Sunday, August 31, 2014

My Mission is to Help Technology Knowledge Workers Be Awesome at What They Do


Profile and Work Experience


Jeff Anderson

For over two decades I have used both best-in-class software engineering techniques and modern management methods to grow ecosystems of high-performing technology knowledge workers. My mission in life is to help technology knowledge workers be awesome at what they do.

Over the last 5+ years I have directed my initial passion for agile software engineering to create a globally recognized Lean-Agile enterprise transformation consulting and advisory service offering. This offering is aimed at enabling technology business clients to thrive in a world of high variability and market uncertainty. The offering, known as Deloitte Lean, is now recognized as the international hub for leading-edge Lean and Agile thinking within the Deloitte firm.

clip_image004As part of my role in leading the service offering, I play an executive and strategic leadership role in large-scale, lean-agile, organizational transformation initiatives, and structure the governance and delivery model for a number of extremely large, 100M+ delivery programs within the firm. Over the last several years, I have assembled a top-notch team of passionate technology knowledge workers. Far from being a process only shop, this team is focused on enabling leading edge capability across a diverse range of topics for our clients and within Deloitte.

Domains of expertise that I lead range from:

  • Leading-edge software engineering platforms and practicesclip_image006
  • Architecture in an agile world
  • End to an end agile software delivery
  • Devops
  • Business Model Generation, User Experience Design, and Customer/Problem/Solution Fit using Lean Startup
  • Enterprise governance, program management, and portfolio management using Lean and Kanban
  • Organizational restructuring to value network-based management and team models
  • Leadership training and coaching to help executives and management thrive using modern-day management methods
  • Innovative sourcing and procurement vehicles to enable just-in-time delivery
  • ·Enterprise transformation, coaching, and advisory in all of the above
  • Perhaps my proudest accomplishment during this time has been the development of this capability within a more conservative consulting organization, creating a dynamic, leading-edge startup style subculture within Deloitte. Growing this culture and capability within Deloitte has been challenging, but has resulted in a number of exciting and leading edge opportunities. Some of these accomplishments include:

  • Leading a large number end to end transformations of large-scale IT organizations (1000+ ftes) to enable agility. Flattening of the organization structure and management hierarchy, clip_image010widening job responsibilities, adopting agile methods, and embracing Kanban / Lean continuous improvement.
  • Restructure a number of Digital, Product, and Channels groups across multiple domains (FSI, Energy, etc) to embrace validated learning and measurable user design through application of Lean Startup and Lean UX methods
  • Facilitate transformation IO change programs to help them deliver services according to a DevOps culture and capability
  • Leading the architecture and design of technology solutions across a variety of platforms from modern digital platforms, analytics initiatives, to enterprise integrated solutions using ECM, Package, ESB, MDM etc
  • clip_image012Design and Rollout governance, delivery, architecture, release and product ideation model for large-scale (150M -250M+) transformation programs. Integrating Lean Startup / UX, Kanban, Agile, DevOps onto programs running numerous separate streams with multiple teams in each stream.
  • Facilitating strategic planning, solution architecture, enterprise architecture, and design thinking innovation workshops, across a diverse range of stakeholders from senior executives to individual technology conservators.
  • Optimizing Sourcing and procurement, HR, Legal, and other business support functions through the enablement of continuous improvement using Kanban methods
  • I am looking for opportunities to continue to apply leadership and strategic thinking to the business of technology innovation. I work best when working with both highly technical and highly creative leaders and teams. An ideal environment for me would be one where value is placed on being able to create the focus required to solve problems typified by new, untested markets, and uncertain requirements. An ideal roll be one where I can enable a highly creative, co-creative, and learning organization; typified by smaller/cross functional teams of highly talented management, creative, and engineering professionals. I am looking for opportunities to grow of value creating an environment where the line between technology, design, and business expertise is blurred. An opportunity where I can help organizations create business and technology innovation capability at scale.

    In my opinion a resume can only do so much to communicate one's value proposition. If interested in learning more, aside from contacting me, feel free to look through some of my work available online.  Of these I’m most proud of is the publication of the Lean Change Method. The method, and supporting book, is my clip_image014attempt at capturing the best way to run large, complex organizational transformations. The Lean Change Method applies Lean Startup techniques such as validated learning and customer co-creation to the organizational change management domain. The book can be found at

    I also blog frequently on topics relating to lean and agile transformation at, feel free to look there to understand my ethics, working style, and past accomplishments.

    Finally, I have attached references to a number of presentations based on the work that I might team have done in the past feel free to peruse any of these at your discretion,

    I continue to present at numerous conferences, and have been nominated for a Brickell Key award, and is a founding fellow of the Lean System Society.



