Breaking Through the Performance Barrier for Your Software Organization
An Executive Workshop to Improve Your Results
A customizable session available onsite at your location
In a Nutshell
Join international experts Alan Willett (Oxseeker, Inc.) and Neil Potter (The Process Group) for 2.5 days of intense exploration on the immediate actions executives can take to improve their organization by removing barriers that inhibit creativity and productivity.
Many development organizations hit a barrier of performance in quality, speed and delivery even when using the best methodologies. We will give you an executive-level understanding of underlying laws of system & software development. We will provide pragmatic examples and working sessions focused on your specific needs to break through the performance barrier.
Executive managers have typically tried many different methodologies over the years, for example, Agile, Waterfall, CMMI and ISO, but most fall short of the results desired. This session will help you pinpoint the causes of many of the challenges you face, including:
- The lack of speed in the organization
- Technical debt within project teams
- Surprises late in the schedule
- Spending 50 percent or more of project effort on testing, and yet customers find numerous defects
- Agile / Scrum team challenges and how to overcome them as a leader
Workshop Key Points
- This workshop is limited to 20 people.
- The workshop is designed to enable in-depth discussions and learning with peer-level executives that will push your own thinking.
- We will collect your detailed goals and challenges before the session and then adjust the agenda every half-day to maximize your time.
- You will develop new relationships that last well beyond your immediate positions.
- The workshop is designed for busy executives. There will be ample breaks to handle phone calls and emails that cannot wait.
What We Will Cover
- Challenge question
- Challenge working session
2. Four hidden barriers to productivity
- Technical debt – making the invisible visible
- Cost of quality – making invisible waste visible
- Barriers to high-fidelity information flow
- Skill debt – get your organization to know the domain better than your customers and competitors
3. Expecting excellence
- Are your teams and managers organized and proactive?
- Setting expectations for teams, how to know if they are meeting expectations and whether they are blowing smoke
- Freedom and responsibility of teams
4. Dealing with the seven types of technical debt
5. Accelerating your quality journey
- Understanding where your organization is now and what you need to do next
- Common journeys to world-class quality (code test, proactive testing, partial inspection, professional inspection, professional measurement, personal ownership, design focus)
6. Communication and teamwork
- Do your teams have teamwork or do teams get reorganized just as they gel?
- Meetings are not well run – can you save hundreds of hours of labor each week?
- Gates and project reviews are misleading – anyone can get through a gate by whining, bluffing, or using deep-geek buzzwords
- The right questions to ask, and how to get your teams to answer them with facts and data
7. Coordination nightmares
- Dependencies with suppliers and other teams – where does the time go?
- How should your small and large teams be set up
8. Moving from “methodology” to “result,” and “practice” to “principle / intent”
- What to communicate day-to-day to get what you want
- Moving from doing practices to getting results
- Leading teams to recognize and avoid previous poor practices (large design doc, no requirements, tollgates that anyone can get through)
- Schedule/quality/cost predictability: recognizing the value practices give (and don’t give) compared to the desired end result
9. Changing the culture without fear of scaring senior engineers away
10. Leadership mindset, style, and your next steps
- Give freedom with clear responsibility
- Lead your organization to understand the impact and economics of quality
- Measure knowledge workers and know that they can measure themselves
- No coddling – ask the hard questions and don’t put up with team waffle
11. The leadership role with agile teams – results, direction and getting out of the way
- Diagnose what you are seeing
- Understand the benefits that Agile / Scrum teams are trying to achieve
- Understand the problems Agile / Scrum is trying to address
- 10 leadership practices you can do now to focus on results and keep your teams happy
About the Experts
Neil Potter and Alan Willett have been working independently over the last two decades powering up organizations. Executives and developers alike are impressed with their pragmatic, results focus. It is never about the methodology. It is always about results and achieving higher level of performance.
Alan (see http://oxseeker.net/about-alan-willett)
Alan is the paradigm shifter. His work with individuals and organizations leads to new ways of thinking and a magnitude shift in performance.
“Alan consulted our team at a time when morale was suffering, employee satisfaction was low, and overtime and heroics were the norm. After his first year, morale was at an all-time high, and people were far more productive in 40–45 hours than they ever were at 60–80 hours. People enjoyed their jobs, and top talent began lining up to join our team.”
David VanEpps, Delivery Executive, Acxiom.
“Alan asks the tough questions that make you think big. In our short time together, Alan helped me see how to not just plan for the future, but to plan for success. This requires a level of thinking that pulls you out of your day-to-day mindset to focus on process, teamwork, architecture, and collaborative strategy. I am excited to continue our work with Alan as our team grows.”
Greg Kops, CEO, Think Topography.
Neil (see processgroup.com/principals)
Neil provides organizations with insights about why they get the results they do, what is working well, what is not and what to do about it. He then provides immediate actions to get better results.
“If you are looking for a typical process improvement consultant, Neil’s not your man, because his approach to the discipline is pragmatic, results-driven and rife with common sense. He has demonstrated this time and again through the years. His straightforward approach to often complex issues has been a lifesaver for several organizations I have supported. I’ve always appreciated Neil’s honesty and propensity for telling you how it is. I would not hesitate to hire Neil again, or recommend others to do the same.”*
Rob Wyatt, IT Director at Dell Inc.
“I have worked with Neil for over 7 years, his expertise in project management, and systems development practices are un-paralleled. He and his business partner Mary Sakry, and their company The Process Group, have been instrumental in the improvement of the technology service and systems engineering processes at both Peerless and Mark IV. If you want to see long term return on the software development and services propositions in your organization, I would highly encourage you to engage his services and the services of The Process Group.”*
Ross Sivertsen, CIO, Peerless.