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Scrum Masters and The Post Pandemic

The Post Pandemic era is here, many of the c-levels, direct reports, and managers are sending out surveys, and asking questions to test the waters to go back to the office. How is that upcoming reality settling in with you and your team? Is it being embraced, or widely rejected? These are some of the questions that our speaker, Marcelo Lopez, asked the audience to spark a conversation and set the environment.

A Scrum Master Before the Pandemic and Post Pandemic

Now that it feels like we are getting closer to the end of the pandemic, it’s a good time to reflect on how was the office-like environment on a daily basis. Situations like impromptu conversations happening around the water cooler, one-on-one conversations with team members, and team bonding moments around food are among the ones we greatly miss.

Then the pandemic struck, and suddenly everyone had no choice but to accommodate to new scenarios. Scrum Masters now were required to sharpen their hearing and sight to read the room and guide their teams. Everybody started chatting instead of having impromptu conversations, and working hours skyrocketed to the moon.

What’s reality now?

Burn-out is no longer a metaphor, numbers are showing that the long working hours and the inability to disconnect are taking a toll on people’s mental and physical health. There has been, for instance, a 41% increase in alcohol use in the US, and both depression and anxiety are heavily knocking on people’s doors.

Another aspect is The “Great Employee Turnover” phenomenon - (Bureau of Labor, 2021), this is a result of a change in perception about happiness and satisfaction. Hence, many employees value different things now, here are some numbers:

  • 57.3% overall

  • 29% involuntary

  • 25% voluntary

These numbers are showing great distress in the workplace, especially, that 25% of people are leaving work even though there has not been downsizing within the company.

So, Scrum Master, how can these after-effects have an impact in your team?

Apply Scrum to The Problem

Marcelo Lopez, as a scrum master to his teams, opened up about how he was approaching these side effects with his team members. The first thing he shared was the importance of having working agreements. New conversations have to emerge given the new challenges we are all facing, there is no good at avoiding tough conversations, instead, be courageous and establish what works and whatnot. If you already have them, time to revisit them and verify if they still work.

Then, make it visible! “They can’t overcome what they can’t see”, don’t allow those challenges to run, hide, and destroy your team. Once you have that up, work towards a goal, focus on the positive, and use powerful questions to support the team members to be centered on what matters.

If you are interested in watching the full video and getting more out of the audience interaction in this meetup. Click here and enjoy!

Key topics:

  • Understanding the overall situation, A scrum Master BP

  • Understanding the overall situation, A scrum Master PP

  • Reality is settling in and how that affects the team.

  • Creating a working agreement

    • Make it Visible

    • Measure Twice, cut once.

    • Focus on the positive

    • Use Powerful Questions

  • Have You Been a Scrum Master to this Problem?



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