Posted on Leave a comment

IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 2 (Monday 8 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 1)

Entry 2 of an assistant’s web-log of the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 Sursee

My son and I witness the breaking of dawn of yet another day. It is the second day in a row (O, the horror!) that we have to get up horribly early. Unless we want to skip breakfast, which is a ‘no go’ ‘no brainer’. The reason that breakfast happens, as planned and thus not completely unexpected, at the unholy time of 7am is that a light warm-up training is planned at 9am. Anyone in for a game of 5 why’s?

But, hey, we are not here* to relax in the end. We are here because my son is a player in the Belgian National Powerchair Hockey Team and is as such participating in the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 that is happening 9-14 August in Sursee, Switzerland. So far, luckily, that prospect (of playing: exciting) but also the weather (pretty hot) and the company (lovely) still make up for those horrific get-up experiences that we have been forced to go through so far.

* ‘here’ refers to the hotel Sempachersee near the…Sempachersee (where ‘See’ = lake because ‘Meer’ = sea**)

** See entry 1 of an assistant’s web-log of the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 Sursee

The light warm-up training is happening at the training location near the hotel. Allow me to add that next to a number of beautiful training halls, the area next to the hotel also includes a hospital, a research centre (the ‘Guido Zäch Institut’), a swimming pool and various other outside sports facilities for athletes with disabilities. The hotel is actually part of the the Swiss Paraplegic Center (SPZ), which thus comprises all facilities mentioned.

The training is followed by the “document control” phase. If you wonder what that is, you need to know first that next to being selected for the national world cup team (which is a decision made by the national coach based on–let’s say–‘technical’ criteria) our son/athlete (ahum, his father did all the work actually) needed to fill in (or get filled in) and share a number of documents. This included a “Medical Diagnosis Form”, a “Medical Report”, a “Therapeutic Use Exemption Application form”, the (signed) “Code of Conduct” and the “IPCH Classification Consent form”. As a reward for all that hard work we received a “Certificate of Approval for Therapeutic Use” (TUE)”, allowing our son to keep taking the medication he needs to take for his rare disorder without it being considered as illegal doping.

Now the time has come for a jury to verify (one by one) that the athletes are who they say they are and suffer from whatever it is they say they suffer from. They are visually matched against their ID which then in turn is expected to correspond to the personal information on all those uploaded (but now printed) documents and the doping exemption (TUE) following from that.

The next check concerns the powerchairs that the players use during the game.

Note that these are specific machines that are different from the powerchairs they use in daily life. Think how a F1 car differs from the cars we use to commute or to go shopping. The maximum speed of a powerchair during a game should not exceed 15 km/h. To verify that they don’t go faster (because it is a configurable parameter), the players need to drive their machine on a test rig and go full throttle while the computer registers the actual speed. Fyi. this is more scary to witness than it sounds.

After lunch, a second (light) training is planned, but this training session is happening in the real venue where the world championship is actually taking place, the Stadthalle Sursee.

First impression? Omg!

And it is more than somewhat overwhelming to go on the floor that was especially constructed for the tournament in a hall that can contain a few thousand spectators. And this is where our team is going to compete with 9 other teams from around the world: (in alphabetic order) Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.

But, more things need to be checked out. This training is followed by a more comprehensive “materials control” phase. This step holds that all materials that will be used by the players during the games need to be controlled for compliance with the official specifications. This includes the floorball sticks, the powerchairs (remember: their F1 car) and all other ‘equipment’ used while playing, even breathing or voice aids. The chairs were tested again for their speed, but this time not only the forward speed but also the speed when driving in reverse.

And then silly me couldn’t resists asking what it is that the controllers look for when checking out a floorball stick. That was the sign for them to switch from a quick visual check to a thorough, detailed check of our son’s sticks. Aaaaaargh. Some measurements of his sticks turned out to be at the limit, meaning they were barely but…at the right side of the edge. Whew!

Time for a break and some hours and the evening off. Checking in and being checked out is pretty exhausting.

I hope you will enjoy reading all about our adventure for which I envision following episodes:

  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 0: Introduction
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 1 (Sunday 7 August): Gotta go
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 2 (Monday 8 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 1) (what you are reading)
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 3 (Tuesday 9 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 2)
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 4 (Wednesday 10 August): Match day 1
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 5 (Thursday 11 August): Match day 2
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 6 (Friday 12 August): Match day 3
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 7 (Saturday 13 August): Play-offs
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 8 (Sunday 14 August): Finals
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 9 (Monday 15 August): After-day

If you want to watch any of the games, check out the IWAS YouTube channel where all will be broadcasted:

Posted on Leave a comment

IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 1 (Sunday 7 August): Gotta go

Entry 1 of an assistant’s web-log of the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 Sursee

The day started early for my son and me. Unless we wanted to miss the bus that was going to take us and the other team and staff members of the Belgian National Powerchair Hockey Team to the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022, that is happening 9-14 August in Sursee, Switzerland. Hmm, don’t think so. Don’t wanna miss this!

