Making digital teams more effective through agile coaching, consulting and advice.
Our consulting is outcome focused: at the start of an engagement we jointly identify a desired outcome. This is a shared outcome we will all work towards.
Consulting may be considered agile coaching, agile guiding or purely advisory. Typically the areas of focus include:
Agile: introduction, transformation and deepening
Objectives and Key Results (OKRs): introduction and use
Product discover and development: from product identification to delivery
Development turnaround for troubled teams
These areas overlap and usually engagements involve more than one area.
Engagements start with a short fact finding exercise for several days. This allows us to understand the organisation and the potential challenges, and to jointly refine the target outcome. At this stage dedicated training sessions may be determined and scheduled.
“As a result of working with Allan our processes have improved, we are more efficient, more creative and our projects are increasing in terms of measurable output. He is highly recommended if you want to develop your programming department to achieve more.”Toby Parkins, Director, HeadForwards
Typical outcome objectives
While client objectives vary massively there are some reoccurring themes concern:
Output: “We need a higher velocity”, “The team are delivering too little”
Predictability: “Can we meet our delivery deadline?”, “When will it be done?”, “We need a roadmap for future releases”, “When can we ship version 2 and retire version 1?”
Change and transformation: “We need to become a digital company”, “We want to implement OKRs”, “The team need to adopt agile methods”, “How do we move from a project centric organisation to a product centric one?”
Each consulting engagement is different but there are several key parameters to be considered:
Style of engagement: from hands-off agile coaching, through expert agile guiding to pro-active management.
Number of teams and people involved and frequency of engagement.
Areas of concern: improving the effectiveness of a development team frequently means addressing questions outside the core development team. Often this includes the “on ramp” (the product and requirements side), it may also include management approaches, strategy and organisation structure.
Speed of change: faster changes bring benefits quicker but are also more disruptive; a slower pace of change can often be more sustainable and yield greater benefit in the end.
Finally, location and the split between office and remote working needs to be considered. Few teams today are not asking how they can best organise, whether totally remote, co-located or some hybrid.
Time measurement is an inexact science, partly in the online world. Therefore our consulting is organized around a series of tiers: Bronze, Silver and Gold – the higher the tier the greater the involvement.
Bronze consulting is for companies with one or two smaller teams (less than six) requiring advice, guidance and coaching. Most companies at this level wish to chart a steady path to improvement.
Bronze packages include the full access to the LeanPub library. A maximum of half of all contact time is on-site. Online tutorials and on-site training are provided at a discount.
Silver tier is for companies with more teams and larger teams; or those wishing to take a faster approach to change. The focus is on advice to managers and team level coaching with regular onsite visits as required.
The online library and online tutorials are included as part of the package while on-site training is provided at a discount to the list price. Consultants are exclusively dedicated to one client – aside from ad hoc engagements and at least a quarter of the engagement is expected to occur online.
Gold caters for clients with more teams, larger teams and those looking at rapid change and requiring greater support – consultants sometimes take on a leadership role.
In addition to the LeanPub library, gold includes the full access to online tutorials. Additionally our own on-site training workshops are included at no extra charge. There are on limits on either onsite or online engagement time.
At Silver and Gold tiers individual consultants are exclusively assigned to clients. Where specialist skills, or multiple teams are in play multiple consultants can be engaged.
Finally, an additional Retained consulting allows for ad hoc calls with named contacts on an as needed basis. Retained band is designed to cater for clients who no longer need regular support, or for clients at the very beginning of their journey looking for trusted advice.
Typical benefits reported by clients include:
Improved work flow from discovery to delivery is smoother, more rational and predictable. Team members are happier and able to do a better job.
Software quality is higher which benefits customers, reduces risk during development and makes for happier developers.
Teams release new software more regular. This itself increases return on investment and brings additional benefits. Regular releases reduce risk and allow for rapid feedback. Timely feedback further reduces risk and rework which in turn improve the return.
Clients and customer are better served and gain more value from the product and teams judge success by benefits delivered to customers.