    Professional Capability, Experience, And Qualifications


    Management and Transformation

    Kotter Change Management, Organization Design, Lean, Kanban, A3, Kaizen, Gamification, The Lean Change Method, Management 3.0, Value Stream Mapping, 5 Whys, Organizational Design, Value Network Design


    Product Delivery Methods

    Business Model Generation, Lean Startup, Customer Development, Product Delivery Flow


    Software delivery methods

    Agile, Scrum, Extreme Programming, Domain Driven Design, Behavior Driven Development, Agile Modeling Method, Test Driven Development, Continuous Integration, SOLID, etc. EUP\RUP, CMMI



    Architecture: Solution, Integration, Application, Enterprise


    Languages & Products: NodeJS, Ruby, Python, Spring, C#/.Net, Java/EE, Tomcat, Jboss, Weblogic, Websphere, TeamSite, Tuscany,Ant,Junit, Cruise Control, HP OpenView, TogetherSoft, RSA, Tibco, SOA, ESB, WSDL, REST, OOA\OOD, Design Patterns AOP,

    Check Jeff out online @

    Agile blog




    Selected Experience

    IT Transformation; Industrial Supply

    Led the Lean-Agile and Devops technology transformation for client (known as Enterprise Services) a 1000 FTE organization, leveraging a mixture of technologies including Hybris enabled e-commerce and extremely complex SAP enabled logistics solutions, Responsible for leading a team of 12 Agile consultants and 4 client agile coaches assigned to modernizing the methods, team structure, governance, delivery lifecycle, and infrastructure and operations of client IT

    Led the team to facilitate workshops, educational sessions, design JADs, coaching and mentoring, etc. necessary to enable successful design and adoption of this brand-new way of working. Some of the key components included continuous flow through Kanban, a new Agile/Devops operating model, opportunity ideation using lean startup/validated learning techniques, evolutionary architecture @ scale, and brand-new team structure for almost 1000 FTES.

    Built and managed a pool of key stakeholders who formed an Agile CoP made up of champions, leaders, and design authority team to enable the new model. Led the COP to enable the organization to adopt appropriate governance/reporting, portfolio management and program management taking advantage of concepts such as Beyond Budgeting, Portfolio Kanban, and lean–flow metrics and reporting.

    Implemented new roles and responsibilities across the organization, providing explicit design, coaching and mentoring a number of roles including Agile Teams, Product Owners, Scrum Masters, Lean Architects and Devops engineers.

    Personal duties included acting as the senior subject matter expert and strategic thinker for the transformation, coordinated communication and feedback across sponsors, stakeholders in the team, mentoring individual managers, consultants, and coaches within our team, and structuring the overall engagement.

    Large-scale program delivery; Energy

    Responsible for the design and adoption of a Lean-Agile delivery, governance, and ideation model on a large-scale (150 million+) program at client. Playing the role of an Executive Scrum Master, lead a team of Chief Scrum Masters each assigned to an explicit thread within the program. Each Chief Scrum Master, was responsible for alignment, mentoring and coaching, and overall quality of a specific thread within the program, interfacing with 4-6 Scrum Master each.

    Led the team to take responsibility for ensuring that teams were able to adopt lean and agile techniques that make sense for their context. Practices adopted included techniques such as scrum, story exploration/story mapping, XP/ code craftsmanship style technical practices, just-in-time architecture, team and program level Kanban.

    Led the effort to provide continual analysis of team productivity, bottlenecks, impediments, and risk, socializing actionable insight as required to continuously improve performance of the entire program. Executive level program dashboards were used to socialize continual change in direction as required by the latest information.

    Other responsibilities included QA on artifacts as they pass through the delivery lifecycle, ownership of the system of work (including program wide definitions of done), socializing the governance and delivery mod el with executive stakeholders and external integrators.

    Led the effort to introduce Lean Startup /Lean UX/Design Thinking to the ideation stage of the program. Enabling business and technology stakeholders to leverage an experimental design, validated learning mental model on a large-scale program.

    IT Transformation; insurance/public-sector

    Led the application delivery components of IT transformation. Completely transformed all capability relating to the complete software delivery lifecycle, including architecture and portfolio management.

    Provided advisory services to direct the refresh of supporting processes, including help desk, infrastructure services, procurement, and problem/change management.

    Worked with IT executive leadership, management, and staff to change the skills, mental models, and culture of a 250+ FTE IT department to leverage lean thinking and agile methods at scale.

    Managed a portfolio of lean/agile adoption initiatives. Select initiatives included :

  • designing and implementing target state process framework, organizational design, and delivery tool strategy
  • creating an enterprisewide Kanban visualization system made up of an enterprise portfolio board
  • restructuring the organization to support co-located & cross functional teams
  • building dedicated Kanban visualization systems for supporting functional departments
  • Managing adoption of innovation factory techniques by business SMEs
  • implementing lean continuous improvement technics to a diverse range of functions, including intake, architecture, portfolio management, delivery, procurement, and release management
  • leading adoption of a variety of lean and agile methods integrated to support enterprise IT delivery (e.g. Kanban, Scrum, agile modeling, story mapping, behavior driven development, class responsibility card modeling, cross- functional teams, planning poker, lean portfolio management, retrospectives, continuous integration, continuous deployment, etc.)
  • setting up a quality management office, and the use of quantifiable, metrics-based continuous improvement program
  • institutionalized just-in-time issue escalation and root cause analysis capability across the organization
  • Executed change initiative using The Lean Change Method, an agile transformation toolkit invented by our team. Lean Change is inspired from the lean startup method.

