Throughout my many roles I have been fortunate to work with many people. Some found our collaboration impactful. I am humbled they are willing to share their testimonials here:
When I was preparing for my third attempt on the PSM III assessment, I decided that I had read enough books and blogs and it was time to meet and talk to more experienced people. That was how I met Gunther. When I saw that he was organising a “Scrum Caretakers” meetup in Amsterdam, in November 2017, I decided to go there especially to talk to him. The idea I had about a person caring about people and Scrum was confirmed at the first talk. He offered his genuine help and assistance in preparing for the PSM III assessment with some helpful insights.
Since then, Gunther has helped and taught me in several ways: partnering on customer assignments, giving talks, sharing tools and advices, showing how to be a true Servant Leader… or simply said: being an example and inspiring me on my Scrum journey.
Honestly, I couldn’t have imagined all these valuable forms of collaboration that followed our first meeting.
Meeting (and working with) Gunther had two major impacts in my professional life: I now know that likeminded people exist and that values are as important in business as in private life. This is reflected now in the confidence and conviction I have in sharing my words.
Visiting Gunther’s training in 2016 really had a broad impact in my life. Not only did it give me the opportunity to continue my journey towards PST, which was and is really important for me and gives me a lot of satisfaction in my professional life. It also made me (re-)think and reconsider so many aspects of the world of work we take as given, but are not really humane. It was Gunther’s message as Scrum trainer, but also the way he delivered it: In such a calm and laid-back way, not stressed in any way; while also being so focused on the points he wanted to make and attentive to the words he used for it. Still now it motivates and inspires me to chose my words wisely. Gunther’s class on those rainy two days of October 2016 made, and keep making, a difference to me.
After 10 years of using Scrum and achieving the PSM III certification, I read Gunther’s book, “Scrum – A Pocket Guide”, and found it to be an awesome complementary guide to the Scrum Guide. When I discovered Gunther was facilitating a meetup in Paris, I quickly signed up and was so happy to meet him in person. We had a short very inspiring talk about spreading a good understanding of Scrum.
And this conversation became a pivotal moment. I decided to undertake my next big challenge. I applied to become a Professional Scrum Trainer with Scrum.org as a way to help promote Scrum.
A year later I met Gunther again, at a “Scrum Caretakers” meetup in Paris. It feels like a good next step in our collaboration.
Thank you, Gunther, for the spark you lighted in my mind !
Professional Scrum Trainer, Caisse des Dépots et Consignations
June 8, 2019 (Paris, France)
There are very few with Gunther’s humility, yet gifted with the ability to influence others in such a dynamic and positive, human way. I personally have benefitted from his enlightening teaching and I have seen the wonderful outcomes manifested in those that I have subsequently taught as a result. Thank you, Gunther!
I met Gunther over 5 years ago and I remember being calmed and reassured in his thoughtful presence. Over the years, I have made a special effort to connect with him as I watched him inspire crowds with his common sense approach to change and Scrum. Gunther has the ability to champion all aspects of Scrum – the technical and the human sides of Agile. He is a model of the Scrum Values and I can’t help being motivated and inspired after speaking to him.
We have a special relationship given our common support of a dear friend, Shirley Santiago. Gunther – thank you for helping me stand firm in my beliefs.
I will continue to cherish our times together and the comfort that it provides with your wisdom. I believe the world is a better place with you in it!
Gunther taught me more about Scrum than I expected to learn after close to ten years of working with the framework. I signed up for one of Gunther’s classes to help me become a Professional Scrum Trainer, and it literally blew my mind! It also helped me become a much better trainer by inviting me to go back to first principles and to invite others to do so as well. Gunther’s impact on a class — or a group of seasoned executives for that matter — is amazing. I attribute this to his calm and firm style of engaging in conversation, coupled with a deep knowledge and understanding of Scrum.
Gunther, I was reading through some old stuff and I wanted to say thanks. Thanks for believing in me, guiding me through and helping me becoming part of Scrum.org and giving me a key to impact the world though Scrum. It really changed my life.
