Our philosophy

How we can help you

You know that you have the best people you can get. You know that they are really talented and can do excellent work. So why are things late? Why are there mistakes made? If they build software for you, why did things that are really obvious get missed? If your company makes a product, why does it miss the quality you know should be there?

If you have different teams for, say development, testing and operations, why don’t they talk to each other? Why do they blame each other? We all work for the same company, with the same goals, and the same customers, don’t we?

Lean Teams are a group of experienced team leaders and trainers. We know how to help you find your way to a better way of working that doesn’t waste a lot of time and energy. We want you to succeed, we want you to unlock the talent you’ve spent so much time recruiting and developing.

Where we come from

We come from many years of working with Agile software development, and have come to realise that putting a capital A on the front of a word doesn’t solve any real-world problems. We also think that 90% of dealing with the complexity of the day to day run of problems have nothing to do with software, and everything to do with people. The end product when software is being written, or a project of any sort being run, is capability, you want to run your business better at the end of it. So instead of concentrating on all the trivial deliverables that these methods have come up with you need to get to the heart of what the methods are about.

Agile was first put forward over ten years ago by some very experienced software designers, project managers and developers, as a pragmatic response to the old fashioned way of working where people would spend months writing specifications and trying to tie down every last detail before getting on with providing the capability. This usually resulted in things that don’t work and are very inflexible. They intended instead to create things in a way that put something that works in the hands of the people they were working for, right now, and use short time frames so that the cost of any misunderstandings was really low.

These are sharp tools, and in the right hands they can make a great deal of difference. However, in the hands of people who see the preference for getting things done taking precedence over thinking about what you are doing, who see rituals instead of a proper nuanced understanding of your business, they are very dangerous.

One of the core tenets of the agile movement was to take responsibility for things, for people to own the probem they are solving and see it all the way through to the end. Now we have the opposite, things get thrown at the wall and never properly resolved.

What we do

The core of most of the problems we see is poor communication, and people working very hard on things that don’t connect properly with each other. Everyone is being measured in a way that means their behavior almost guarantees certain types of failure. In an effort to take control of difficult situations people start coming up with measures of performance and processes that they implement in a hurry to put a sticking plaster over the problems.

This is nobody’s fault, if all you have is a hammer then everything looks like a nail. We work with organisations to find other tools, to find a method that works for them, without doing what everybody else does because everybody else is failing too. Every situation is different, your problems aren’t the same as someone else’s. There is in fact little margin in copying someone else, whatever you do needs to be grounded in what you need and the circumstances that you face.

We have a number of products that are described on this site, some of them very technical sounding. Their essence is breaking down communication barriers and examining how things are done. We don’t have a methodology that begins with a capital letter, our approach is one of engaging with you and helping your business get the perspective it needs to get past the problems it has today.

Working with us

If you want to sign up for our regular seminars and workshops introducing these ideas, see here.

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