    Product Delivery Organization Transformation; Finmancial Services

    Played the role of Senior Methods and Capability Expert, leading the effort to design and implement a modernized product delivery capability for a Financial Services product company. This capability refresh included retooling all aspects of the delivery lifecycle, project management lifecycle and the software delivery lifecycle. Worked with product managers and marketing to enhance the product delivery lifecycle through adapting lean startup and business model generation techniques.

    Enhanced the project management lifecycle through the introduction of lean and kanban techniques. Introduce the notion of Management 3.0 through explicit executive and manager training. Revamped the software delivery lifecycle to take advantage of agile management and technical practices.

    Oversaw the adoption strategy of agile delivery practices, leveraging the Lean Change method, sequencing change as a discrete set of Minimum Viable Changes, leveraging an iterative change approach that supported flexibility and learning.

    Facilitated key training sessions at executive, director and management level

    IT Transformation; 12 months; LRC; Solutions Services - Factory Transformation Engagement; Public-Sector

    Led the LRC (Land & Resource Cluster) software factory transformation engagement. Worked with IT delivery leadership and management to design processes, interaction models, continuous improvement framework, SDLC, tool strategy, and work policy framework for a 250+ FTE IT department.

    Leveraged Lean/Kanban, systems thinking, and agile tooling to develop the process and operational components necessary to transform the IT organization into a shared service/factory model. Led the effort to develop a supporting financial model, and organizational transformation plan, which included change management, tooling and other roadmap items.

    Led the execution of the various lean and agile related components of the transformation, including successful adoption of an enterprise wide continuous improvement framework, metrics, Kanban, and quality management office.

    IT Transformation; Transformation; Public-Sector

    Provided Leadership, advice, and guidance necessary to helping client, a 350+ FTE IT department) move forward on their IT 2.0 vision. Led the effort to design an optimized intake , governance, and prioritization mechanism. Led the effort to define end to end value stream maps and value creation networks encompassing all aspects of the delivery process including, business relationship management, architecture, delivery, operations, and maintenance. Provided agile/lean/kanban training and piloting/adoption services.

    IT Transformation lean methods; Delivery Metrics And Coaching; Financial Services

    Completed a software development model assessment and recommendations engagement. Facilitated various value stream mapping, capability assessments and other sessions necessary to get an understanding of current delivery approach, top pain points, and recommended improvements. Defined a future state value stream based on recommended improvements. Work with client to set up a Kanban visual tracking board including the definition of work types, work in progress limits, and supporting software delivery policies. Oversaw the effort to define a supporting metrics framework to provide a "compass" for continual improvement based on measuring cycle-time, lead-time, work in progress, and failure intake.

    Systems Development: 6 months; Cablevision; Optimum Mobile -Network management integration Agile PMO & Coaching; Telecommunications

    Led a team of coaches to institutionalize agile processes on a large scale delivery project. Project was supporting the integration of an entirely new mobile product line for a large-scale telecommunications company. The team was responsible for managing the end to end delivery process. Technologies included Tibco, JBoss, and a suite of network communication protocol servers.

    Analyzed all existing requirements using a "just good enough modeling approach" necessary to accelerate start of delivery. Coached both the management/architecture team as well as core delivery team on the use of numerous agile practices including Kanban, Agile Modeling Method, Behavior Driven Development & Scrum.

    Performed value stream mapping sessions to define the optimal delivery supply chain necessary to delivering value just in time. Performed lean oriented tracking of all work, providing executive level dashboards and real-time decision-making capability. Ran operational reviews, facilitated agile modeling sessions, and provided strategic direction to all coaches on the project.

    IT Transformation; 4 months; ICBC Integration Competency Center definition & set up; Public Sector

    Led the effort to define the people, process, and technology components of the Integration Capability Center (ICC) necessary to support a 500m+ multiyear legacy renewal & transformation project. Objectives of the engagement included defining the overall operating model, governance strategy, technology vendor assessment for ESB/SOA tooling, initial enterprise integration analysis, and change management/organizational recommendations. Facilitated various workshops with ICBC leadership stakeholders including Transformation Program executive leadership and ICC management.

    IT Transformation; 4 months; LEAN Solution Factory Visioning & Roadmap; Public-Sector

    Managed the client’s LEAN solution factory engagement. Interacted directly with all levels of IT staff, (CIO to developer) to understand cluster context, issues, and objectives necessary to defining a vision and roadmap for the delivery of business technology solutions using lean factory concepts.

