What’s the Hurry? Building a Digital Enterprise

By Jim Highsmith and David Robinson Are the forces behind digital business, just one more wave of technology fueled change or is today’s business environment fundamentally different? If different, what are the critical capabilities required to survive and thrive? Examples of the differences assault us in the media. Doug Stephens, author of The Retail Revival, says, […] The post What’s...

Don’t “Control” Agile Projects

One common complaints about agile methods is that management doesn’t have the same degree of “control” over projects. We need to stop worrying about this complaint as a vice and start thinking of it as a virtue. When we “control” agile projects...

Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

A couple of years ago I was talking to the CEO of a medium-sized company. “We started the year with 10 strategic initiatives,” he said. “It’s now May and we’ve scrapped 4 of them and added 3 new ones. We are committed to being agile and flexible in our...

Adaptive Leadership eBook Just Published!

My new eBook, Adaptive Leadership: Accelerating Enterprise Agility is out! We are at a tipping point. Technology—cloud, big data, mobility, social media—tops CEO’s list of concerns per a recent IBM study. “There has been no other point in history when so...

Why Even Good Managers Cause Projects to Fail

In December 1999 I published my first “agile” book, Adaptive Software Development (wow, nearly 15 years ago now). Recently, Dorset House Publishing and Addison-Wesley brought out an electronic edition of this book. To promote this edition we selected...

The Four Dimensions of Adaptability

I was reminded recently that people think of adaptability in too few dimensions. To me adaptability and agility are synonyms characterized by “the ability to both create and respond to change.” I might extend this definition to include both anticipated and...

Once Upon a Time before Agile

Once upon a time, before “agile”, the IT world teemed with scary monsters—huge methodologies in multiple 3-ring binders, processes stacked upon processes and excruciatingly detailed documents ad infinitum. This was the 1980’s when proponents of methodologies...

You Can’t Plan Away Uncertainty

I’ve recently moved from Venice, Florida back to the West—to Lafayette, Colorado near Boulder to be specific. As I launch my cycling activity here I was reminded of an article I wrote several years ago on Hudson Bay Starts. Riding in the Boulder/Lafayette area...

Organizing for Innovation

One of the constant questions I get goes something like, “Should we create a separate agile group, team, department, product team, or plan our agile transformation within our current organization?” This question arises for agile transformations, but also for...

Determining Business Value

The topic of business value is a complex one and it’s easy to get mired in the morass of calculating ROI or in trying to define what intangibles are relevant to your organization. What I will attempt to do in this blog is provide a model for looking at business...

How Agile Do You Need to Be?

In The Upside of Turbulence Donald Sull makes an insightful statement, “companies do not pass through life cycles, opportunities do.” Turbulence causes opportunities and companies learn to take advantage of them, or they wither. Managing this flow of opportunities,...

Effective Collaboration: Discussion, Decision Making, Commitment

The Agile community promotes the value of collaboration in teams, although promotes may too weak a verb for our fascination with collaboration. And while collaboration can have many benefits, in practice we often act as if collaboration was mostly about talking...

Embracing Paradox

“All of us like to think that human affairs are essentially rational. … The wealth of experience that fails to support this notion never seems to faze us. … That human affairs usually work not rationally but paradoxically.” “… because of the sense of...

There are 101 ways to approach anything.
To find the best way, sometimes you need expert help

What People Say

“Kelly revolutionised the way our digital department operated. A true advocate of agile principles, he quickly improved internal communication within our teams and our internal clients by aligning our business and creating a much enhanced sense of transparency in the decisions the business was making. Kelly also introduced a higher sense of empowerment to the development teams...”


“Kelly’s a leading program director with the ability to take charge from day one and keep strong momentum at both a program and project level driving prioritisation, resourcing and budgeting agendas. Kelly operates with an easy-going style and possesses a strong facilitation skill set. From my 5 months experience working with Kelly, I would recommend Kelly to program manage large scale, complex, cross company change programs both from a business and IT perspective.”


“Kelly is an extremely talented and visionary leader. As such he manages to inspire all around him to achieve their best. He is passionate about agile and has a wealth of experience to bring to bear in this area. If you're 'lucky' he might even tell you all about his agile blog. Above all this, Kelly is great fun to work with. He is always relaxed and never gets stressed - and trust me, he had plenty of opportunity here! If you get the chance to work with Kelly, don't pass it up.”


“Kelly is an Agile heavy-weight. He came in to assess my multi-million $ Agile development program which wasn’t delivering the right throughput. He interviewed most of the team and made some key recommendations that, when implemented, showed immediate results. I couldn’t ask for more than that except he’s a really nice guy as well.”


“Kelly and I worked together on a very large project trying to secure a new Insurer client. Kelly had fantastic commercial awareness as well as his technical expertise. Without him I would never had secured this client so I owe a lot to him. He is also a really great guy!”


“Kelly came to the department and has really made a huge impact on how the department communicates, collaborates and generally gets things done. We were already developing in an agile way, but Kelly has brought us even more into alignment with agile and scrum best practices, being eager to share information and willing to work with us to change our processes rather than dictate how things must be done. He is highly knowledgable about agile development (as his active blog proves) but his blog won't show what a friendly and knowledgeable guy he is. I highly recommend Kelly to anyone looking for a CTO or a seminar on agile/scrum practices - you won't be disappointed!”


“Kelly was a great colleague to work with - highly competent, trustworthy and generally a nice bloke.”


“Kelly was engaged as a Program Director on a complex business and technology transformation program for Suncorp Commercial Insurance. Kelly drew on his key capabilities and depth of experience to bring together disparate parties in a harmonised way, ensuring the initiate and concept phases of the program were understood and well formulated. Excellent outcome in a very short time frame. ”


“I worked with Kelly on many projects at IPC and I was always impressed with his approach to all of them, always ensuring the most commercially viable route was taken. He is great at managing relationships and it was always a pleasure working with him.”


“I worked with Kelly whilst at Thoughtworks and found him to be a most inspiring individual, his common-sense approach coupled with a deep understanding of Agile and business makes him an invaluable asset to any organisation. I can't recommend Kelly enough.”


“Kelly was a brilliant CTO and a great support to me in the time we worked together. I owe Kelly a great deal in terms of direction and how to get things done under sometimes difficult circumstances. Thanks Kelly.”