I’m a process and organization nerd. If you need help with digital transformation or in scaling your operations, feel free to contact me.
15+ years of creating digital products have taught me one thing:
True business agility can only emerge when a company’s digital strategy, operating model, and enterprise architecture are aligned.
These are the services I offer toward that goal:
Consulting, from strategy to implementation:
Move from a project methodology to a product operating model
Get to autonomous, aligned teams
Why I consult
Many organizations have not yet learned how to leverage information technology to their advantage, and I believe I know how to fix that.
I feel strongly about this topic, which is also why I started this blog/newsletter.
How I consult
As this publication shows, I start from first principles. In practice, I am a no-nonsense kind of guy. Pragmatic, to-the-point & honest.
My consulting approach is based on the OODA loop, a proven model for decision-making in competitive environments (if it’s good enough for the US military, it’s good enough for me).
Observe: what problem are we solving? What data are we starting from?
Orient: do we have a mutual understanding of the environment, both internal and external? What options do we have at our disposal to improve the situation?
Decide: what action do we take? What do we rule out? How will we validate the results of our actions?
Act: carry out what we agreed and restart the process of incremental and iterative improvements.
Everything I do for my clients is framed in this model. One of the benefits of this approach is that clients experience firsthand how an OODA loop can transform governance. Hardwiring a process for continuous sensing and responding, is a powerful differentiator in today’s volatile markets.
What I consult in
From projects to products
The methods that served us well in the age of mass production have outlived their usefulness: traditional project management, managing technology as a cost center, Chinese walls between business and IT,…
Modern alternatives like agile software development are popping up, but their implementation often clashes with existing governance structures. I can help companies integrate digital-native approaches while respecting organizational needs like transparency and predictability.
Some governance challenges I can help address:
agile contracting & procurement (here is a video where I moderate a panel on the topic - in Dutch)
aligning agile operations with critical support functions like sales & people
rolling budgets (for cost management)
probabilistic forecasting (for predictable delivery of value)
shift left or how to tackle quality aspects more efficiently (eg, infosec, compliance, quality)
Program, portfolio, or partner management
Large software initiatives have a lot of moving parts. It takes an experienced generalist to keep on top of them, and nip issues in the bud before they become real problems. Progress dashboards are helpful but not sufficient - most software development metrics are lagging indicators.
Aside from analysis and reporting, good program managers need the ability to simplify complex problems into manageable chunks. I hope my writing demonstrates my ability to present complex issues in an understandable way.
Last but not least, I spent the better part of my career in the services industry, and I know the tools of that trade. As the Dutch idiom goes: poachers make the best forest rangers.
Aligned autonomy & organization design
Does the following sound familiar?
teams need constant babysitting to manage ever-increasing dependencies
teams deflect accountability: people spend more energy on finger-pointing than on collaboration
strategic initiatives are slow to materialize due to a lack of coordination between strategy and operational execution
Methodologies and frameworks have popped up left and right to help manage flow and alignment (Scrum or Kanban at the team level, SAFe, LeSS or Spotify at the organization level, OKRs or Flight Levels for strategic coordination) but these are not governance scripts that can be executed on autopilot. These frameworks are starting points.
I helped shape teams at many organizations under different frameworks. I understand the social aspects of teaming as well as the technical implications. Under Conway’s Law, the makeup of teams impacts the software architecture and the final product/service. I can work with you to turn this to your advantage and align team topologies with business strategy and enterprise architecture.
In short, I can help you build an antifragile system of empowered & accountable product teams. As an example, at the digital product studio In The Pocket, I designed a framework to coach internal teams as well as clients on the guiding principles of product discovery and delivery.
Agile leadership coaching
As many companies have learned, digital transformations don’t happen inside the IT department. They can start there, but before long it will become clear that every business function is impacted.
The holy grail of business agility consists of empowered product teams that are empowered to own a value stream while collaborating to realize the overall strategy.
In order to achieve this, executive teams need to open their mind to new ways of working. That requires a holistic understanding of the organizational practices where technology can thrive. I can teach leaders the first principles of agility, eliminating the over-reliance on frameworks and methodologies.
Training & workshops
Looking to upskill your teams and arm them for the challenges that come with digital transformation?
I can leverage my network to find the right course for the situation, or I can facilitate a bespoke course. In both cases, the goal is to make a difference and provide learnings that can be immediately applied on the job.