    Conducted numerous interviews, training sessions and executive workshops. Facilitated collaborative process improvement sessions using value stream mapping techniques. Led the effort to define and evaluate solution factory capability maps, objectives, and key principles.

    Led the team to develop a multiyear transformation roadmap covering components of organization and change management, changes in roles and responsibilities, new tooling, and new practices. Leveraged the Deloitte LEAN framework throughout the engagement

    Software Process Improvement; 4 months;.Net COE testing gating process, operational deployment, and process improvement ; Public-Sector

    Worked with a group of senior architects to provide a metrics-based gating mechanism and TFS process template that would define how application quality could be verified using metrics-based indicators as to when hosted applications could be promoted through the various environments within the the.Net COE. Provided oversight on the team responsible for installing platform software for the first go live environment. Provided guidance to a dedicated stream leveraging lean techniques to provide both short term and longer-term fixes for an improved customer experience for .Net COE

    Solution Architecture; 6 months; Supply-Chain Optimization 7 (SCO7) Systems Development ; Retail

    Solution architect for large-scale supply chain transformation program. Responsible for interfacing with the enterprise architecture group to ensure that the sco7 integration architecture met with Rona EA standards and direction, and to represent EA interests on the project. Played a key role in helping the EA team adopt more rigorous and collaborative management and design techniques based on agile principles and practices. Provided software delivery mentorship and guidance to the technical team, helping to establish some of the iterative and test driven practices used during the engagement.

    Systems Development and Architecture; Energy

    Led the architectural review of the enterprise integration platform for the subsidiary of a large energy company that was to be spun off into a separate business entity. Conducted a need/gaps assessment against target platform interoperability requirements. Assembled a high performing team and led the architecture, design and implementation of the.Net 3.0 SOA solution. Played a key leadership role in helping the client to leverage Agile software development techniques to optimize their software development capability.

    Systems Development; Financial Services

    Client was midstream in a large-scale risk management implementation project. Initiative was under threat of going off the rails, and failing to meet expected timelines. Led the effort to restructure the delivery model to support a more iterative and lean approach. Restructured the plan, delivery approach and team leveraging Agile approaches to ensure that the project would be delivered according to original timelines and with an expected scope.

    Solution Design & Implementation Planning; Education/Public Sector

    Led the solution design for a $25 MM provincial loans and grants system modernization program. Directed the complex domain-driven analysis and design of a catalog of 7500+ unstructured business requirements which resulted in a comprehensive functional model and analysis model. Coached and led the team to leverage a number of agile modeling approaches (Domain Driven Design, Class Responsibility Collaboration cards, Use Case Modeling, etc.) resulting in a best-in-class deliverable that was able to articulate the business in a form that was understandable by business stakeholders, as well as crucial for software architects and software developers to enable downstream delivery. Conducted solution review sessions which were exceptionally well received by a wide stakeholder group. Led the estimating and implementation planning for the Web and Enterprise Service Bus components of the overall solution. Evangelized the use of Web 2.0 tools (wikis, blogs) to enhance cross-team collaboration.

    Systems Development; Financial Services As the Lead Software Architect, led the specification, design, development and adoption of a robust, maintainable and interoperable SOA platform for a major Canadian bank. All documentation and code was developed using an iterative, agile approach. Artefacts were developed consistent with the Rational Unified Process and were modified to facilitate a SOA approach including Service Architecture Documents, Service Use Cases, Service Design Documents, etc. Trained and led a core team from the Enterprise Architecture Office in agile and lean software development techniques necessary to develop and deploy services for a Latin American business unit. Developed the roadmap for enterprise adoption with the objective of establishing the de facto SOA standard and platform for both commercial and international banking. The SOA platform was based on open standards and open source technologies that aligned with IBM's SOA strategy including Tuscany, Spring, Axis, Java EE, Web Services Interoperability (WSI), Service Component Architecture (SCA), and IBM WebSphere DataPower SOA Appliances.

    Software Engineering; Financial Services Led the re-engineering of software development frameworks and processes as part of the IT organization transformation for a major financial management organization. Redirected the IT organization to support newer service, component and object-oriented technologies using structured and iterative techniques.

    Software Process Improvement; Audit Services Developed a tailored SDLC framework to be used by multiple programs within the client Global IT group. The framework incorporated elements of the Rational Unified Process, Extreme Programming, Agile Modeling Method, and SCRUM and included detailed processes with sample timelines, and descriptions for phases, iterations, disciplines, roles, and artefacts.

    Software Process Improvement; Audit Services Implemented the Rational Unified Process for an in-flight client Global IT project. Led the re-engineering of unstructured requirements into use cases, and conducted visioning sessions with key stakeholders to incorporate future extensibility and interoperability requirements. Re-estimated the technical delivery effort using function point techniques, and led the analysis and design phase. Directed the creation of analysis and design models based on use case realizations centered around architecturally significant functionality.