The first thing to do seems to be: to put to the test what one (1) bus can actually hold.

It turns out: 10 athletes, a coach, a team manager, 12 assistants, a driver, 21 powerchairs, 4 mobile lifts, one regular wheelchair, a few shower chairs and a collection of bags and suitcases. Remember: this is what fits into one (1) bus! (Given a little backpack for the bus, called a ski box, attached to the bus after taking my picture). Hmm, not bad. Imagine the teams of Canada and Australia making the trip by plane. I did hear they are renting their sports powerchairs however, which sounds like a disadvantage as players really are one with their chair (and having to drive a different chair breaks that unity).

The rest of the day mainly consists of driving, driving, driving and more…driving. In-between are a few breaks (for a breath of fresh air, leg stretching, a drink, lunch). In total, we are about 10 hours underway, which is actually less than I feared for. Luckily, no traffic jams today. Thanks, Hilaire, for taking us safely across half of Europe!

‘Switzerland’ doesn’t just mean the 2022 world cup of powerchair hockey and 4 official languages, but it also means no Euro (€) and (much worse) the end of 4G (or, at least, the end of free roaming). On the other hand, there is plenty of tunnel visions (meaning: tunnels to be viewed from the inside) as well as depths to cross. And mountains to climb. Those latter challenges however are easier to address sitting in a bus.

Around 6 pm we arrive at the hotel Sempachersee near the…Sempachersee (where ‘See’ = lake because ‘Meer’ = sea*). This is where all 10 teams from around the world will stay and train. We unpack and pack again as rooms get switched because of team members showing solidarity with each others’ needs and requirements.

* I know, I know, this does make a lot less sense in English than it does in Dutch.

However, upon our arrival we get the first bad news of the trip already: breakfast next morning is at 7am. I don’t know how that is to you, but to me that is torture, pure horror.

I hope you will enjoy reading all about our adventure for which I envision following episodes:

  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 0: Introduction
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 1 (Sunday 7 August): Gotta go (what you are reading)
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 2 (Monday 8 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 1)
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 3 (Tuesday 9 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 2)
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 4 (Wednesday 10 August): Match day 1
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 5 (Thursday 11 August): Match day 2
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 6 (Friday 12 August): Match day 3
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 7 (Saturday 13 August): Play-offs
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 8 (Sunday 14 August): Finals
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 9 (Monday 15 August): After-day

If you want to watch any of the games, check out the IWAS YouTube channel where all will be broadcasted:

Posted on Leave a comment

IWAS PCH WC 2022 Entry 0: Introduction

Entry 1 of an assistant’s web-log of the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 Sursee

In November 2007, at the age of 6 and after a disturbingly bumpy road of a few years’ searching for the (medical) cause of his physical problems, our oldest son was diagnosed with “Duchenne” (which is short for “Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy” or DMD, see Wikipedia). It was the end of our search for an explanation but not the end of the bumpy road and our pretty complicated life, certainly taking into account that his brother (2 years younger) has Down Syndrome.

Our ambition was always to avoid our sons’ disabilities to become the centre and the exclusive focus of our family life. After all, they are boys with a disability, not disabled boys (men in the meantime). It wasn’t easy, it isn’t easy and it will never be (easy). But there are moments when we realize that the fight is worthwhile.

Today, July-August 2022, at the age of 20, our son is not only studying History at the Antwerp University but he is also a member of the Belgian National Powerchair Hockey Team.

And he is participating in the world championship of his sport, the IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022, that is happening 9-14 August in Sursee, Switzerland.

However, it is not that this just happened overnight.

Our son started playing powerchair hockey in 2015. But the road to membership of the national team started only in early July 2021 when our son last-minute registered for and joined a 3-day training camp for powerchair hockey players. It was a great opportunity for him to play again, after the difficult Corona-period where all activity had been paused (keep in mind that people with neuromuscular and similar problems are a high-risk group for Covid-19, no matter their age). We had no idea but the camp was co-organized by the coach of the national team. By the end of the 3 days, she invited our son to join the training sessions that were being organized to form a team and prepare for the 2022 world cup. She added that the invitation was not a guarantee of being selected for the WC. He was asked because they spotted some good defending and positioning skills and insights in him. And, as with every sport, more is required in powerchair hockey than just blindly attacking and trying to score. Blocking opponents is even an extremely important part of the game.

