There is much we can leave behind. There is much we need more of, by needing less. Artefacts in my home office remind me of essential ingredients.
Wisdom. Health (also: sanity). Poetry (broadly: words, music, writings). Love. And coffee.
Over time I have come to realise that the main inner purpose driving me is to make a difference. To people (not minding orgs and structures). Aspiring to inspire with integrity and dignity (not minding careers and demigods). Scrum.
It’s been my path so far. The human trail I left behind is my testimony. And Scrum, seriously. The journey into the unknown futures will continually define who I am, some identity. A path to be discovered.
Nothing of this would be possible without my family; without the love of my life (Atelier Ullizee) and our kids.
What is most essential in your life? What is your ‘why’? Remind yourself what is important to you. Live by it. Live toward it.
March 2013, Amsterdam. Ken Schwaber and I semi-simultaneously express the thought that there is likely more value in us engaging in a close partnership. We already have a pretty intense collaboration at the time. I decide to leave consulting, a well-known environment that I have been in for twelve years. I take some time off, do a couple of Professional Scrum classes, and lay the foundation for my book „Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A smart travel companion)“.
June 1 2013, Boston-Antwerp. I embark on this somewhat unexpected journey of working at the home of Scrum, Scrum.org.
Over these past two years a three-fold pattern of activities emerged being part of the Scrum.org team:
Shepherding the Professional series. Developing and sustaining Professional Scrum assessments and courseware, training trainers, working with the global community of Professional Scrum experts and within the small-ish, creative organization of Scrum.org.
Representing Ken and Scrum.org in Europe. Visiting partners and friends of Scrum.org, and taking up speaking and learning engagements.
Teaming up with Ken. Engaging in all sorts of interesting development activities, with the most important thread probably being the road from Agility Path to Scaled Professional Scrum and the Nexus.
Not working for a traditional enterprise turned out such a relief, the end of thinking and acting in terms of money and commercial motives only. No hour-based work, no office hours, working (mainly) from my home office, no timesheets. Instead mission-driven efforts, autonomy and valuable goals. Money is obviously important, up to the level of being able to pay our people a decent salary and to invest in the community. Beyond that however our goal is to support people, teams, organisations, with resources for assessment, improvement, maturing Scrum, growing professionalism, improving the profession of software development. It is not the most common model for a business, but it is what we do.
The two years at Scrum.org have shown me that there IS an alternative to the traditional way to run a business, an alternative that is financially viable, yet doesn’t revolve exclusively around financials.
Over these two years I’ve maintained mental stability, remained sane. No different than in every other environment I’ve worked in before, I’ve had my crises, my identity doubts, my ups and downs. I’ve come to terms with aspects of me that used to confuse me in the past, often in my past positions as Scrum Master. I’ve come to terms with blending in and still not fitting in. The best and most fascinating relationships are developed by not fitting in. It took me years to accept that, let alone exploit that. It’s a solid basis to continue my journey, my remarkable cobblestone path.
I wish you all the best. I thank you for all the inspiration. I am proud to be able to continue serving many Scrum professionals around the globe.
2014 has been, in many regards, a fascinating and surprising year. Part of it is reflected on my blog, the part that says how important Scrum has become in my life. The majority of my blog notes are about Scrum. It also is an indication that my writing energy was spent on this, and not on the many personal topics and interests that I also wanted to blog about. Life is hard, life is full of choices.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for my blog. If you’re into statistics, enjoy it.
Best wishes for 2015
Warm regards Gunther
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 26,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 10 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
Scrum is a framework for Agile software development. Let’s have a look at the origins of the term ‘Scrum’. And, as a result, understand that it is not an acronym.
The term ‘Scrum’ was first used by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka in their ground-breaking 1986 paper “The New New Product Development Game“. They borrowed the name from the game of rugby to stress the importance of teams in complex product development. This was about complex product development in general, not only software products. Their research showed that outstanding performance is achieved when teams are small and self-organizing units of people and when such teams are fed with objectives, not with executable tasks. Teams can only achieve greatness when given room to devise their own tactics to best head towards the shared objectives. The well-known agile development method inherited its name ‘Scrum’ from this paper as it thrives on the same principles for developing and sustaining complex software products.
The Japanese authors of the paper consider the concept that they named ‘Scrum’ as the necessary core of any system that pretends to be Lean. But they never use the term ‘Lean’ as such because it has become synonymous to an outside interpretation and copy of the management practices of the Toyota Production System. These management practices are not the core of the system. That core was named ‘Scrum’ by the authors. The management practices should be complementary to it. There can’t be Lean if the heart of it, Scrum, is overlooked, which in general is the case. The authors therefore prefer to stress the need for the heart and soul of the system and take away the sole focus on the surrounding management practices. They never talk of Lean, but always speak about Scrum.
As Scrum is no acronym, there is no reason to write “SCRUM”.
Note: this was due to the sad event of the shooting at the opening of the latest Batman movie, which ended up in lots of search requests pointing to my blog note. My blog note referred to a great comic on Batman, in which Batman is restored as the greatest detective on the planet in solving the murders by a killer, killing on holidays only.
I turned 18 in ’88. Looking like this picture (taken by the end of ’87).
I remember the times. On the verge of moving on to university. Still friends. Romantic with a flower power girl. Pretending to be young. A huge fan of bands like Virgin Prunes and Bauhaus. Nothing what it seems.
Last week was the yearly day (in Belgium) to celebrate fathers, for being a… father. As I am one my family gave me the most beautiful present possible, a picture of our united children. Big thanks to my wife and our gang. They saved my life (in helping me overcome my own broken childhood), they ARE my life.
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for my blog.
In 2011, I created 41 new posts, growing the total archive to 294 posts. 104 Pictures were uploaded; that’s about 2 pictures per week. The busiest day of the year was January 31st with 259 views. The most popular post that day was Brief aan mijn psycholoog (levensbeschouwing).
These are the top 5 posts that got the most views in 2011:
I recently received a notification by WordPress where this (my) Ullizee blog is hosted saying that the snow is coming to my blog and is staying until the 4th of January. So I activated the little miracle for you, dear reader. You can now witness the snow falling over my nonsense words. Hitting the earth hard, dragging my words to be driven… like the snow. The illusion of Ulysses by the sea.