    Technical Readiness Assessment and Planning; Public-Sector Led the Technical Readiness Assessment for an in-development public-facing web application with supporting infrastructure and processes for a federal government agency. Established the target state architecture and processes, and developed a roadmap to achieve the desired end state. Facilitated the execution of several key recommendations including successful completion of performance testing, application architecture and code reviews, and implementation of an operations dashboard.

    Architecture Assessment Public-Sector Led the architecture assessment of a public-facing records management system for a provincial health agency. Developed an architecture roadmap to implement the resulting recommendations.

    Systems Engineering and Architecture; Public Services

    As the Lead Architect for a multi-year IT Transformation program to re-engineer expenditure management across the Federal Government (yearly operating budget of $5 MM), directed the technical delivery of four highly extensible and integrated Microsoft .NET-based web applications. Leveraged analysis patterns to implement a highly volatile and complex set of requirements. Adapted the Rational Unified Process (RUP) and agile practices to meet the needs of a more light weight and agile development environment. Established a scalable component-based architecture to rationalize and expose application services to a wide subscriber-based across the government. Implemented continuous integration to facilitate parallel development amongst multiple development teams operating against an enterprise code repository. Directed several design and development teams (total pool of 40+ technical resources at peak) to perform use case-based iterative analysis and design followed by test-driven development. Led all software estimation, release planning and deployment efforts for the entire program.

    Systems Development and Architecture; Telecommunications

    Performed the following responsibilities as a lead architect:

  • ·directed the delivery of a Java/J2EE-based SOA platform for a major telecommunications provider, providing call center, one bill, and other functionality integrating with Vitria middleware
  • ·architected to rewrite of key components of a BEA WebLogic and Interwoven TeamSite–based enterprise portal for a major telecommunications provider.
  • ·led the end-to-end design and delivery of several major components of a Java/J2EE-based trading exchange for the B2B arm of a major Canadian telecommunications provider using Weblogic and TeamSite.
  • Systems Development; 34 months; Insurance

    Led the design, development and implementation of system modules related to the transformation of a legacy system to a web-enabled platform for a major insurance provider. Evaluated various implementation options leading to final approval to utilize the Java/J2EE framework. Also implemented system modules for multiple Intranet applications based on the Microsoft DNA framework including a sales force automation application used by field personnel to highlight various individual life insurance products to prospective clients.

    Systems Development; 27 months; Financial Services Founded a software consulting firm that provided software implementation services to the investment management business of a major Canadian bank. Delivered a client-server portfolio management package catered towards financial advisors, and provided training to enable adoption.

    Professional Affiliations / Certifications

    Kanban Certified Practitioner – Advisory Board

    Lean System Society Founding Fellow

    Brickell Key Nominee

    Sun Certified Java Programmer

    Microsoft Certified Solution Developer

    Canadian Securities Course

    Thursday, July 3, 2014

    Think Visually When Building an Agile Enterprise Change Plan

    A picture is definitely worth 1000 words when trying to articulate the true north for an organization undergoing massive change. 

    Here are some examples of how someone with even a modicum of artistic skills (i.e. me) to use visual thinking to increase the chance that people in the organization will notice, and even provide feedback on your change plan.

    Here is an atypical, if somewhat generic example of an agile transformation plan using a simpler canvas format, you can see a lot of visual metaphors used to represent the different parts of the canvas. 

    A Transformation Canvas laid out to support a linear narrative
    The format of this canvas is quite different than the ones I have previously shown on my blog and my book. The sections follow a simpler, more straightforward path daily typically seen a lot of canvases including ones that I previously designed.

    I like this canvas format as it allows somebody new to the canvas to look at the content in a linear narrative by simply following the canvas horizontally or vertically. I've tried to organize the canvas the following almost Connextra style storytelling approach, For each column of the canvas could be followed according to the following format:
    where each column of the canvas could be followed according to the following format:

    We want to achieve <vision>

    through <target options>  

    which will produce <benefits>

    that are validated through <success criteria>

    and enabled through <change personas>

    who are motivated to change because of <urgency>

    which will inspire <action>

    Here's another example of a transformation canvas template that I've also been experimenting with, in this case the format is less linear, and elements are grouped together according to how closely related they are to each other.

    Including specific instructions and samples for each section

    In this template, I've tried to provide some guidance around how to fill each section, so that change agents and change participants alike can use structured language to distill the really important points of each section. I've also used some visual narratives to show examples for each section.

    Below is an example using this template.

    Taking visual thinking to its extreme, I decided to place an immense, wall sized visualization of a transformation canvas in the most public place I could find in my client's organization (no I didn't ask for permission first). This caused people to actually stop, and take a look at what was being planned for the organization, Given the several thousand people impacted, wanted to explore all options when it came to socializing the transformation model.