In the spring of 2022 our son got the pleasant news that he was selected to be actually part of the group going to the World Cup.

I am joining my son as his personal assistent (a role I’ve already been fulfilling for several years). It means I help him dress, undress, wash and daily hygiene, eat, get in/out of bed, visit the restroom, change chairs, transportation. That is therefore my primary focus when traveling to and being with him and the team in Switzerland.

This is us at the world cup ;-)

However, next to taking care of my son, another ambition (honestly, it was a suggestion of my wife) is to report back on our stay and our journey. I figured going back to the origins of a web-log (What’s in a name, right?) and share the story of our presence at the world championship in daily reports. I want to thereby avoid too much over-thinking and re-writing. We’ll see whether that works out. Given that the wifi works out…

I think of these reports as an assistant’s web-logs of the “IWAS Powerchair Hockey World Cup 2022 Sursee”, and I plan to publish them under the heading of “IWAS PCH WC 2022 entries”, where the current blog note is “IWAS PCH WC 2022 Entry 0: Introduction”.

I hope you will enjoy reading all about our adventure for which I envision following episodes:

  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 0: Introduction (what you are reading)
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 1 (Sunday 7 August): Gotta go
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 2 (Monday 8 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 1)
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 3 (Tuesday 9 August): Checking in and being checked out (part 2)
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 4 (Wednesday 10 August): Match day 1
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 5 (Thursday 11 August): Match day 2
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 6 (Friday 12 August): Match day 3
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 7 (Saturday 13 August): Play-offs
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 8 (Sunday 14 August): Finals
  • IWAS PCH WC 2022, Entry 9 (Monday 15 August): After-day

If you want to watch any of the games, check out the IWAS YouTube channel where all will be broadcasted:

Posted on Leave a comment

The latest edition of “Scrum- A Pocket Guide” is now available in French as “Scrum – Un Guide de Poche”.

At some point (I forgot when it was exactly), Léo Davesne approached me with the suggestion to create a French translation of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”. After the publication of the updated, 3rd edition of my book in English in early 2021, Léo started the actual translation of my words with the help of François Brunea. My publisher, Van Haren Publishing, saw value in serving the French speaking Scrum communities and agreed to take care of the publication.

I am as grateful to Léo and François as I am proud to say the result is now available as “Scrum – Un Guide de Poche (Un compagnon de voyage intelligent)”.

Following are some of the more popular channels to acquire the French translation of “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”:

Following is the preface by Léo and François (in French obviously):

Nous remercions chaleureusement Gunther Verheyen pour sa confiance et son soutien dans la recherche de qualité qui nous a guidés tout au long de la traduction.
En tant que traducteurs, notre intention première a été de rendre ce livre accessible à toutes et tous. Nous avons pris le parti de varier les genres et les termes pour rendre le texte le plus inclusif et lisible possible.
Les termes anglophones du Guide Scrum ont été conservés à la demande de l’auteur. Parce que l’Agilité est l’état dans lequel on se trouve lorsqu’on est Agile, « Agile » et « Agilité » ont été utilisés comme synonymes.
Nous sommes conscients de la responsabilité que représente la traduction d’une telle œuvre. Nous nous sommes efforcés de traduire le texte dans le meilleur français possible tout en conservant le style percutant de Gunther.
Nous adressons de sincères remerciements aux relectrices et relecteurs qui ont, de par leurs retours, contribué à améliorer le texte. Merci à Christophe Gesché, Nedjma Saidani, Farouk Choulak, Sedera Randria, Guillaume Leone et Guillaume Deleplace.
Étant dans une démarche d’amélioration continue, nous sommes curieux de lire vos retours. N’hésitez pas à nous contacter pour toute remarque, suggestion ou observation.
Bonne lecture !

Léo Davesne et François Bruneau
Janvier 2022

I thank everyone who was involved in creating, reviewing or contributing in whatever way to all versions and translations of my book. When creating the first version in the spring of 2013, I could never have imagined that it would become such a long-standing work that is still judged by tons of readers as relevant so many years later. I thank especially Ivo van Haren for the opportunities he keeps giving me to express my views on Scrum.

