Who is Niels Verdonk?

Posted By - Niels Verdonk


One of our newest Licensed Guides is Niels Verdonk. Niels is well-known to many due to being involved in the agile world for many years but if you would like to know more about him then here’s a little informal insight into his mind.

What’s your favourite agile principle?

Has to be “Simplicity – the art of maximizing the amount of work not done”. It’s so confusing at first that it sparks great conversations in classes. But this applies to many aspects of agile. From eXtreme Programming; “You ain’t gonna need it” (YAGNI) typically applied to code, in Product Development we aim for the MVP, and I also link limiting Work in Progress (WIP) to this principle.

What’s your favourite (agile) memory?

When I attended my first Scrum Gathering in 2010 I ended up in one of the first sessions on a table with Bent Myllerup and Peter Hundermark. I soaked up some of their wisdom and I could not have foreseen what a big part they would play and are still playing in the continuation of my agile journey.

What’s your superpower?

Hah, I ask this question often in kick-offs of new teams, workshops, but when faced with this question myself I realise how hard it is to answer. I think I will go for Humour. I try to bring some lightness and laughter to the sessions I facilitate and to put people at ease.

What’s your kryptonite?

When I have a bit of a rocky start to a meeting or workshop, I can get a little self-conscious about how people perceive the workshop and start worrying if I will achieve the right outcomes for them. This is why I like to come prepared, and arrive early so I have plenty of time to make arrangements for the session.

If agile wasn’t a thing, what would you do for a career?

Probably what got me into agile…software development. I can still enjoy doing a bit of coding and techie work, although I don’t know if anyone will still pay for my coding skills 🙂

What attracted you to Agile Mastery Institute?

As a Scrum Trainer and Agile Coach I have always been convinced that a 2-day training alone is not enough. But then, just coaching without the right foundation in training is not leading to much. So the idea of offering this as a complete package was very appealing to me.

Share a photo from your phone

I sent this picture to my family WhatsApp group last night. I’m not going as far as planning my wedding with Scrum, but it seems I do adopt some agile elements in my private life.


It’s a mini whiteboard we created with all the chores around dinner time. Relative weighted, a big magnet equals 2 small ones. Works great to avoid bickering siblings complaining they always get the worst chores.

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