Gunther Verheyen

Independent Scrum Caretaker on a journey of humanizing the workplace with Scrum




Gunther Verheyen calls himself an independent Scrum Caretaker on a journey of humanizing the workplace with Scrum. He is a long-time Scrum practitioner who started applying Scrum in 2003. He has published two acclaimed books about Scrum and was the partner of Ken Schwaber (co-creator of Scrum) as Director of the “Professional Scrum” series at Scrum.org.

Gunther ventured into IT and software development after graduating as Engineer in Electronics in 1992. His Agile adventures started with eXtreme Programming wrapped in Scrum in 2003. Until 2010 he gained experience with Scrum with various teams in various organizations and diverse domains. He then became the inspiring force behind some large-scale enterprise transformations. In 2011 he also acquired his license as a Professional Scrum Trainer for Scrum.org.

Gunther left consulting in 2013 to establish Ullizee-Inc and partner exclusively with Ken Schwaber, co-creator of Scrum. He managed the “Professional Scrum” series of Scrum.org and shepherded its global network of Professional Scrum Trainers. He co-created Agility Path, EBM (Evidence-Based Management) and the Nexus framework for Scaled Professional Scrum.

Since 2016 Gunther is continuing his journey to humanize the workplace with Scrum as an independent Scrum Caretaker; a connector, teacher, writer, speaker. He helps organizations re-imagine their Scrum and the organization around it to create a more humane and thereby more productive workplace.

Gunther created his book Scrum – A Pocket Guide in 2013, with a 2nd edition published in 2019 and a 3rd edition in 2021. In 2020 he published 97 Things Every Scrum Practitioner Should Know; a collection of essays from field experts across the world. Several translations of his work are available.

When not traveling for Scrum and humanizing the workplace, Gunther lives and works in Antwerp (Belgium). 

Speech Abstract :

Gunther Verheyen, independent Scrum Caretaker, has 2 decades of experience with Scrum. He is pleased to observe how Scrum is adopted widely and massively, around the world. Although a lot has been have achieved, Gunther feels that Scrum itself has ended up in a status-quo anyhow. Scrum is all too often still embedded within existing, traditional organizational structures that limit the agility and value delivery achievable through Scrum.Gunther believes that Scrum is more needed than ever, but that to maintain its relevance, hard work is required to start moving Scrum further downfield and avoid being paralysed in the status quo. The overarching goal is to help and inspire our organizations to shift from the industrial (Taylorist) ways to the Agile paradigm, with Scrum as the OS of that change. In organizations having their roots in the industrial paradigm, this inevitably implies re-emerging the structures around Scrum.Building on his 20 years of experience and observations, Gunther shares his view on how to move (your) Scrum downfield. Gunther shares how to re-vers-ify your organization, thereby restoring harmony and optimizing for value, upon re-imagining your Scrum. Gunther’s appeal is to start moving our individual Scrum adoptions downfield as THE bottom-up way to move Scrum itself downfield.