Cass Van Gelder

Cass Van Gelder

Scrum Master, CSM, CSPO, CSP-SM, CSP-PO and other awesome alphabet combinations

Theatre is where I started, learning a myriad of theatrical and improv games. I use them now to get my teams to the next level and discover what’s holding them back – individually and as a team. For instance, I created a series called “Presenting When You’d Rather Do Laundry” to help our shy developers present innovative ideas to senior management.

My favorite so far was also my most recent at Agile2017: "Drama Geek: How Pretend Ice Cream Made Me a Better ScrumMaster."

I’ve been performing since I was five, as a stage and radio performer, writer, and director. I've trained in New York at Hunter College, taking Master Classes from Ruby Dee; worked and trained at Second City in Las Vegas, studying with Jason Sudeikis ("SNL," "Horrible Bosses,") Kay Cannon (screenwriter, "Pitch Perfect" series, "New Girl",) and Joe Kelly (writer, "SNL," executive story editor, "How I Met Your Mother."); appeared in large productions in New York, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, including the North American premiere of "Jerry Springer: The Opera" at the MGM Grand.

I, also, tend to be funny. Usually.

Current sessions

Puzzle Me This! - A New Agile Game

Based on a technique refined by the Harvard School of Medicine and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), I've created a new game to help participants use a game to find the fine points.

Using art, a puzzle, and a whole lot of fun, we can help your teams create more effective and definitive stories and tasks.

Come play and piece the details together!


Scrum Crashers: The House That Agile Built

With only 90 days to go, we had 60 people descending upon us to celebrate the Fourth of July long weekend and our daughter’s Sweet Sixteen party.

Though we’d bought it almost 3 years before, the house had seen better days. The previous owners aged out of it, replacing small things on their own and large things piecemeal (all the while believing they could put any adjective in front of “engineer” and suddenly they were experts [e.g., computer engineer, electrical engineer, etc.])

Between replacing heaving HVAC units and sweating heaters (all in duplicates,) living out in the boondocks where no real contractor wanted to come, making it through two ice storms and an unhappy septic tank, we were freaking out.

We had a deadline, limited funds, and a lot of work to do. So, I pulled out my Agile Super ScrumMaster uniform and sat my family down. Within a few hours and using the tenets of Agile/Scrum, I walked them through the basics, we self-organized, and off we went.

Come learn about what we went through and how we learned we could apply Agile on a regular basis almost anywhere.

Agile…it’s not just for breakfast anymore!


The Girl Singer Syndrome: Happily and Effectively Adding Women into Your Agile Teams

Rock bands... one girl singer stands in front, alone. Her place is hard fought for. She clamored to get where she is, pushing and clawing to the front, aware of the spotlight that afforded only one person, one woman. Thus, the Girl Singer Syndrome.

Much like rock bands, a Dr. Robin Ely’s 1995 study states when women join a male-dominated board of directors, rather than compete with all the people on the board for advancement, women only compete against other women. They battle, scar, and belittle each other until there is only one standing – an example of tokenism. Like rock bands with the one girl singer, women have been encouraged to join, but then only compete amongst themselves, destroying each other and continuing the dangerous myth of difficult women to work with.

In our current climate of women-empowering events and revelations, the conversation has grown deeper about how to fold in more women. Let’s expand that conversation together to talk about how to happily fold women in - and maintain and encourage them to stay.

Help me in eradicating the Girl Singer Syndrome.

Join me as we rock the workplace and make it more enjoyable, more inclusive place to be!


Throne of Games: Creating Your Own Agile Games

Fun! Action! Play!

With the fresh outlook surrounding “play” in the workplace, exciting new games are everywhere. Trying to find an Agile games that meets your specific needs may be trying. Add a whole new level of innovation and originality by creating your own Agile games.

By creating a custom Agile game, you’ll:
• Engage teams more deeply
• Participants retain more information
• Games are tailored to what outcomes you need
• Flexibility in competiveness of participants

Here you’ll learn how to create your own effective, innovative, and engaging games for your own teams.

Join me and claim The Throne of Games!