Martin Günther

Martin Günther

IT Consultant - Software Architect and Liberating Structures Enthusiast

IT Berater - Softwarearchitekt und Liberating Structures Enthusiast

Hamburg, Germany


Martin has been consulting and supporting companies in the implementation of their software projects as a software architect and agile coach for many years. He always has the big picture in mind, looking for the boundaries that naturally divide the domain into conceptual units in order to build robust and efficient systems from these parts. Additionally, his profound experience in facilitating workshops helps him to accompany groups in their process of gaining insights and decision-making and to enable all team members to interact in an appreciative and effective manner.

Martin berät und unterstützt seit vielen Jahren Unternehmen bei der Umsetzung ihrer Softwareprojekte als Softwarearchitekt und Agiler Coach. Dabei hat er immer das große Ganze im Blick und sucht nach den Grenzen, die die Domäne auf natürliche Weise in konzeptionelle Einheiten unterteilen, um aus diesen Teilen robuste und effiziente Systeme zu bauen. Darüber hinaus hilft ihm seine profunde Erfahrung in der Moderation von Workshops, Gruppen in ihrem Erkenntnis- und Entscheidungsprozess zu begleiten und allen Teammitgliedern einen wertschätzenden und effektiven Umgang zu ermöglichen.

Area of Expertise

  • Information & Communications Technology


  • Software Architecture
  • Software Development
  • Agile Coaching
  • Liberating Structures
  • Domain-Driven Design

Knowledge Crunching and Psychological Safety - from myth to evidence-based practices

Do you know the situation of having an urgent question in a meeting in order to be able to follow the rest of the meeting well, but not daring to ask it? Have you ever held back information in a conversation because you were not one hundred percent sure of its relevance or accuracy? Perhaps you have also experienced a reverse situation in which you expressed your opinion and afterwards you realized that it was simply accepted, although you would have liked to have had a critical reflection yourself?

In case you answered one of these questions with yes, be assured that this not uncommon. However, it may take away an opportunity to learn together and create clarity. Speaking of Domain-Driven Design, this especially applies to Knowledge crunching, the collaborative gathering and discovery of all relevant influencing factors in order to build a useful model. Knowledge crunching is an essential starting point and continuously guiding part of Domain-Driven Design throughout the whole process. In order to be successful to collect the relevant insights, all participants have to feel safe and need to have the opportunity to contribute their knowledge and experience. Which leads us to the topic of psychological safety.

With the release of the famous New York Times article „What Google Learned From Its Quest to Build the Perfect Team“ it is widely known that psychological safety is a valuable aspect in team collaboration with major effects on team performance. Since then, psychological safety has become a hyped topic and is often sold as a panacea (universal cure) for "underperforming" teams. Despite existing scientific knowledge about how psychological safety functions and how it is created, people started to use own interpretations and tried to create it by fighting symptoms rather than implementing meaningful changes. This lead to many misunderstandings, myths surrounding psychological safety and, as a result, the topic is often seen as ineffective at best or, at worst, even as a harmful promotion of a performance-averse feel-good oasis.

In order to be successful as a practitioner of Domain-Driven Design when working with socio-technical systems, you will have to deal with psychological safety. This workshop will support you by going back to the scientific knowledge and you will learn
- why and in which environments psychological safety is important in the first place,
- that psychological safety is always context-dependent,
- why uncertainty is naturally the default in many situations,
- why everyone involved is needed for psychological safety to emerge and
- some quick fixes that work on a systemic level and which are not just symptom avoidance interventions.

You don't need any prior knowledge to take part in the session. In the interactive parts, we will give you the opportunity to reflect on what you have learned for your personal contexts and to exchange insights with other participants. At the end, you will take away at least one idea for a first step to improve the conditions for the development of psychological safety in your own environment.

joint session with Helen Rapp (https://sessionize.com/helen-rapp/)
duration: 2 hours, could be scaled to longer or shorter
room configuration: movable chairs, no tables, ca. 4 meta plan walls/flip charts, post-its and pens, projector
participants: scalable from 4 to something around 100 participants (theoretically even more)

Overcoming Rigidity - Refactoring to a Supple Design

DDD’s Strategic Design got a lot of traction over the last years, which is definitely good and necessary. But that doesn’t mean that we should neglect DDD’s Tactical Design.

For this session, we will start with a codebase that suffers massively from design rigidity. We will refactor the code step by step, following the Supple Design strategies as well as well-known refactoring patterns, and introduce Value Objects, Entities and other tactical elements as we go. This way we will move the codebase in a direction that allows flexible changes and provides clear structures, making working with it fun again.

joint session with Nicole Rauch (https://sessionize.com/nicole-rauch/)
session can be a talk or a hands-on lab

Standing in the spotlight - workshop facilitation for architects and developers

Let’s be honest, how comfortable do you feel facilitating workshops? Of course, there are ready-made facilitation formats for all possible aspects of domain modeling and software architecture. However, as a facilitator, you also have to deal with a group of individuals in the workshop who may want to contribute or enforce their own opinions or ideas. This can be frightening or even go as far as not daring to organize a workshop that makes sense in terms of content.

