I Personally Care About The Retreat

Hi, my name is Markus Andrezak. The Retreat is at the heart and soul of what  I am doing. I take personal pride in two things around my company:

  1. My training Lean Product Management & Exploration, which is about teaching all I know in a two days format and creating a deep learning experience.
  2. The Retreat as an application of everything I know about Innovation, Product, Collaboration, Facilitation and much more.

I found out that what many companies miss at the core is the time, depth and distance to provide clarity and to solve deep problems. Whenever I get close enough to a company and am trusted enough to ask for the necessary time, depth and distance, I get results.

I am working in this great, fantastic industry since the mid 90s and have huge experience in the most diverse settings. I forced my way from being a developer to creating products to studying innovation, collaboration techniques, facilitation, User Research and much more.

Also, my experience in high performance sports and excursions will guarantee a balance of calmness, emotions and candor throughout The Retreat and in its preparation.

Where I come from

In 1998, when XP explained was published, I went straight after it. We tried, we failed. Agile was not yet a recipe. and I went on. Scrum came along. And then Kanban. I had the privilege learn from great people. Stefan Roock and me came up with a method to manage company portfolios based on Kanban. This had quite some influenced on the community. Ultimately. SAFe is now using it on the enterprise level.

I learned Innovation Games and facilitation from Luke Hohmann. Now, I am happy to be considered one of his collaborators. More things like customer centricity, collaboration on Design Thinking with the, User Research with Tomer Sharon are on the list.

I took great efforts to get a deep and broad education on all the things I needed to try to succeed in creating great products. Now, I’d like to make use of the format of The Retreat to create the right environment to share and make use of my knowledge and experience.

A while ago, I started my podcast Stories Connecting Dots, to huge acclaim. I interviewed people like Klaus Leopold, Jeff Patton, Dave Gray, bestselling author Michael Foley, Jan Chipchase and many more. Parts of the learnings of my podcast with these great people also contributed to The Retreat.

I’d be happy if you want to be part of one of my Retreats!

My trusted partner Tim Klein, one of  Germany’s leading product  coaches, co-host and co-initiator of the Product Retreat

Tim is a well established, experienced product coach in the Cologne area. He loves product, he loves digital and also the mountains and his skies in winter (the kite in summer). Tim and The Product Retreat are hand in glove.

He is an incredibly well known networker in the Cologne / Rhineland area based on his coaching in the B2B and B2C on all kinds of online platforms, shops and all around digital marketing. He organizes loads of meet-ups and events around agile product in Cologne, amongst those the “Lean Coffee for Product Owners”.

Where Tim comes from:

After his studies of economics he has worked 11 years as IT consultant in financial industries (esp. banking). During this time, Tim took a classical career as a project manager at the interface between IT and business.

After this, Tim was responsible for the project management department for a very successful e-commerce transaction platform in travel industry. During this time, he managed the company’s Agile Transition with the IT management team, taking over the management of the product management B2C. He became an experienced product owner and discovered his passion for agile product development.

In a large Life Science group, Tim was responsible as product owner for digital marketing projects with an external Scrum team of over one million euros, fixed price contract. He was also a member of the global Agile Core team and actively led the Group’s agile transition process.

Based on his broad e-commerce and digital knowledge and his growing expertise in agile principles and practices, he has become self-employed. Since years, he has now been accompanying his customers as a coach of product owners / product orgs or helping to manage successful agile transitions – in the context of digital product development as well as in manufacturing.

If you have questions, join my newsletter and / or contact me! I appreciate your feedback and questions!