    Graffiti-ing up our client's wall with a transformation canvas

    It certainly was a lot of fun (and a lot of work!) creating visualizations for each canvas element. Drop me a line if you want any of these templates, I'm happy to share.

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Lean Product Development Part 1

    Recently, I've been helping some clients apply lean startup inspired concepts to their work. I'm a big believer that a lot of the concepts made famous by lean startup, such as validated learning, minimum viable products, continuous innovation, etc. are widely applicable outside of the startup world.

    I have been using two lean startup inspired tools that I have designed with help from a couple of clients, the Product Canvas, and the Product Experimental Design Factory. I have attached a short video which provides an overview of each of these tools.

    Here are some screenshots of the canvas and factory respectively. 

    Stay tuned, I'll be releasing another video with a real example shortly.

    Sunday, November 24, 2013

    Shift the Focus of Learning Depending on Where You Are in Your Agile Transformation

    When looking at the catalog of agile change patterns together, they form a pattern language that helps you focus, where you're learning should be depending on the progress your organization is made in adopting agile.


    When starting to adopt agile or lean in your organization it makes the most sense to focus change on enabling Quick Wins. Rather than trying to validate whether you have the exact right set of target options for your exact context, focus on helping a small portion of the organization adopt a set of lightweight agile methods like Kanban or Scrum. This will identify major obstacles to change, some examples of these obstacles include an uninvolved executive, inattentive business owners, overly specialized organizational structure, or extremely poor morale. With quick wins you are -trying to determine if the organization is ready to adopt "any" amount of agile. And if not, what are the major obstacles, and countermeasures that can be put in place.clip_image003[6]

    Once learning increases through a successive of quick wins set of quick Win, you can start experimenting with introducing a more fulsome representation of your candidate target state. Introducing a Kernel Pilot involves introducing the set of organizational target state options representing the vision for the overall enterprise. This can include a number of agile methods, changes to organizational structure, and modifications to roles and responsibilities. While this change is bigger than the Quick Win, the focus here is still on learning. Focus has now changed from learning about resistance to learning about whether assumptions behind the solution is correct.

    As one or more kernel pilot's are introduced into the organization, the change initiative switches from piloting to adopting. A change based on the Kernel Adoption pattern is focused on introducing the future state using successive, rolling waves. As we uncover more and more understanding of how the organization accepts change, and what approach is ideal for the organizational context, we can gradually switch learning from "what" is the target state, to "how" we can best facilitate adoption. This can be a subtle, and permeable distinction. The main point here is that it is okay to spend more time working with people and really understanding what's getting in the way of facilitating learning when starting down the road. At some point, we want to understand how to scale out our efforts to support a sustainable change plan.

    Changes based on the Self-Serve pattern is another step in this direction. At this point, we should have enough understanding about what works in the organization, where we can standardize, where we can't. We should also understand what parts of our target state are relatively stable, and which parts continue to change rapidly. This allows us to start figuring out how to publish our knowledge in a way that the organization can consume on their own with minimal support from agile coaches are agile consultants. Many change management consultants recommend starting with defining some type of delivery model and method publishing it out, and getting adoption going. It's really only at this point, but I found it useful to get thoughts around "how" the organization is meant to work. At this point in the transformation, a lot of learning has taken place based on on the ground adoption, we now want to switch our learning to understand how we can push change out to the edges of the organization, supporting it in a way that creates a self learning environment.

    Changes based on the Capability Modernization pattern are really about cementing the change and ingraining it into the supporting structures of the organization. New specializations and competencies are modeled as appropriate using a combination of career ladders, capability models, job specifications, and incentives. Functions like Human Resources, Finance, and even Legal play a role, making sure that employees are on board, educated, and compensated according to the new "normal (if there is such a thing as normal for an agile organization).

    clip_image004[6]For more check out the Lean Change Method: Managing Agile Transformation with Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking

    Sunday, October 27, 2013

    Toronto Agile Tour 2013 Session

    I'll be presenting at #att13 this year. Well not so much presenting as running a workshop. I'll be joined with a team of both peers and clients of mine  to help workshop attendees build a change canvas. The idea is to work with anyone coming to the workshop to help map out an agile change using the canvas.

    If you are part of an agile change, or want to get one started come to the workshop and will help you put a change model together. Here is a video describing the workshop below.

