Z: my highlights of the first day of the Online Scrum Master Summit 2024

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While scrolling through LinkedIn, I came across the Online Scrum Master Summit, which instantly piqued my interest. The summit has a broad roster of speakers from across the world, each providing unique views and practical guidance. The large number of interesting subjects and speakers prompted me to cover each day of the summit. This blog post summarizes my personal experiences and important insights from the summit’s first day, which took place on Tuesday, June 25th. There are four talks I want to highlight in this blog post.

Attending the Online Scrum Master Summit 2024

Stefan Stojkovic – Agile Playground (10:30)

Stefan Stojkovic’s presentation “Agile Playground”Stefan Stojkovic - Agile Playground addressed the need for continual experimentation in implementing change within agile frameworks. He established the Agile Playground concept, which allows teams to experiment with new ideas, tools, and processes within set bounds to stimulate creativity and innovation while remaining focused on their goals.

Stojkovic emphasized the iterative nature of these studies, which allowed them to decrease uncertainty and modify swiftly in response to feedback. He emphasized the need of cooperation, communication, and adaptability, using real examples from his game development team. Over 14 months, they employed agile principles, including story mapping and value stream mapping to optimize operations, resolve bottlenecks, and improve team capabilities.

Stojkovic finished by emphasizing that the success of agile projects is dependent on transparency, continual alignment, adaptation, and a strong feedback culture, and he urged continued cooperation and learning within the agile community.

Evelien Acun-Roos – Fostering Happiness in Agile Teams: A Neurochemical Perspective (12:00)

Evelien Acun-Roos - Fostering Happiness in Agile Teams: A Neurochemical PerspectiveIn her session “Fostering Happiness in Agile Teams: A Neurochemical Perspective,” Evelien Acun-Roos delved into how understanding the brain’s neurochemistry may enhance team happiness. She discussed four major “happy chemicals”—dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin, and endorphin—and how they promote motivation, trust, social recognition, and pain alleviation, respectively.

Evelien proposed practical techniques to activate these hormones, such as setting small objectives, celebrating triumphs, fostering trust via active listening and personal sharing, acknowledging team accomplishments, and adding physical activities. Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches may use these insights to help their teams become more cohesive, motivated, and happier.

Luke Goetting – Building the Scrum Teams of Tomorrow: Unleashing Gen Z+ Potential (18:00)

Luke Goetting - Building the Scrum Teams of Tomorrow: Unleashing Gen Z+ PotentialLuke Goetting’s presentation, “Building the Scrum Teams of Tomorrow, Unleashing Gen Z+ Potential,” emphasized the importance of adapting to the specific features of Generation Z, born between 1997 and 2010, in order to successfully harness their potential. He underlines that Generation Z loves digital communication, continual growth, work-life balance, and transparency. They are enterprising and value sustainability and diversity.

Differing communication styles and expectations present a challenge. Goetting suggested tactics such as gamification, high-touch management, flexible work arrangements, and integrating work with corporate values. Organizations may engage and retain Generation Z employees by using these tactics.

Kim Cathey – All Fun & Games – Fun Team Building in a Virtual World (19:30)

Kim Cathey - All Fun & Games - Fun Team Building in a Virtual WorldKim Cathey, a solution train engineer, presented on effective virtual team-building strategies for increasing participation, trust, and morale. She divided team-building activities into three categories:

  • Casual, which involves minimal effort and no cost, including timesheet reminder memes, question-of-the-day prompts, and themed meetings;
  • Planned, requiring medium effort and little to no cost, featuring virtual lunches, games like Pictionary and Bingo, and creating team hometown maps;
  • Arranged, which are high-effort activities with varying costs, such as personalized gifts, in-person events, and off-site retreats.

Cathey emphasized the significance of inclusion and suggested making events voluntary and non-pressuring to accommodate timid or introverted individuals. These activities promote psychological safety, morale, trust, respect, and overall productivity, resulting in a pleasant and cohesive team atmosphere.

The first day of the Online Scrum Master Summit was jam-packed with informative workshops that provided novel and practical insights into Agile. Stay tuned for more blog postings covering the remainder of the summit!

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