Enjoy reading!

independent Scrum Caretaker

Posted on Leave a comment

The latest edition of “Scrum- A Pocket Guide” is now available in Portuguese as “Scrum – Um Guia de Bolso” (segunda edição).

By the beginning of 2021, the 3rd, updated edition of my book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” was published.

About a year later, Renato Barbieri approached me with the suggestion to update the Portuguese translation of the previous, 2nd edition of my book. That translation was created by Rodrigo Silva Pinto and Leonardo K. Bittencourt as “Scrum – Um Guia de Bolso“. I self-published it in 2019.

Given the amount of work that I put into that self-publishing process (yes, excellence comes at a cost), compared to the low sales figures, I wasn’t too keen on it. Yet, I said “Yes”. I believed Renato who claimed there was plenty of value in offering my updated words to Portuguese speaking friends of Scrum. So, Renato did it, with Rodrigo reviewing his updated translation.

I am as grateful to them as I am proud to say the result is now available as “Scrum – Um Guia de Bolso (Um companheiro de viagem inteligente), Segunda edição” via Amazon in a paperback and as a Kindle version.

Following is the preface by Renato (in Portuguese obviously):

“Meu primeiro contato com o mundo Ágil foi em 2002, quando trabalhava como desenvolvedor de software em uma pequena empresa em Ascot, na Inglaterra. Fazia parte de um pequeno time de desenvolvedores (a empresa inteira tinha 9 pessoas!) e todo mundo fazia um pouco de tudo. Acho que éramos multidisciplinares e auto-organizados e nem sabíamos disso! Um dos meus colegas mencionou um tal de ‘eXtreme Programming (XP)’, fiquei curioso e logo comprei um livro para aprender mais. Foi um choque. Nem vislumbrava a profundidade e o impacto que aquilo teria na indústria de software, e muito menos poderia imaginar que 20 anos depois estaria vivendo em um mundo onde a palavra ‘Ágil’ ganhou um papel tão abrangente.
Quando comecei a me aprofundar em Agilidade, inevitavelmente mergulhei nos meus estudos do Scrum, e logo me deparei com o trabalho do Gunther. Por coincidência, ele também começou a trilhar os caminhos da Agilidade através do XP, na mesma época que eu, e quem diria, estava apenas a algumas centenas de milhas de distância de mim, logo ali, atravessando o Canal da Mancha, na bela Bélgica! Uma pena que não tivemos a oportunidade de nos encontrarmos então.
“O que mais me atraiu no trabalho do Gunther foi não apenas sua análise cirúrgica, precisa do Scrum, muito além do Guia do Scrum, mas sua preocupação em mostrar que este framework, através de seus valores e pilares, endereça algo muito mais nobre e duradouro: a humanização do ambiente de trabalho. Foi então que comecei a seguir o Gunther e logo iniciamos uma colaboração que me trouxe até aqui, em ter a honra e o privilégio de traduzir essa obra tão importante — não é à toa que figura entre os poucos livros sugeridos pelo para aqueles que procuram uma certificação no framework Scrum.
Não deixe o número de páginas lhe enganar: Gunther explora com profundidade, e de maneira clara, tópicos importantíssimos para todos que tenham o interesse de ir além das poucas regras, artefatos, eventos e responsabilidades descritos no Guia do Scrum. Leia, releia, reflita e faça tudo de novo. Aprendizado é sempre melhor quando utilizamos uma abordagem iterativa e incremental.

Renato Barbieri, Fevereiro 2022

Posted on Leave a comment

De 2e druk van mijn boek “Scrum Wegwijzer” is beschikbaar

Mijn boek Scrum Wegwijzer (Een kompas voor de bewuste reiziger) is de Nederlandse vertaling van mijn Engelstalige “smart travel companion” getiteld Scrum – A Pocket Guide. De tweede druk van Scrum Wegwijzer is de langverwachte update die zorgt dat de meest recente, derde uitgave van het Engelstalige origineel nu eindelijk ook voor mijn Nederlandstalige vrienden van Scrum beschikbaar is.

Scrum Wegwijzer 2e druk nu beschikbaar! Dit is de bijgewerkte vertaling van de meest actuele versie van onze Engelse “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”, waarvan al meer dan 30.000 exemplaren werden verkocht!

Van Haren Publishing

In 2013 kreeg ik, eigenlijk bij toeval, van de Nederlandse uitgever Van Haren Publishing de kans aangeboden om een boek over Scrum te schrijven. Dat werd het Engelstalige Scrum – A Pocket Guide (A Smart Travel Companion). De eerste versie kwam op de markt in november 2013. In die eerste versie deelde ik toen al mijn visie op enkele aspecten van Scrum die later ook aan de officiële Scrum Guide werden toegevoegd. Ik denk hierbij aan mijn beschrijving van de kernwaarden van Scrum en het optioneel zijn van de drie typische vragen van de Daily Scrum.

