Agile Transformation Consulting

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Agile Transformation

If Agile can work for Human Resources, then it can work for organizations developing complex systems, including regulated sectors.

Each stage of creating new products, from strategic plans, to concepts on a road map, to project selection, to execution, all take time, and your team is on the clock. Shaving even a small amount out of one of these phases creates competitive advantage. Any toolset that cuts time, while increasing learning and innovation, provides an edge.

Agile Consulting involves a transformation where organizations gain that edge by mastering rapid iterations, which accelerate innovation; continuous learning; and the capacity to perceive and seize opportunities.

Agile isn’t just for software anymore. Most of the tenets of the Agile Manifesto are not software-specific. Unfortunately, myths about Agile hinder adoption. We’ve heard all the usual objections: “Applying Agile is all or nothing,” “You must be able to ship every two weeks,” “Agile and Waterfall/Milestone are mutually exclusive.” Our research and experience in Agile consulting show that these objections are easily countered with a flexible approach that selects only the portions of Agile that work for your company.  

We have discovered that a selective and modified set of Ceremonies, Rituals and Roles can create Agile organizations without conflict, and with many of the benefits realized by Software. Our Agile consulting services include Agile product development and Agile portfolio management. We have helped Telecommunications and Medical Technology companies implement Agile business transformations in their organizations.


Blog posts


Tools


Articles & Presentations

Agile From Software to Hardware (White Paper)
What are the most effective tools in the Agile Software toolkit? Can these tools be applied to Hardware and other types of product development programs? Our study of more than 20 companies identified four aspect of Agile that practitioners judged most effective.

Developing Innovative Products Across Hardware, Software and Web Platforms (White paper)
A paper for program managers, project managers and team members who develop multi-platform products: a product that requires two or more of these three platforms, showing how to translate aspects of Agile to a multi-platform environment.  

Agile For Everyone (White paper)
By elevating product teams above functional allegiance, organizing work into sprints, and nesting these sprints within your existing process, any team, in virtually any industry, can become agile.

Agile Project Management in a Waterfall World: Managing Sprints with Predictive Metrics (Presentation)
How do we apply Agile Software Methods to programs that have components with long lead times? Development partners that do things their own way? Long supply chains with components, sub-assemblies, and final assemblies that need integration around the world? Medical products that require FDA compliance? Large software platforms that are developed using Waterfall Methods? By adopting a couple of changes…

Never the Twain Shall Meet...Can Agile Work with a Waterfall Process? (Presentation)
Agile Software Development is an umbrella term for a set of methods and practices based on the values and principles expressed in the Agile Manifesto. Solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams utilizing the appropriate practices for their context. Can Agile and Waterfall co-exist?

Agile: Not Just For Software (YouTube)
This brief video illustrates how Agile Transformations for Hardware are contingent on functional middle managers, and on nesting Agile within (without replacing) the existing Milestone system.

Agile Case Study: What Not To Do (YouTube)
A case study of an organization that has adopted Agile for developing next generation Medical Devices — notable for what this organization did not do — no Sprint Estimates or Burndown Charts. Yet they were able to improve schedule accuracy and eliminate morale issues due to cancelled projects.

 

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Innovate Products Faster

Graphical Tools for Accelerating Product Development

The prevailing view of innovation is wrong. The traditional view of product development is that there is a fundamental dilemma between innovation and time to market. You can have one or the other, but not both. However, this is not a physical law like Newton's law or the second law of thermodynamics, but rather a short-sighted view of management that likes to use the excuse "one or the other, but NOT BOTH". 

John Carter and Jeanne Bradford wrote this book to demonstrate that companies can have both innovation and speed. It requires mastery of tools and methodologies that will support managers in making better decisions faster. We're not talking about heavy processes or systems that require large IT installations. We're talking about tools that can be quickly understood and implemented. They are tactically straightforward, but strategically powerful. They are battle tested in over 50 of our client engagements, with measurable successful outcomes. And, they can be applied across different industries and a wide range of organizations, from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies. 


To address the need to get useful information in a condensed, straightforward manner, we've designed the book into "bite-sized" chapters. You don't need to read the entire book to realize its value. It's organized so the reader can quickly identify the tools they need to solve their biggest problems first. Using a novel graphical format, Innovate Products Faster provides a fresh perspective on how managers can deliver more innovative programs. In this world where we are overwhelmed by a high volume of information, have very limited time, and hold expectations of getting answers instantly, we are adverse to wading through hundreds of pages of text to mine out the few nuggets of needed information. 

This book concisely portrays the forty best practices that can be applied to predicting and then managing a project to successful conclusion. It is written and organized as a reference guide for readers to quickly identify specific areas of interest and includes completed examples of each practice as a head start. We have tried and tested each of these tools with managers from small startups to Fortune 500 companies (over 50 clients) and have applied our line management experience in the capacity of CTO, VP of Development, and Program Management (working for iconic brands such as Apple and Bose). 

Each best practice uses elegant graphics to illustrate the application of simple tools such as iPad Apps and Microsoft Excel. These downloadable apps are easy-to-customize, pre-filled templates, which are available with the purchase of the book. The existing competition in project management or product development (typically long, obsolete, and mainly text) lacks many of these key differentiators.

  • Easy-to-navigate, short, and focused chapters
  • Rich graphical tools for solving problems
  • Downloadable software templates/apps
  • Modern methodologies (Web 2.0, offshoring, Agile, etc.)

View All Tools from Book →