Agile and Scrum consulting and training
for sustained agility
|Dan Greening, Managing Partner at Senex Rex and John Rudd, Managing Director, SolutionsIQ sit down to discuss Agile capitalization methods.|
What Are Agile Methodologies?
Most people and companies tackle large projects using waterfall development methodologies: they segregate activities upfront (design, prototype, build, test, deploy), then focus on each activity in sequence until they have completed the whole project. Only in the end do we have something of value. It could work if early assumptions are right, but for innovative work, waterfall methodologies usually produce inferior economic results compared to agile alternatives. In software development, car manufacturing and military campaigns, the waterfall approach has proven extremely risky, resulting in multi-million dollar walk-aways and corporate bankruptcies.
Very successful people and companies have adopted agile development methodologies—including Scrum, Lean Startup, Toyota Production System, Extreme Programming (XP), Lean Manufacturing, Kanban and others. They embrace five agile base patterns in what we call the Agile Canon. Agile methodologies
- measure economic progress,
- adaptively experiment,
- limit work in progress,
- embrace collective responsibility, and
- solve problems systemically.
Organizations that adopt the Agile Canon base patterns focus on success, learn rapidly about market and production realities, adapt faster, collaborate better and sustainably improve.
Agile methodologies require significant discipline to maintain. Many corporate transformations to agile methodologies have failed, with employees saying that they’re “agile, I guess” while failing to sustain any pillars in the Agile Canon. Most agile transformations focus on team-level coaching as the highest priority, but we have discovered that organizations can more cost-effectively maintain and improve agility by emphasizing executive and manager training, coaching and on-boarding.
If your executives and managers understand and embrace the Agile Canon base patterns, they will drive your company to be agile. Despite many documents highlighting the benefits of agile methodologies to software development, the Agile Canon applies to most of your company: management teams planning and executing on long-term strategy, HR teams orchestrating a big recruiting effort, marketing teams producing content for a series of campaigns, etc.
When the whole company can rapidly adapt to changing conditions, you win. Is this corporate agility beneficial to software developers? If you want the company to support your agile efforts, it sure is.
About Senex Rex
Senex Rex consultants, coaches and trainers work at all levels to advance organizational agility, from executives to managers to developers. We have all held Vice President level or higher titles in mid to large organizations.
We help companies achieve and sustain stand-alone agile discipline. As a result, we have supplied agile training materials, agile coaching guides, recruiting content, career paths, performance evaluation guides, capitalization policies and other assets to our clients for their future use.
Clients praise us because we follow agile principles in our own work: we measure our contributions, we adapt to your needs, we limit work-in-progress by providing you with valuable assets at every step, we take collective responsibility with you for your long-term health, and we solve problems systemically, leaving you with a more disciplined organization.
Senex Rex offers packaged training programs on these topics:
- Executive Introduction to Agile. 5 to 20 attendees, including managers and leaders. 4 hours.
- Agile training: Scrum, Lean Startup, Kanban, XP, DevOps. 5 to 70 attendees, including project managers, engineers, product managers, executives and managers. 2-3 days.
- Agile Capitalization Workshop. 3-20 attendees, including senior finance staff, project managers, engineering managers, engineers, CTO. 1 day.
- Agile Metrics and Delivery Forecasting: Risk Analysis and Mitigation with Monte Carlo simulation. 3-20 attendees, including project managers and leaders.
We can help you …
- Assess organizational agility. Know where you are, so you can decide what path to take. We analyze the company in depth and recommend approaches you can take, with or without our help. Senex Rex consultants work in one-day increments, typically on-site.
- Implement self-sustaining agile training and coaching programs that focus on a few characteristics that drive successful agility. Unlike most colleagues, we use the five pillars of the Agile Canon to motivate all our Scrum, Kanban, XP and DevOps training and coaching. We start with high-level executives: Agile-savvy executives and mid-level managers can nurture agility; others can inadvertently damage agility and profitability. Don’t spend a ton of money on team-level coaching only to see it gradually erode away when external coaches leave.
- Rapidly assess and streamline product pipelines. Rapidly assess your organization to identify risks and sources of delay in product development value chains. We assess the organization holistically with Product Management, UX, Development, QA, Architecture, Operations and Support. We evaluate team structures, throughput, quality, complexity, processes, reliability and scalability against industry best practices. We provide a review and a prioritized backlog of improvements.
- Find and mitigate risks in staffing, architecture, dependencies and markets. Use highly accurate Monte Carlo simulation for release forecasts and insight in complex projects. Our clients have saved millions preventing late projects and project abandonment, by identifying and mitigating risks before they damage project success.
- Implement agile-friendly hiring, retention, performance and career programs. Keep, attract and focus talented staff to produce the greatest value for your company.
- Capitalize agile software development properly. Companies that properly account for agile software development can avoid choppy P&L statements, gain investor confidence, and prevent restatements. Senex Rex pioneered a new approach for capitalizing labor in agile software companies, includingin a $10B publicly traded company, and gained the endorsement of CFOs and external auditors. We can help you understand theory, benefits, applicable regulations, and real-world examples of capitalizing software developed using agile practices.
We have helped Skype, Microsoft, Citrix, Overstock, Apprion, Glassdoor.com, Exponential, Plotagon and others develop and ship software that customers want faster and more efficiently. Can we help you?