Maar de publicatie van die eerste, Engelstalige versie betekende duidelijk niet dat ook de laatste etappe was bereikt voor mijn boek.

Enkele vertalingen volgden, waaronder de eerste Nederlandse vertaling die we de titel Scrum Wegwijzer (Een kompas voor de bewuste reiziger) gaven (2016). Maar er volgden ook enkele updates van de originele, Engelstalige uitgave: een tweede editie in 2019 en een derde in 2021. Omdat ook Scrum de laatste etappe van zijn bestaan nog verre van bereikt heeft. Omdat de wereld niet stilstaat. Omdat de behoefte aan een framework als Scrum groter is dan ooit tevoren. Omdat er aan uitdagingen geen gebrek is, ook niet voor ervaren beoefenaars van Scrum. Omdat het nu niet het moment is om te lang stil te staan bij de verwezenlijkingen van het verleden. Geen eindhalte is in zicht voor de mondiale vrienden van Scrum. Gelukkig maar.

De ontdekkingsreis van en met Scrum start noodzakelijkerwijs met kennis en inzicht in de regels van het spel genaamd “Scrum” om er vervolgens mee aan de slag te gaan. Met mijn boek wilde ik een reisgids schrijven voor degenen die nog moeten beginnen aan hun fascinerende ontdekkingsreis, maar ook voor iedereen die Scrum al toepast. Voor de eerste categorie reizigers is het een gids die ze mee aan boord nemen. Voor de laatste categorie reizigers is het een reisgids voor onderweg. Mijn boek beschrijft hoe Scrum concrete invulling geeft aan de Agile mindset (Hfdstk 1. Het Agile paradigma), wat de fundamentele spelregels van Scrum zijn (Hfdstk 2. Scrum) en hoe die regels ruimte laten voor een uitgebreid scala aan tactieken om het spel te spelen en zo invulling te geven aan de regels (Hfdstk 3. Doelgerichte tactieken). Het boek sluit af met enkele overpeinzingen betreffende de toekomst van Scrum (Hfdstk 4. De toekomst van Scrum).

Ik ben er van overtuigd dat de derde Engelstalige druk meer dan ooit de fundamentele inzichten in Scrum bevat die mensen, teams en leidinggevenden nodig hebben om hun Scrum vorm te geven en op basis daarvan hun organisaties te hervormen, los van hun specifieke domein of economische activiteit.

Vraag me niet waarom het dan toch nog zo lang geduurd heeft om mijn boek in het Nederlands, uiteindelijk nog steeds mijn moedertaal, bij te werken. Ik moet je het antwoord schuldig blijven. Ik heb van de gelegenheid wel gebruik gemaakt om de voorheen onvertaald gebleven paragraaf Combining Agile and Lean nu wel mee op te nemen als De combinatie van Agile en Lean (paragraaf 1.6).

Ik hoop dat je toch mijn vreugde deelt dat het resultaat er eindelijk is en verkrijgbaar is via de nodige reguliere kanalen:

Ik hoop dat deze tweede druk je helpt om Scrum te herontdekken of nog beter te begrijpen en onder de knie te krijgen. Moge het je helpen om betere producten te ontwikkelen, om met meer energie en werkplezier je dagelijkse uitdagingen aan te gaan en om naar een menselijkere werkplek toe te werken.

Mijn eigen reis nam een aanvang in 2003 met de ontdekking en eerste toepassing van eXtreme Programming in combinatie met Scrum. Het was het begin van een pad met de nodige hindernissen. Op mijn weg, die trouwens nog verre van ten einde is, heb ik met vele teams mogen werken aan diverse projecten in diverse domeinen voor sterk uiteenlopende klanten en gebruikers. Ik heb met kleine en grote organisaties mogen samen-werken en ik heb mensen in verschillende rollen in diverse onderdelen en lagen van organisaties mogen coachen.

Ik ben dankbaar dat ik de keuze kon maken om mijn ontdekkingsreis verder te zetten als onafhankelijk Scrum Caretaker, als iemand die behalve om Scrum ook om de mensen geeft die betrokken zijn bij de invoering en toepassing van Scrum. Ik zie Scrum niet enkel als een aanpak om betere producten en services te creëren, en dus waarde te creëren voor de consumenten en de aanbiedende organisatie. Scrum is voor mij ook een middel om de werkplek te vermenselijken, en in die zin dus waarde te creëren voor de mensen die de producten effectief bouwen. Die aspecten zijn trouwens niet alleen sterk met elkaar verbonden, maar versterken elkaar.