Professional Scrum Trainer, jeronimopalacios.com
June 1, 2018 (Madrid, Spain – Berlin, Germany)
I met Gunther in June 2016 when our entire organization was going through difficult situations and required a fresh re-start. Gunther helped me to introduce Agile to the organization and more importantly to get the entire management team on board and fully support it. Thanks to Gunther’s experience we managed to roll it out and run all projects in Scrum. Thank you very much, Gunther.
My belief is that we don’t meet people by accident. They’re meant to cross our path.
I met Gunther in September 2015 in Stuttgart, Germany at a Professional Scrum Master Train-the-Trainer event. His deep understanding of Scrum is both fascinating and inspiring. When we wrapped up the event, he asked me to reflect on what kind of teacher I wanted to be. He continued to be my mentor in my journey as a trainer candidate. He taught me how to look for the intrinsic qualities of being a Professional Scrum Trainer and how we can help others in applying Scrum.
When I was going through the peer review process, he was there, checking with me from time to time, giving me the mental support that I needed. He scheduled mentoring sessions with me as I went through the process. He set a good example on how to become not only a trainer but also a mentor, not expecting anything in return. His humility and servant-leadership are exemplary. I am a better person because of him.
Gunther stands firm on Scrum. I personally recommend his book Scrum – A Pocket Guide and his blogs for those who want to learn and deepen their Scrum knowledge.
How he influenced my life, how I am as a trainer and how I mentor other people myself, it all reflects what Gunther showed me. Indeed, to call him my teacher is a great honor. I will always be grateful, and I will pay it forward.
Thanks much for sharing your ideas Gunther. I was in the scrum the sequel for the first time, but feel really inspired by your ideas on agility and complexity and simplicity versus simplistic approaches. I did not raise my hand to that ‘we need agile more than ever’ but I definitely should have, as this is obvious.
I met Gunther for the first time at a Scrum.org trainer event in Amsterdam in March 2013. Since then, I have had the opportunity to work, learn and be inspired through him a number of times. He has an amazing and profound understanding of Scrum and a great philosophical approach to the essence of Scrum. Gunther has also been a keynote speaker at ScrumDay.dk for the last 3 years and I sincerely hope he will return for future events in Denmark.
Gunther is a truly prominent person in the global Scrum community.
Mads Troels Hansen
Lean-Agile Thinking ApS, ProfessionalScrum.dk
Professional Scrum Trainer & Agile Coach
June 2, 2016 (Denmark)
Gunther was my trainer when I applied to become a Professional Scrum Trainer for the Professional Scrum Master course. Beyond being just a class that was a requirement to become a trainer, his class started the biggest personal change in my professional life. I learned to let go (over being very directive) and become a servant leader and true Scrum Master, which to date is an on-going and never-ending journey.Gunther’s relaxed way of teaching turned out highly effective. His honest interest in people and his outstanding coaching and mentoring skills have helped me over these past years to grow as a trainer and become better at being a coach myself. I often struggled with his unwillingness to provide straight-forward answers but in the end I started appreciating it very much. It forces me to find the right answer myself. Again and again.Gunther, thank you very much for your support in the last years! I am always looking forward to seeing you on our Scrum.org Face2Face event, on conferences or when you are in town.
Independent Agile Coach and Trainer
May 24, 2016 (Germany)
I thought I knew all about Scrum until I attended Gunther’s PSM course.After that it took me some time to digest the feedback I received and it changed my view on Scrum completely.
May 8, 2016 (Germany)
Gunther cares and thinks deeply about Scrum – not just its practices but its philosophy, purpose and meaning. He understands it like few I know and is someone I look to as a leader in the global Scrum community.
Auckland General Manager at Assurity Consulting Ltd
Professional Scrum Trainer
May 12, 2016 (New Zealand)
At Scrum.org, the Professional Scrum community is rigorous about understanding and spreading the pillars and values of Scrum. Gunther truly embodies them; a true servant-teacher.Gunther and I worked together to develop and guide new programs, products, and people when he led the Professional Scrum series at Scrum.org. He has a transparent, simple, and high impact style, evident in his book, “Scrum – A Pocket Guide,” a book I recommend to anyone starting or revisiting Scrum. His messaging translates well from classrooms to boardrooms, because it comes from a sincere and experienced space. He quickly cuts through the noise, to help you on your path; a true servant-leader to our community.
