Tailored Solutions for Special Companies

Net Objectives has provided thought leadership in most every Agile approach in the last two decades. Our approach is rooted in the belief that companies need a well-defined approach tailored for them and with the aim of making them self-sufficient as soon as possible. We do this through a combination of workshops, consulting, online training and online support systems.

We provide a range of services that can cover an enterprise at all scales but can also bring our focus down to one area or even one team. Here's how we can help:

  • Executive or management training or consulting would be useful to you.
  • Agile at mid to large Scale - We have been doing Agile at scale for over a decade based on Lean. We can build around SAFe or help you grow your own lighter-weight methods.
  • Assessments and roadmap to help you decide what your next steps should be.
  • Portfolio and Product Management. We focus on achieving business agility- the quick realization of value predictably, sustainably and with high quality. If you are having challenges identifying, prioritizing what to work on we can help. We can help you go from what you want to invest in, to your strategies, initiatives and how to best hand those off to your technology groups (dev or IT).
  • Program Increment Planning Events - we can both show you how to run them and provide a tool that automatically creates the program board for you.
  • Test-First Methods: Acceptance Test-Driven Development and/or Test-Driven Development. Test-first methods are imperative to effective Agile. Organizations, unfortunately, don't always start at the right place or time. As contributors to SAFe in both ATDD and TDD we are clearly recognized as experts in this area.
  • Scrum Masters, Lean Project Managers, Kanban Team Leaders. As most everyone has discovered, 2 days is not enough and bringing on outside coaches is expensive. We offer both training and support for team level coaches.
  • Team Training. We not only provide team training from Scrum to Kanban and everything in between, but we also provide supports systems for your teams and team-level coaches. Through the use of innovative training techniques we offer more curriculum for a lower cost. 
  • Technical Team Training - you are interested in TDD, design patterns, core object-oriented skills, and/or architecture.
  • Supporting Recruiters and Staffing Companies - our ongoing education and support systems designed to help people learn while learning can also be used to attract and educate people on an ongoing basis. 

If you want to learn more about our approach, check our FLEX operating model by clicking on the diagram below. You can also check out our online training by clicking any of images underneath that.

FLEX Scrum Master Coaching Academy Foundations Sustainable Design Agile Product Management Community Bundle

Our Commitment  Whom We Help  How We Help  Who We Are Our Offerings

Our Commitment to You

We Partner

Al Shalloway, CEO, Net Objectives

I formed Net Objectives with the mission of helping clients do “Effective Software Development Without Suffering.” It continues to be our belief that much of the “suffering” that takes place in our industry is due to people being unaware of what would be an effective way of working. We see many companies doing the equivalent of driving a Porsche in reverse, seeing only what was visible in the rear view mirror, and wondering why arriving at a destination had become intolerably difficult.

The first step to solving ones challenges is to be aware of how to see them properly. It is because of this insight, our vision and our drive to add value to our customers that we have been leaders in virtually every leading technology and process approach that merited it. Scrum, XP, Lean, SAFe, Test-Driven Development (TDD), Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD), emergent design – these are just a few of the approaches that we’ve championed, created, or contributed to their development. We’ve seen which approaches work, and which haven’t.

More importantly, we’ve seen the situations in which particular approaches work, or not.

Our focus is on you and you can be assured that you will get the best solution that is tailored for you, not merely an approach that a consultancy has decided to back and now has few alternatives to offer. Our broad offering of business strategy/finance, Lean-Agile methods and technology reflect both our commitment to you and our commitment to finding better ways for the industry.

One of our founding principles was that the amount of money someone received was a direct measure of the value they delivered – hence the idea of truly focusing on the value we could provide to our customers and trusting that we’d get value in return. (Earl Nightingale, the “Dean Of Personal Development,” was the inspiration for this principle.) I look forward to the opportunity to prove our value to you.


Executive and Management Training or Consulting

Getting executives and management involved is a crucial, but overlooked aspet of Agile. We make it a top imperative. Learn more about our executive/management training or give us a call regarding training and/or consulting services.

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Agile at Mid to Large Scale

We have worked with companies at scale for well over a decade. We use both our own Lean-Agile method we call FLEX (FLow for Enterprise Transformation) and SAFe and everything in between. Whether you want to grow your own, follow SAFE or take SAFe to the next level, we can help. If your technology group is under 1000 people, our lean-Agile approaches are more effective than a full-blown SAFe implementation. Although Net Objectives is a bronze partner and contributor to SAFe, we want to ensure you get the right framework. See our Agile at Scale Page for more. 

 
Assessments and Roadmaps

Before starting a transition to Lean-Agile it is almost always worth taking a look at where you are and what your challenges and what the best approach is. This is basically what our Enterprise Agility Assessment is - to create a roadmap for your success.

