“Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is an absurd one” -Voltaire
I help organizations manage the inherent uncertainty of product development to increase learning, deliver value more frequently, and evolve beyond competitors or prior limitations. We reduce the chaos and waste of ad hoc, event-driven decision making with practices supporting rigor and transparency, regularly testing assumptions and growing a culture of incremental and continuous improvement. I guide management in evolving organizational structures to support autonomous learning teams, reducing the transaction costs of delivering value. Along the way, we often notice happier, more productive employees, and more engaged & satisfied customers.
Prior to becoming a coach and trainer in 2010, I logged over 8000 hours as a member of high-fidelity Scrum teams creating commercially successful products for Danube Technologies (later purchased by Collabnet, which later merged with VersionOne). I began practicing Scrum in 2004, working with Michael James (before both became trainers) on the development team for ScrumWorks Pro™ one of the ‘big three’ players in the early agile tools market alongside Rally and VersionOne.
Before 2004, I managed product design groups at software and hardware product development organizations. My software experience during the internet boom era provided a rich and sometimes tragicomic illustration of the failures of traditional, defined-process management for software development, and of the effects of intrinsic flaws in human judgement when grappling with systemic complexity.
A specialized degree in Industrial Design adds a unusual perspective to my current role. Industrial Design is a user-centered design discipline, incorporating the ‘soft’ or desire-based incentives of users, human physical and cognitive factors, and ‘hard' engineering and commercial production concerns to create products of not only the highest utility, but also of the highest desirability. Iterative creation and critical review for subsequent improvement were early standards of the discipline, paralleling much of the agile software development movement. This background in formalized study and practice of empirical product development informs my work helping organizations improve through adaptation.