Dana Pylayeva

Agile Coach and Founder

Agile Play Consulting, LLC

Beyond One Happy Team: Self-Selection for a Better Culture

The talent shortage is real. According to CareerBuilder research, 60% of US organizations today can’t fill their open positions in 12 weeks or more. Combined with a high turnover rate, this leads to a massive loss of profit opportunities.

How can we create a culture that attracts people and keeps them engaged, motivated, and well-jelled with their teams? And after they join, how do we build resilience into our teams and the organization? Empowering people to choose their own teams - a “self-selection” - is a great vehicle to build happiness, resilience and a better culture.

In this session I will share stories from running successful self-selection events in New York, Dublin and Chicago, and how I prepare technology teams and management for their first self-selection events. Participants will learn about the ingredients of successful self-selection and its positive effects on employee retention and company resiliency. They will leave this session with actionable steps, excited about their first self-selection experiment.



Dana is an Agile and DevOps Coach, trainer, international speaker with over 18 years of hands-on experience in software development and IT operations as well as enterprise transformation coaching. She has coached 30+ teams, trained over 2000 people and delivered workshops and lectures at 36 conferences in 15 countries.

Passionate about experiential learning, high-performing teams, psychological safety and self-selection, Dana is also an educational games designer and published author (“Introduction to DevOps with Chocolate, LEGO and Scrum Game” by Apress, “The Self-Selection Game” by LeanPub and “Fear in the Workplace” by The Game Crafter).

An enthusiastic collaborator, she builds communities, organizes conferences, and enjoys connecting with Agilists from around the world. Dana is the founder of the Big Apple Scrum Day conference in NYC, co-organizer of the NYC Scrum User Group and a Program co-chair for the Agile Alliance Agile2019 conference.