New Program Development
May 19, 2016 (Boston, US)
Gunther, I just wanted to publicly say thank you for your service at the Scrum.org HQ. I have noticed a big difference since you began there, and during your tenure. Your presence on questions of Scrum understanding and cannon is second only to the creators of Scrum, in my view. Your steadfast thought leadership, combined with your ability to calmly and steadfastly “servant lead by example” has been outstanding, and I personally have had a really hard time finding a better example than you in this regard. It has been my privilege to watch you in action. It has also been my privilege to benefit from your coaching over the years.
I can assure you, your service to our community was outstanding, and much appreciated.
It is my understanding that you will still be involved in the PST community and Scrum-land. I sincerely hope so! Please do not be a stranger, and continue to guide us as you have time available to do so.
Enterprise Agile Coach, http://agilesoftwaretraining.com
May 10, 2016 (Denver, US)
I was blessed with the opportunity of being Gunther’s teammate at Scrum.org. Gunther lives and breathes Scrum. He thoroughly embodies the Scrum mindset and genuinely exemplifies the Scrum values of courage, focus, commitment, openness and respect. He possesses an exceptionally in-depth understanding of Scrum, as well as a unique talent for imparting his Scrum wisdom to others. Gunther is a natural born teacher, mentor, caretaker and nurturer.
Gunther is truly a gift. If you’re seeking to gain an intimate understanding of Scrum and how to leverage its benefits, I hugely recommend reading Gunther’s blogs and publications, engaging Scrum events Gunther will be speaking at, and attending one of Gunther’s Professional Scrum classes.
Scrum.org Operations Manager
May 6, 2016 (Boston, US)
I have known and worked with Gunther for over 2 years as part of the Scrum.org community. Gunther carries a deep knowledge and experience on Scrum – the way it’s actually supposed to be practiced in organizations. As a Director at Scrum.org, he was the evangelist in creating a solid training curriculum. He was the person who trained me when I aspired to become a Professional Scrum Trainer.His book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide” lays down a solid foundation for any organization that wants to be Agile through the Scrum framework. He is also an avid blogger and an excellent coach and a trainer who naturally trains from the back of the room. I really admire his humility and his willingness to help. I wish him the very best in his future assignments and I eagerly look forward to collaborating with him again.
CEO of Practice Agile
Professional Scrum Trainer & Agile Coach
May 3, 2016 (India)
I have experienced Gunther at a PST candidate training and found out there was still much to learn and unlearn from him about Scrum and a whole industry, even for an experienced Scrum Practitioner. When you sign up for a class, don’t expect to be told how to do it right. You will even understand after the class why this is the wrong expectation.
What you can expect is a whole bunch of opportunities to open your eyes, to learn and unlearn, and to choose between the red and the blue pill. If you take the red pill and return to your workplace, it seems as if you had walked by with one eye closed the last years. You start to put things into question that are not put into question usually. Taking these opportunities to improve will open the doors to better results via better Scrum.
Head of IT-Consulting at PRODYNA
Professional Scrum Expert
May 4, 2016 (Germany)
Among the huge mass of Scrum evangelists (many of them being nothing but pests who damage the software development profession) it’s really hard to spot people who shine. Whose understanding of Scrum is deep enough to see beyond and above the mechanics of Scrum and mumbo-jumbo “agile” practices. Gunther’s one of these very few men. Talking to him, you feel he fights for the right cause and for nothing else. Gunther’s writings on software professionalism, self-organization, Scrum’s values and core principles are a continual source inspiration to me and many of my colleagues and disciples. Agile to the bone. Happy to have him as a colleague and a friend.
Tomek Włodarek [http://www.poddrzewem.pl/wprowadzenie/o-mnie]. Organizational rebel. Rule-bender. Rule-breaker. Professional Scrum trainer (PST) affiliated with Scrum.org.