I felt the same way at the beginning of my career. Later on I worked as an agile coach for a few years and had to facilitate, I had to deal with the mechanisms and tension curves of workshops and was able to practice a lot. Today, I benefit greatly from these experiences in my work as a software architect.

In this talk I want to share my facilitation toolset and my facilitation philosophy with you. I will talk about my experiences - both good and bad. We will look at the role and responsibility of the facilitator, debunk facilitation myths and take a brief excursion into systems thinking to better understand how to guide a group to work constructively without ignoring the individuals and their personal perspectives.

How to become a Systems Thinker - and how Domain-driven Design practitioners can benefit from it

In an era where complexity and rapid change are the norms, the ability to think in systems has become invaluable. This talk delves into the principles of systems thinking and illustrates how Domain-driven Design (DDD) practitioners can leverage this approach to navigate and thrive in complex software development landscapes.

The session will introduce participants to key systems thinking patterns demonstrating their relevance and application within the context of Domain-driven Design. Participants will gain insights into how systems thinking can enhance their ability to understand and model complex domains, identify and define clear boundaries, and appreciate the dynamics and interrelations within their systems. By applying systems thinking principles, DDD practitioners can better manage complexity and uncertainty, leading to more resilient, adaptive, and effective software solutions.

The talk aims to empower software developers, architects, and systems designers with a holistic and dynamic approach to problem-solving, enabling them to not only comprehend the intricacies of their domains but also to design solutions that are well-aligned with the underlying system characteristics. Attendees will leave with a toolkit of thinking patterns and design heuristics that can be applied to their day-to-day design challenges, fostering a deeper understanding and a more profound impact on their projects and organizations.

Creating magical moments - Collaborative Modeling meets Liberating Structures

Collaborative Modeling and Liberating Structures share many similarities like fostering a shared understanding in groups and real collaboration by including and unleashing everyone. In this hands-on lab, I will show you how you can improve your next Collaborative Modeling workshop with the surprising power of Liberating Structures.

Liberating Structures are a set of easy-to-learn microstructures that offer real participation for all people involved. In contrast to conventional structures like presentations or open discussions they offer the right amount of structure to ensure target-oriented interactions while leaving enough space for innovative ideas to spark.

During this highly interactive workshop we will practice several Liberating Structures and reflect on how and why they work. We will compare them with the well-known conventional structures by examining the five design elements (structuring invitation, space and material, distribution of participation, group configuration, sequence of steps and timing) that define all microstructures.

We will take a deeper look at the similarities of Liberating Structures and Collaborative Modeling and see how Liberating Structures can support certain aspects of Collaborative Modeling.

Liberating Structures and Collaborative Modeling form a perfect match in a facilitator’s repertoire and in the end every participant will have at least one implementable idea that will help improve his/her future Collaborative Modeling workshops.

duration: scalable from 60 Minutes up to 8 hours
room configuration: movable chairs, no tables, ca. 4 meta plan walls/flip charts, post-its and pens, beamer
participants: scalable from 8 to something around 100 participants (theoretically even more)

IT Tage 2024 Upcoming

December 2024 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

W-JAX Upcoming

November 2024 Munich, Germany

EKON 28 Upcoming

November 2024 Düsseldorf, Germany

KanDDDinsky 2024 Sessionize Event Upcoming

October 2024 Berlin, Germany

Software Architecture Alliance Upcoming

October 2024 Munich, Germany

Software Architecture Summit Upcoming

October 2024 Berlin, Germany

XP Days Germany 2024 Upcoming

October 2024 Stuttgart, Germany

BED-Con 2024 Sessionize Event Upcoming

September 2024 Berlin, Germany

Java Forum Nord 2024 Sessionize Event Upcoming

September 2024 Hannover, Germany

DDD HH Domain-Driven Design Hamburg Upcoming

September 2024 Hamburg, Germany

Domain-Driven Design Europe 2024 Sessionize Event

May 2024 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

BOB Konferenz 2024

March 2024 Berlin, Germany

KanDDDinsky 2023 Sessionize Event

October 2023 Berlin, Germany

Software Architecture Alliance 2023

September 2023 Munich, Germany

Domain-Driven Design Europe 2023 Sessionize Event

June 2023 Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Martin Günther

IT Consultant - Software Architect and Liberating Structures Enthusiast

Hamburg, Germany


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