    For more check out the Lean Change Method: ManagingAgile Transformation with Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking

    Saturday, October 26, 2013

    Updating Your Canvas Based on Your Improvement Experiments

    At some point you will want to take the time to update the Change Canvas to reflect any new learning that resulted from the Improvement Experiment. This could include rebalancing benefits and commitments, desired target options, or any other component on the canvas.
    I recommend setting an explicit Kanban style policy concerning when to take the time to update the Change Canvas. Options include whenever an experiment is finished, or on a set cadence, perhaps biweekly or monthly.clip_image001
    I often run a session with change participants to annotate the canvas for correctness, again using green, yellow, and red markers for portions of the change model that are believed to be correct, partially correct, and completely incorrect. Participants may also annotate the canvas with a statement that describes "why" a certain assumption is not turning out to be true.
    The Change Canvas can then be updated to reflect the latest understanding and newest learning. This can include looking at the existing Improvement Experiment backlog and re-factoring it to consider the new information added to the Change Canvas.
    Performing a Change Pivot
    When a large number of experiments do not meet expectations, then it is time to consider a change pivot. A change pivot involves wholesale modifications to the Change Canvas, and underlying change model. When executing a change pivot, one key aspect of the change model is altered, while keeping another aspect intact. Examples of a change pivot include:
    1. Choosing a different set of change participants
    2. Selecting a different set of methods, tools or techniques to adopt
    3. Switching up actions and tactics, perhaps going from light touch to high touch or vice versa
    4. Scaling back benefits to better reflect time commitments that your change participants can make
    clip_image005For more check out the Lean Change Method: Managing Agile Transformation with Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking .

    Writing Good Improvement Experiments

    A good improvement experiment can take many forms, I design my Improvement Experiments so that they contain the following key items:
    1. Explicit activity or action clip_image001
    2. The roles and/or people being affected by the change
    3. An outcome or effect as perceived by the people be impacted by the change
    4. A constraint, such as a number of sessions, or a time. Where the experiment expires
    clip_image003 clip_image005 clip_image007 clip_image009
    Change agents should feel free to experiment with the exact format of an Improvement Experiment ticket, I tend to work with the following format:
    -an action- -with/for- - a specific change participant- -will result in- -an outcome- -within some constraint-
    an example could be:
    "co-facilitated story mapping sessions with the business analysts and business subject matter experts will result in them feeling that they can effectively determine solution scope and structure after 3 supported sessions"
    The activity is an explicit action that the change agent is going to execute in collaboration with change participants.
    The specific change participant is simply the one or more of the change participants listed on the canvas that will be participating in the Improvement Experiment.
    The outcome is the expected results, this can be in the form of improved capability, improved performance, or some other benefit. It's a good practice to write the outcome from the perspective of the change participants, how they perceive improvement is taking place (or not).
    The constraint can be expressed in the form of a time period, i.e. "after two weeks" or a number of instances of a certain activity, i.e. "after three sessions". A constraint can also be specified as the occurrence of a specific event, iwhen the emergency defect occurs".
    It's important to phrase validation from the perspective of the change participants, rather than using language that specifies achievement of some goal in a generic way. For example:
    "developers will become TDD ninjas after three weeks of coding dojo's" isn't as good as "developers will indicate their mastery of TDD after three coding dojo's".
    We want to structure our outcomes like this because it helps to enforce the idea that all validation of an Improvement experiment has to come from the change participant. It's not enough for a change agent to evaluate the impact of an improvement on change participants. Embedding language that hypothesizes how a change participant will indicate his reaction to a change encourages this mindset.
    The nature of the experiment will vary depending on where a Minimum Viable Change is within the lifecycle. Here are some examples of improvement experiments that could be part of each of the 4 states within the validated chief lifecycle:
    · the online team can identify enough problem statements to provide a clear case for the adoption of agile technical practices after 3 facilitated workshops (agree on urgency)
    · the portal technology group can articulate and contextualize a more agile working model after 1 week of brainstorming (negotiate change)
    · analysts who are part of the International Teller Program Will tell me that they can  perform agile style story analysis after 2 weeks of coaching (validated adoption)
    · including developers in detail story analysis will reduce defects by 50% after one month (verify performance)
    Regardless of whether you use the rest of the method in its entirety, running an agile adoption or transformation as a set of improvement experiments helps to reframe a change agent activity is something that can be put under constant scrutiny, helping the change agent examine his tactics, and possibly changing his strategy if necessary.
    clip_image013For more check he Lean Change Method: Managing Agile Transformation with Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking

    Friday, October 25, 2013

    Improvement Experiments In Action - Continuing Our Story of Danny the Developer

    In order to show how Improvement Experiments can be used, Let's continue following clip_image001Danny as he works with his team to Improve delivery performance.

    Filling the Backlog

    After a couple of planning sessions Danny and his team come up with a set of Improvement Experiments That they feel will result in executing on their change model. The group then prioritizes these Improvement Experiments into various two-week blocks.
    They take care to put no more than 3 Improvement Experiments in each block, as the team feels that this is the maximum amount of change the team could absorb every two weeks.

