Entries by Kevan Hall

Don’t fall into Silicon Valley’s agile traps

Agile working brings many benefits, but a strict application of agile methodology, intended for software development and originally developed by managers in a narrow monoculture can be an expensive trap. It is useful to distinguish between organizational agility (the capability of a company to rapidly adapt in response to changes in their market) and agile […]

How many rules do you need to self-organise a team?

It’s striking how many rules and processes today’s “self-organising teams” seem to require – isn’t this a contradiction in terms? I have been researching and working around self-organization for many years now. Some of our clients have made impressive progress with self-organising teams and there is increasing interest in concepts like Agile and Holacracy. There […]

Implementing Agile in a virtual and matrixed reality

Traditional Agile methodologies recommend dedicated teams in a face-to-face, colocated setting, with a strict focus on short to medium term deliverables. Many of our clients operate in multiple teams in multiple locations and need to operate ongoing business processes that can’t be easily divided into a series of two-week sprints. How can we get the […]

Cross functional teamwork on the rise?

With the increasing complexity of products and services and many companies taking a more “horizontal” approach to providing value for consumers, this leads to increased need for collaboration to cut across the traditional functional silos. Many agile practices are also based around the idea of autonomous cross functional teams. On the other hand, according to […]

Arrogant digital hubs and mainstream dinosaurs – do you have an internal digital gap

You may have read about the “digital divide” between those who have ready access to computers and the Internet, and those who do not. Now we are observing the digital divide inside some of the world’s most successful companies as investment in digital hubs and new digital talent risks alienating existing managers and professionals. Digital […]

Which stage are you at on the matrix maturity model

A couple of our clients have recently asked us for a “matrix maturity model”, something that describes the typical journey we see companies taking as they develop their matrix organisations and helps locate them in that journey. We thought it made sense to locate this in a journey from a traditional local functional organisation at […]

Obsession with digital replaces obsession with structure – both miss the point

“Digital” is receiving a huge amount of attention at the moment, quite rightly given the accelerating pace of automation and integration of businesses is. Digital is a great opportunity or threat depending on your perspective. However, in the context of leading real change, an over-focus on systems and IT risks making the same mistakes that […]

Durable teams: more than a series of sprints

How can we keep longer term perspectives and a sense of team spirit among the rise in short-term project sprints? The answer, according to tech giants, is durable teams. Software teams have long been used to Agile ways of working: forming a small multidisciplinary team to solve a mission critical problem that can be broken […]