I’m an independent consultant. Based in Boulder, Colorado, and traveling the world to work with clients. Agile product development is my focus, already for 20 years. Software in my Scrum years, now wrestling with physical product delivery in a team-based, iterative, incremental way.
Shoulder to shoulder
The pandemic brought virtual meetings, virtual tools, and working from home. It didn’t bring better collaboration, it didn’t support agile product development. In software development, it’s supposed to make no difference. In the physical world, it is often impossible to work in the virtual world.
Which is how I work. Seeing and feeling what people are doing on the job. Talking to operators and leadership. Walking in warehouses and manufacturing plants, gemba in coaching and in agile practices.
A long time ago in a place far away…
The long ago was 2001 and the far away was Edinburgh, Scotland. Where I was a project lead with Vision, and we built a mortgage bank (Intelligent Finance) in 10 months. From scratch, from nothing. And sold mortgages in month 11. Every day the project leads and ops people got together. Every night a full build of the bank was completed, and every month the client got an updated system.
The process didn’t have a name, and I searched for similar processes. I found the Agile Manifesto and Ken Schwaber.
I met Ken Schwaber in the early years of Scrum – 2002 or thereabouts. Together with a small group of like-minded people we filled in the Scrum framework. Exercises, facilitation techniques, burn-down charts. Rally Software invited me to come to the US, and after five years I went solo. The years at Rally were formative, working with colleagues to shape agile transformations, big and small. Seeing and contributing to scaling agile, what is now known as Scaled Agile. Writing and presenting, still firmly involved in the Scrum Alliance.
The story continues
With 15 years of Scrum experience in software development under my belt, I started to work on the concept of using agile practices in physical product development. Together with my business partner Peter Borsella, we rewrote training materials. We created a full-size concept car to create a true agile product development experience for the clients we work with.
We were back in 2005 when practices for agile software development were invented and created. We’re doing it again, now for physical products. For integrated circuits, satellites, and medical equipment.
Peter Borsella and I discovered that focus on product design was only half the story, and included supply chain, manufacturing, and on-market support in our agile philosophy. The Industrial Agile Framework was born and is used in client engagements. We worked in situations where increments and prototypes cannot be produced (semiconductors), and in places where documentation, approvals, and sign-offs quadruple the engineering time (medical equipment). And with the clients, we created solutions to produce “twice the product in half the time™”.
I can work with you to provide training in the physical agile concepts. And work shoulder-to-shoulder with you and your teams to make the step toward agile product development. I can talk at an event to introduce the concepts of physical agile, both as a straightforward talk or in an interactive setting. Reach out to discuss possibilities, the contact page has all the details.