Het leven is in het beste geval een prachtige opeenvolging van gelukkige toevalligheden. Ik heb het voorrecht genoten om sinds 2010 in belangrijke mate in Nederland kennis en inzicht in het Scrum-proces te mogen verspreiden. En zo bevond ik me in 2011 en 2012 in het oog van een Scrum-orkaan die stormenderhand Nederland veroverde. Vanuit mijn werk daarna bij (2013-2016) kreeg ik een goed beeld van de mondiale verspreiding van Scrum. Het doet me plezier vast te stellen dat Nederland wereldwijd (!) koploper was, en vandaag nog steeds is, wat betreft de invoering van Scrum. Dankzij de vele mensen, teams en organisaties waarmee ik sinds 2010 mocht werken, is Nederland wat Scrum betreft zowat mijn professioneel thuisland geworden. En zo voelt het nog steeds. Opnieuw, vraag me niet waarom het dan toch nog zo lang geduurd heeft om mijn boek in het Nederlands bij te werken…

Ik dank het team van Van Haren Publishing, en in het bijzonder Ivo van Haren, voor het vertrouwen dat ze me schonken om dit boek te creëren en het vervolgens bij te werken. Bart Verbrugge verdient een bijzonder woord van dank voor zijn redactiewerk.

Ik kan ze verzekeren dat dat nieuwe boek over Scrum er ook nog wel een keertje komt. Een titel heb ik al…

Blijf leren,
Blijf verbeteren,

onafhankelijk Scrum Caretaker

ps. Ben je, net als ik, af en toe een beetje het noorden kwijt qua edities? Op mijn website vind je een overzicht onder de sectie Library > Books.

Posted on Leave a comment

The new Scrum Pocket Class “Scrum in the Large” is now available [SPC-XL1]

In 2021 I developed and launched an online workshop to interactively explore with the people participating The Value in the Scrum Values. Soon I found out that I had more in store than I could interact over with attendants in the half day that I had foreseen. So I limited the material to a first module and cover in it how “Values drive behavior”. The second module “Behavior reflects values” remains to be launched and will obviously build on module 1.

While looking back at my rocks moved in 2021 I was thinking about more ways to engage, collaborate and interact with friends of Scrum across the planet in 2022. I decided to create more half-day online workshops and call the series Scrum Pocket Classes (“SPC”). The idea is to create more modular learning opportunities. The series will be based on and is therefore named after my book Scrum – A Pocket Guide, of which the third edition was released in early 2021.

After updating the Dutch translation of my pocket guide for the second edition of “Scrum Wegwijzer”, I have now developed module 1 of a new SPC called Scrum in the Large. I have planned and opened up registrations for the first sessions for this module 1, called “The rules don’t change”, at a reduced price. Book your seat now »

WHY did I create this new Scrum Pocket Class called “Scrum in the Large”?

This new Scrum Pocket Class is the next step in my ambition and endless journey to help people and organizations re-think their structures around Scrum (and not the other way around). That is how to move Scrum forward: to help people, teams and leadership look beyond the rules by acting upon them and upgrading their organization accordingly. Because “Scrum is only used effectively if organizations re-think the structures around it”.

We need to move Scrum forward because we are running around in circles. And a sense of progress is missing. We are re-inventing the wheel. Over and over again. On the one hand, some keep repeating the same old dysfunctions. Others present their revelations about (aspects of) Scrum as if they are true pioneers. The underlying motivation is pretty similar. Clickbait. On the one hand, some glorify certifications as if it’s the only thing that counts. Others curse even the mere existence of certifications. The underlying motivation is pretty similar. Clickbait. On the one hand, some keep debating the nuts and bolts of the official definition of Scrum as a way to pretend they are the only ones who truly understand. Others seem to have no other purpose than to bash Scrum. The underlying motivation is pretty similar. Clickbait.

Clickbait, indeed. Because, what is the way forward that they are offering? Where are the constructive ideas and suggestions beyond the personal branding? Where is the action upon the observation, the adaptation after the inspection?