May 4, 2016 (Poland)
Gunther’s knowledge of agile, and Scrum in particular, is deep. He has gone far beyond where most coaches and Scrum practitioners tread. As Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum, said in regard to Gunther’s book “Scrum – A Pocket Guide“, ‘Best description of Scrum currently available’. It’s a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly concur.But Gunther isn’t just a teacher. He practices what he teaches and, as a coach acting on the Agile mind-set, is a gentle soul with a will of steel. His natural tendency is to help people find answers for themselves. Not because it’s trendy, but because he believes that this is the best way to teach, mentor, and guide.He’s a hugely experienced scrum practitioner who has much empathy for the people he works with. He’s a team player. He’s equally happy presenting to the CxO suite as he is working at the Scrum Team level. If you need someone to help you with anything agile, especially Scrum, choosing Gunther is a very wise decision indeed.
Professional Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach
May 4, 2016 (UK)
The first time I met Gunther was when I attended his Product Owner training a few years ago. The second time was at a Professional Scrum Master train-the-trainer class last year, 2015. In the mean time he was always there in many ways to respond to mails, to help me connect with Agile community members, to help out when we were looking for other coaches for our customers. And I found out that he was somehow keeping an eye on me (twitter, linkedin etc).
When I started working as a Scrum Master I was pretty much convinced that we as a community should try to apply scrum in non-IT disciplines and organizations and I tried to convince Gunther to do so together. He said “no”. He said there is still so much to do for the software development craftsmanship and he doesn’t feel knowledgeable enough in other industries. Having guided many software teams in the mean time, and understanding much more about software development, I got to understand his motives.
Recently, thanks to attending Gunther’s PSM class, I experienced for the first time the true power of self-steering teams: 4 Scrum Teams just came into existence without the help of coaches, management or project management. What a joy.
I learned to step back, let the people themselves do the work and help them find their own path. I had to unlearn a lot of old command and control thinking and let inspect and adapt do their work.
Gunther “lives and breathes” Agile: he facilitates people’s (un-)learning experience, helps us discover our own paths and only now and then intervenes with high impact. I (un-)learned a lot from him.
My testimonial is about Gunther being a coach/beacon to me as a Scrum Master, even though we never explicitly agreed to do so.
Agile Transition Coach
May 5, 2016 (Netherlands)
Ik heb Gunther leren kennen toen hij bij Capgemini de Agile/Scrum thought leader was. Gunther was voor mij de trainer en helper om Scrum bij mijn projecten te gebruiken. Zo heb ik hem leren kennen en leren waarderen. Gunther is een bijzonder persoon, zowel innerlijk als uiterlijk. Hij is iemand die Scrum denkt, ademt en leeft. Hij toont minder de uiterlijke passie, maar heeft veel innerlijke kracht en drive.
Hij kan zal altijd bedachtzaam antwoorden (niet direct) maar in handelen en uitleggen is hij zeker inspirerend. Hij kan in een organisatie Scrum introduceren en laten landen. Hij zal mensen helpen om de weg te gaan. Je moet hem even leren kennen om beter te begrijpen wat hem drijft en wat hij in een organisatie kan bereiken. Hij is een goede en erkende trainer. Zijn presentaties over Scrum bij diverse events en over Nexus zijn heel erg plezierig om naar te luisteren en zeer waardevol. En velen zijn met mij enthousiast om een presentatie bij te wonen. Hij weet daarin altijd heel goed de kern van een verhaal te vertellen en omdat het
Hij kan zich heel goed inleven in het product of proces van de klant. Hij heeft een bewezen trackrecord van resultaten met Scrum, kan bij de opstart (of doorstart) helpen door zelf mee te werken; is heel constructief in het inrichten van een backlog, het vinden van business value en het schatten daarvan, releaseplanning ondersteunen en uiteraard het Scrum proces of Nexus proces inrichten. Hij weet veel over de verschillende aspecten van Scrum en het realiseren van een product. Hij heeft veel ervaring en kan veel praktische hulpmiddelen en tips geven die direct toepasbaar zijn. Hij kan ook op een simpele manier duidelijk maken wat er veranderen moet om echt agile te werken.
Zoek je iemand die Agile denkt, Scrum ademt en alle facetten daarvan beheerst, dan is Gunther de juiste persoon.
Scrum Master / Scrum Coach
May 13, 2016 (France/Netherlands)