    Preparing New Improvement Experiment

    When December 1rst rolls around, tickets can start moving into the Next column, signifying that new improvement items should be started. Note that only two tickets are moved as this is the current Wip limit being set by the team.
    The team then decides to move the value stream mapping session into the Prepare state.
    As tickets are moved through the prepare state the first thing we do is rewrite the ticket so that it supports the notion of testability. Each test should validate the assumptions behind the change, represented in one or more sections of the Change Canvas.
    In this instance Danny and the team rewrite the value stream mapping Improvement Experiment so that it says "value stream mapping sessions will allow change participants to reveal urgencies after 3 sessions ".
    As an Improvement Experiment is moved into the Prepare column, it is rewritten using this experimental format. The change agent then does all the necessary preparation work to get the improvement ready. Examples include preparing for workshops, developing training guides, scheduling sessions, sending out communications, etc.
    In Danny's case he works with a new, external, agile consultant recently brought to the engagement. They work together to prepare workshop material, book rooms, and coordinate everybody's schedule to make sure that they are able to run three workshops dedicated to reviewing and suggesting some fixes using the value stream mapping process.

    Introducing the Experiment

    Once this Improvement Experiment has been prepared, it can now be moved to the Introduce column, this is a signal that the team is now actively running sessions, trying out new techniques, etc., and potentially even benefits from the improvement items. This benefit could be in the form of validation of change assumptions, or actual realization of benefits on the change canvas. clip_image005
    The Improvement Experiment continues until either the experiment has proven true or false, or the constraint has elapsed.
    In Danny's case, the value stream mapping Improvement Experiment is moved into the Learn column after three sessions have been completed.


    Learning from the Experiment

    At this point the experiment is moved to the Learn column, and evaluated for success.
    It is important for change agents not to fall into the trap of evaluating experiments on their own, ultimately it is the change participant who needs to make the call about whether an Improvement Experiment is successful or not. In our experience Improvement Experiments do not always simply pass or fail, for this reason we have used A three outcome approach. Success, fail, and partial success. (and tagged with, green, red, or orange markers)
    As various Improvement Experiments are passed through the Learn column, the canvas can be evaluated for correctness. Failed experiments are to be expected, and will indicate a need to modify certain sections of the canvas.
    If we continue to follow Danny's progress, we can see that the value stream mapping experiment was successful in that he was able to come up with a good set of urgencies with his change participants. Unfortunately, Danny was not able to collaborate with his team to come up with a target options model based on a big A-Agile solution. This latter Improvement Experiment is telling Danny that he needs to rethink what the solution is going to look like if it's going to be of value to his change participants.
    Typically as one Improvement Experiment is being prepared, introduced, and evaluated, other Improvement Experiments are being pulled through the Improvement Experiment Kanban based on the capacity limits. Here is a snapshot of the entire Improvement Experiment Kanban.
    Breaking up a change model represented on the canvas into a set of Improvement Experiments and then managing them using a Kanban system provides the team with real-time insight on how the change effort is progressing, much like a Kanban system can help software delivery teams provide insight on how a software project is progressing.
    clip_image008For more check out the Lean Change Method: Managing Agile Transformation with Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking

    Validate Your Agile Change with an Improvement Experiment Kanban

    In various recent posts I have talked about how a Minimum Viable Change as small as it can be. An MVC also has to be viable.
    For a change to be viable, we need to continually validate the different aspects of that change. This validation can be achieved by implementing our change using a discrete set of Improvement Experiments. As each Improvement Experiment is introduced to change participants, the experiment is evaluated, providing insight into clip_image002the validity of the change model represented on the canvas.
    One way to manage Improvement Experiments is to track them using an Improvement Kanban System. The Improvement Kanban tracks the progress of Improvement Experiments as they are introduced to change participants. Each MVC typically has its own separate Improvement Kanban board. Frequently, the Improvement Kanban is placed directly under the Change Canvas that is used to represent the MVC in question.
    Different columns represent different states within the improvement lifecycle. As Improvement Experiments complete a particular state they move from left to right across the Improvement Experiment Kanban.
    The left side of the Kanban represent items that have not yet started, basically an improvement backlog. It is recommended to use a regularly reoccurring cadence to schedule replenishment of Improvement Experiments. In this case each column represents a two-week interval in the future. What this would mean is that every two weeks the change agent and change participants would meet and start on the Improvement Experiments within the appropriate column. Depending on the number of improvement items and a timeline of the change, a later/optional column could also be placed to the very left, signifying improvement items that may be "stretch" goals.
    The right side of the Kanban represents items that are currently in progress, and follow a simple prepare, introduce, and learn lifecycle.
    The numbers on top of each column is known as a work in process limit, or WIP limit for short. This number represents a recommended limit to how many tickets should be in a particular state at a time. This "inventory leveling" is a feature of Kanban that helps ensure that value flows quickly through a system and an individual work ticket does not spend too much time waiting around in one particular state.
    Below is a real-life example of a MVC Change Canvas along with an Improvement Experiment Kanban below it.
    clip_image007For more check out the Lean Change Method: Managing Agile Transformation with Kanban, Kotter, and Lean Startup Thinking