Consulting packages

All my packages can be modified and tailored, or you can or get in touch to discuss your specific needs

For teams who want to improve the way they work

Scrum therapy sessions

The symptoms: You think you’re doing Scrum but you don’t see the value. Stand-ups are pointless, planning sessions drag on forever, reviews are dull and dry, retros either don’t happen or the same problems come up week after week.

The solution: Over the course of 6 sprints, I will work with the senior members of the team (scrum master/tech lead/product owner) for a day or two per sprint to make sure planning, reviews and retros get less painful (maybe even fun!) and start delivering the value they should. I’ll also attend daily standups (remote only) for up to three teams. Development teams will get a better understanding of how to use scrum ceremonies and artefacts to embed the culture of reflection, experimentation and focus which is at the heart of high-performing teams. Senior team members will be helped in improving their facilitation and communication skills.

Note: Scrum is great, but it’s only a starting point for effective software delivery. If you’re already using Scrum then I advocate for iterating on this to progress your agile/devops journey. If you’re not, then I would advocate moving straight to an approach more focused on Kanban and devops culture and practices.

Deployment efficiency recommendations

The symptoms: Deployments are painful. They don’t happen very often (less than once a week) and when they do, there’s a lot of work involved before, during and afterwards. There may be discussions about “merge hell” and you never, ever deploy on Fridays because that would almost certainly ruin someone’s weekend. Quick fixes are held up because they’re tied to big features and your branch network diagram looks more like the London Underground map.

The solution: I will analyse what really happens when you try to deploy, and create a shared understanding of where the problems occur - and why. You'll get a set of recommendations to make real improvement, including some quick fixes, a clear backlog of actions to take, and an understanding of how to shift your organisation to continuous delivery.

Continuous integration and continuous deployment isn’t just about having the right tooling and automation in place. It’s about managing your constraints, flow and queue time, and discovering how a focus on delivery over local optimisations can deliver efficiencies you didn’t even know you could make.

Rapid Scale package

The problem: Your company is growing fast, but your development team can’t keep pace. You need to hire more developers, and get them contributing to delivery - fast!

The solution: A combination of hiring practices review, on-boarding process design and implementation, and coaching for your tech leads to ensure they have the skills to cope with the sudden influx of new developers. Culture often comes under particular strain when scaling rapidly, so I can also work with executives to understand your current and desired tech culture, and take steps to embed and codify that.

If you're looking for someone to implement a scaled agile framework, you won't find it here. Instead, I focus on nurturing the culture, leadership and attitudes that create resilient agile organisations

For developers who want to have a bigger impact

Leadership for Developers

All too often, developers are promoted on the back of technical excellence - but find that they then lack the “soft skills” to bring out the best in the team they’re supposed to be leading. They may also be missing the theory behind how to maximise the output from a team over individual productivity.

Available as one-on-one mentoring and coaching, or as a programme of workshops for 4 to 6 senior developers/tech leads/engineering managers. I will ensure that your senior tech talent has the tools and resources to move effectively to a multiplier role.

Facilitated Change and Collaboration workshops

Senior developers and tech leads often have all the knowledge and insight to make improvements in your team/department, but need help surfacing that information and structuring the response in a way that allows them to work together to enact real change. Get your best people in a room together and empower them to fix it themselves in the form of a change and collaboration workshop. As a facilitator at these workshops, I let your developers find their own solutions, while coaching them through ways to ensure that their ideas get turned into reality.

For leaders who want to grow an elite tech team

Scale-up CTO

You've hustled and sweated and coded a decent amout of the whole thing yourself, and now it's finally taking off. As the company suddenly starts growing, your job has changed dramatically. Suddenly you're having to worry about managing developers, and maybe even managers of developers, people are not just asking you about tech but also about culture, engagement, diversity, retention, strategy, innovation, investment, ROI, forecasts, compliance and risk. It's not an exaggeration to say that it's a totally different job, and it's one that technology leaders are all too often expected to do without any training or support.

But how can you make time for training when you're in meetings all day and coding all night and still not getting it all done? With on-the-job coaching and mentoring, we figure out each challenge together as they hit and along the way I help you through the process of working out what your new job is and how to do it well.

Technology principles for Leaders

Technology moves fast! This is not news. But it’s especially hard for people who are busy running companies to keep up with the latest theory and practice in software development. Even - or perhaps especially - executives who were once hands-on technologists themselves might find themselves struggling to keep up with the huge amounts of new thinking, models and practices. I can offer tailored insights for executives who wish to gain understanding into how technology delivery really works, and support and coaching for executives who wish to reconnect with their technical background. More than just answers to problems, I can help the whole leadership team understand the theory and models which drive great tech decision-making at senior leadership level.

Feel embarrassed about how much you’re bluffing it? Or just need someone to guide you through the specific tech that will help you do your job better? I can offer discreet targeted mentoring, helping you navigate jargon, ask pertinent questions of your direct reports, and sniff out bullshit.

Truth to power

You've got a culture problem, you know it, and you are ready to do something about it. Maybe you're worried about your staff retention, or you've been shocked by terrible Glassdoor ratings. Perhaps you're wondering about why so many people are taking so many sick days - or on the opposite side of the spectrum, never seem to leave the office. Maybe you've recently noticed how all your senior leadership - or maybe even your entire tech department - are white men. Maybe you already know what the problem is, but you need some support while you take the first steps in tackling it.

Culture change is a long, hard and painful journey, and often involves a level of deep personal introspection and growth that many people are not ready to commit to. But if you're ready to hear the hard truths and make real personal and organisational change, I can help you gain the insights you need into what's happening on the ground and guide you along the path to positive change.