On the whole, we keep running around in circles. Back to square one (if ever we left it in the first place). What is needed is the courage to transcend our personal desire for our 15 seconds of online fame, our forming of camps and…start moving (your) Scrum downfield. If helping people and organizations is the purpose…

Moving (your) Scrum downfield starts, but doesn’t end with understanding the essentials of Scrum and get them to work (for you). In early 2020 I described the six essential traits of Scrum in v1 of my paper “Moving Your Scrum Downfield”. Download it for free. However, as said, it doesn’t stop there. Over the past years I have been introducing what else is needed to move (your) Scrum downfield: “Engagement is the key”, “Humanizing the workplace”, “Managing for value”, “Organizing for value”. Find all recordings of my talks about them on my YouTube channel.

At the heart of my views is the gradual transformation of an organization towards a networked structure of what I call Product Hubs. A Product Hub is a mini-organization acting as a start-up within the organization. It is optimally organized for a product (not for functional specializations), as ‘product’ is the vehicle to deliver value. Because such a product (or service) is managed with Scrum, in this first module of the new SPC Scrum in the Large the focus will be on “Multi-team Scrum”, and what is needed to get there. Without any additional scaling frameworks. Just…Scrum.

I do believe it is essential to cover that first before building up to (1) the inclusion of ‘other’ skills in a Product Hub and (2) the level of what I call “Multi-product Scrum”. Those are the topics I hope to be covering in the future module 2. I profoundly believe it is important to avoid the mistake of many “Lean” transformations. I described that mistake in my book as introducing management and organisational constructs and practices from what we call “Lean” without the beating heart (“Scrum”) being present in the system. In the case of “Lean”, that was actually the introduction of management practices of TPS (the Toyota Product System) through the lens of Western managers. Obviously, the future module 2 will build on this module 1.

Do you want to attend module 1 of my new Scrum Pocket Class “Scrum in the Large”?

  • Given the considerable interest in the pilot session for module 1 of the new Scrum Pocket Class “Scrum in the Large” on Thursday 17 March (1.30-5 pm CET) I added some extra seats. This session is offered at the reduced price of 200 € (the future standard price will be 300 €). Book your seat now »
  • The next session will take place on Friday 22 April (1.30-5 pm CET). After offering subscribers to my (irregular) news updates a head start, the session is now also publicly available at the reduced price of 250 € (the future standard price will be 300 €). Book your seat now »
Posted on 1 Comment

Rocks moved (small or big) in 2021 (besides other accomplishments)

Life isn’t about finding yourself.
Life is about creating yourself.

What have I been up to in 2021?

Next to spending time on running my one-person company Ullizee-Inc (always more time than expected and hoped for), I feel gratified for having facilitated the learning process of 300+ people in various courses and workshops. In 25+ speaking engagements I have tried to share ideas and observations regarding different aspects of Scrum (check out my YouTube channel for recorded sessions).

Besides those ‘regular’ activities at least a few rocks got moved (small or big):

  • Creating a dedicated website for my Scrum Glossary (with translations in 25 languages);
  • Creating a dedicated website for the Scrum Values (with translations in 25 languages);
  • Publication of the 3rd edition of my bookScrum – A Pocket Guide“;
  • Creating and facilitating various sessions of my new workshop “The value in the Scrum Values”;
  • Creating and distributing a “Certificate of Gratitude” to all people having attended my courses or workshops in 2021.

Overall and despite these accomplishments, it’s been a more than challenging year as an independent Scrum Caretaker. Yet, I look forward to 2022 and uncovering more and more diverse ways to humanize the workplace with Scrum. It is my North Star, my infinite game. What is yours?

With love

Posted on 1 Comment

Zijn jongeren met een chronische aandoening alsnog in de vaccinatievergeetput geduwd?


Op 28 december 2020 hebben wij onze persoonlijke bezorgdheid omtrent de vaccinatie van jongeren met een chronische aandoening online kenbaar gemaakt en via mail verstuurd aan Alexander De Croo, Frank Vandenbroucke, Erika Vlieghe, Steven Van Gucht, Marc Van Ranst, Pierre Van Damme, Herman Goossens en Hans-Willem Snoeck.

Vandaag, 13 mei 2021, zagen we ons verplicht onderstaand bericht te sturen, in opvolging van ons eerder bericht en op basis van een aantal verontrustende vaststellingen. Daarbij voegden we Jan De Maeseneer aan de communicatie toe.


“Meer dan vier maanden zijn intussen verstreken nadat we u onze individuele, oprechte ongerustheid overmaakten met betrekking tot de vaccinatie van jongeren met een chronische aandoening.

