Lean and Agile Consulting Services




Making The Journey

I work with executive management and Agile teams, over a period of anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months.  Based in Seattle, I am available for onsite engagements anywhere in the USA.

I  adhere to a model of “Discover, Transform, Sustain”, where the first step is to discover the problems facing the organization.  I do this through observation, interviews, and data analysis.  During the transformation phase I help teams to develop skills, and work with executives to develop processes.  I do this by applying of underlying principles to the root causes of business problems.  Sustainment is achieved through empowering the organization to be able to learn and adapt long after the engagement is over.

Discover

discover
  • End-to-End Value Stream Diagnostics
  • Whole-System-in-the-Room Approach
  • Identify  Objectives,Targets, Accountability

Examine the Value Stream

When Agile is introduced it is often done so at a grass-roots level or at the best, by the Technology managers.  Rarely is it seen as the full-scale, organizational, cross-functional upheaval that it really is.  However, Agile, as a Technology-driven initiative, is a  response to a product marketing or product management problem.  Agile itself can only be as truly successful as Product Management lets it be.

Evaluate the Teamwork

Self-organized teams are the basis of modern Agile software development methodology, it is surprising how little attention has been given to the self-organizing team within the Agile community.  It is as if self-organization is something that everyone knows how to do, or that the very concept is obvious and self-explanatory.  My own experiences, and those of other Agile practitioners that I have worked with, suggest otherwise.  Self-organized teams are not well understood and are immensely confusing to both managers and team members.

Transform

transform
  • Whole-Organization Mobilization
  • Identification of Applicable Metrics
  • Experimentation, Iteration, Practice

Drive from Value

During the discovery phase we will have identified the underlying business problem that Agile is attempting to solve.  Focussing on those problems, I help my clients to apply principles and practices to direct their Agile improvement accordingly.  Solving the real business problems first, and being dogmatic about methodologies a distant second, is the secret to rediscovering the value of Agile.

Inspect and Iterate

When it comes to implementing change, there is a balance between analysis and experimentation.  Because I believe that a it is necessary for an Agile organization to be a “Learning” one too, I encourage teams to make bold changes often, and favor experimentation over exhaustive analysis.  As change becomes embedded in the culture of the organization, the disruption that it often represents, dissipates.

Sustain

sustain
  • Teach self-organization
  • Implement governance processes
  • Create a learning organization

Improve through Principles

Throughout every engagement, I  teach  the principles behind Agile, Flow, and Lean so that after I leave, your team will be able to evolve and improve their processes, productivity, and effectiveness without the need to rely on external help.  The goal during the engagement is to create a culture of continual improvement, so that the benefits are sustainable long after the engagement is over.

Refresh Skills and Capabilities

The theory and practice of Agile is constantly evolving, with new insights and techniques being developed all the time.  With new employees coming on board, and new business challenges presenting themselves, even the best organization in the world benefits from a regular tune-up.  When you need a new perspective, I am available to help you with refresher workshops around specific challenges, or mini-boot camps to develop core skills and capabilities.