Professor Snoeck antwoordde onmiddellijk. De professoren Vlieghe (empathisch) en Van Damme (eerder afstandelijk) deden dat na een kleine herinnering van onzentwege een week later. De overige aangeschreven betrokkenen hielden zich stil. Vanuit de politiek kregen we twee weken later (!) een onpersoonlijk, geautomatiseerd antwoord via mail. Wij ontvingen op onze beide mails zelfs woordelijk hetzelfde antwoord (en inderdaad, telkens twee weken later). Een inhoudelijk antwoord kwam nooit. En dan hadden we alleen mensen aangeschreven waarvan wij meenden dat ze onderdeel zijn van de oplossing (en niet van het probleem). Dokter De Maeseneer heb ik nu aan de communicatie toegevoegd, omdat professor Van Damme aangaf ons bericht naar hem te hebben geforward.

[Update voor de aandachtige lezer: het onpersoonlijke, geautomatiseerde antwoord van een van beide politieke kabinetten komt nu onmiddellijk in plaats van twee weken later. Dat heet vooruitgang, niet?]

Onze case zit allicht ver weg in uw geheugen, maar wat wij vreesden, is bewaarheid geworden: jongeren met een chronische aandoening zijn alsnog in de vaccinatievergeetput geduwd.

Sta me toe dit te kaderen.

Ik ben zelf 51 jaar en heb geen risicoprofiel. Maar ik kreeg al wel een eerste prik (want weigeren of doorgeven bleken geen opties). Ik verneem vandaag in de pers (naar aanleiding van de vaccinatie van Tom Waes, zie oa. De Morgen) dat dat om privacy-redenen is. En het lijkt erop dat dit in alle ernst wordt gezegd.

Ondertussen heeft onze bloedeigen zoon (19 jaar), die WEL een risicopersoon is door zijn progressieve spieraandoening (en ook als dusdanig erkend is en op de befaamde lijst met risicopersonen staat via het ziekenfonds en de huisarts), zelfs nog geen uitnodiging gekregen. Laat staan dat hij uitzicht heeft op volledige vaccinatie. En als ik in de belangenverenigingen van deze personen mijn oor te luisteren leg, is hij bepaald niet de enige.

Tot onze verbazing kreeg onze tweede zoon (17 jaar), die ook op de risicolijst staat als persoon met Down, onlangs wel zijn eerste vaccinatie. Toen wij op zoek gingen naar de reden waarom de jongere zoon zijn vaccin wel kreeg en onze (oudere) zoon (met een erger risico) nog niet, bleek dat talloze anderen in de leeftijdscategorie 16-18 jaar plots voorrang hadden gekregen via hun behandelende ziekenhuizen. Dat traject (via zijn behandelend ziekenhuis) bleek dan weer niet te kunnen voor onze oudste zoon (wegens: 19 jaar). Hij moet via het vaccinatiecentrum en dus lijdzaam wachten op zijn uitnodiging. Kafka, iemand?

En het lijkt er sterk op dat het niet de laatste groep is waarvoor de vaccinatievolgorde en -prioriteiten stilzwijgend veranderd worden.

Ondertussen zien we versoepeling na versoepeling aangekondigd, maar houden wij ons gezin na 14 maanden nog steeds zo geïsoleerd mogelijk en in een quasi-lockdown. Eigenlijk hebben wij sinds vrijdag 13 maart 2020 niet veel meer dan essentiële verplaatsingen gedaan. En volgt onze zoon zijn cursussen aan de universiteit via de computer, ook diegene die hij in principe op de campus zou kunnen volgen.

En dan lezen we dat de vaccinatiecampagne goed volgens de prioriteiten verloopt. Zoals ze al een tijdlang zeggen dat de campagne nu echt wel op kruissnelheid komt. Hoeveel opeenvolgende weken kan je dat zeggen zonder te moeten toegeven dat het x weken eerder dus eigenlijk een leugen was?

Begrijpe wie begrijpen kan. Marketing en mooie praatjes zijn het in onze ogen, ja.

Beleid is beleid, en dat is aan politici. Dat verzekeren de betrokken wetenschappers ons keer op keer. Waar blijft dan de oprechte en eerlijke informatie van wetenschappers, zeker als ze ook artsen zijn, wars van wat de politiek met hun adviezen doet? Wat betekent dit op vlak van individuele, menselijke èn professionele integriteit?

Warme (maar ook wat cynische) groet
Gunther Verheyen en familie”

Ons origineel bericht vind je terug als “Zijn jongeren met een chronische aandoening een vergeten doelgroep in de vaccinatiestrategie?“.