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Portfolio and Product Management

Most organizations are still having challenges with portfolio management because most Agile methods focus on the technology side. We prefer to start with portfolio management because well defined business initiatives help everything down stream. We can with small to extremely large companies, having used the equivalent of the Lean-Startup for large organizations for over a decade. See some of our core portfolio and product management workshops.

 
Program Increment Planning Events

Many comanies have adopted SAFe's planning event as a core method of scaling. We've taken the standard SAFe program incrmeent planning event and added Agile Product Management concepts as well as Lean flow to it in order to lower risk and enable quicker delivery if desired. We also provide a tool that can build a virtual program board to avoid the physical creation of it being both a constraint and a duplication of effort. Learn more at Running Effective Planning Events.

 
Test-First Methods: ATDD and SustainableTDD

We offer integrated Acceptnace Test-Driven Development and Sustainable Test-Driven Development. We believe these are so critical that we have integrated ATDD into our Team Level Agile Training. There are many factors, however, for determining where to start for existing teams. See How to Decide Whether to Start With ATDD or TDD.  Our Test-First workshops are included in our Technical Agility Roadmap.

Sustainable Test-Driven Development goes beyond unit testing, refactoring, and incremental development. It requires understanding which tests to write, how to write them, when to refactor code, and the techniques for breaking dependencies. Otherwise testing can become unsustainable as projects mature.

 
Scrum Masters, Agile Team Coaches, Lean Project Managers, Kanban Team Leaders

Learning how to be a great team coach takes on the job training. Our marquee course is titled Coaching Academy For Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches it is based on Lean-Agile principles and applies everywhere team-agility is being done. It is important that new teach coaches have additional training/coacahing. The Academy can stand on its own, but at a minimum can be used to supplement bringing in outside coaches. Investing in your own people is always a good idea. And if you are bringing in outside coaches, if you shorten the time they are onsite by just a week you can put three people thorugh the academy. 

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Team Training

It's not our breadth (Scrum to Kanban) that is so important, it's that we have integrated all you need to have your teams be successful into a comprehensive offering. And we do it for less than Scrum Master Training alone. By using a combination of innovative training methods, coaching in the intitial workshops and online followup workshops (included at no extra charge) we provide what is necessary for you to be successful. In addition, we show teams how to do core Acceptance Test-Driven Development practices on their own work so that when the initial workshop isi over they've shifted into a test-first mindset. See the following for more:

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Technical Team Training

We literally wrote the books on Design Patterns, Emergent Design and Essential Skills for the Agile Developer. All of our instructors know technical Agile from having done it and taught it for almost two decades. See our Software Development Skills Roadmap for more.

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Supporting Recruiters and Staffing Companies

All companies have to attend to the cost of educating their people while not taking time away from work. This is even moreso for recruiting and staffing companies. Our Univiersity and Premium content are low cost vehicles to achieve this. Get more information here. Contact us to learn how you can get a company wide license for all of your staff so that you can provide an already great, low-cost service for less than they could get for themselves. 

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Whom We Help
Management Development Collaboration

Organizations that understand that transformation must involve executives, management, and customers, as well as developers and testers

Organizational transformation requires involvement and change in behavior at all levels. Our approach involves true transformation, not a simple framework or training program that point out how individuals or teams might operate differently, but leaves everything else the way it was before. To avoid a counterproductive “quick fix” mentality, our approach involves many more people in the software value stream from the very beginning than just developers and testers, including managers and executives who want to ensure that the transformation helps the organization meet its larger goals.

Organizations

Organizations that want a solution tailored for their needs

The cost of artificial one-size-fits-all solutions is quite high. Often, we encounter customers who have learned this lesson the hard way, trying to impose a generic solution that ignores the hard realities of their particular circumstances. Custom-tailored solutions – incorporating proven methods, artifacts, and tools – are actually less expensive because they fit better.

Organizations who don’t want a heavyweight framework

We take a very Lean perspective on transformation: don’t take on more than you need. Therefore, we often work best with clients who share that view.

All types of organizations

All sizes and types of organizations, including heavily regulated industries

No company is too small or too large for our services. We’ve worked with startups, Fortune 50 companies, and everything in between. We’ve worked in literally dozens of industries –aerospace, banking, computer hardware, computer systems, healthcare, HR product companies, instrumentation, insurance, investment, retail, software product development, web services, and more. We’ve worked both on the product/services side of an organization and with IT. Many of these organizations had a heavy burden of regulation under which they operated. Others had a heavy burden of history – of mergers and acquisitions, of past transformation experiments that failed, of dysfunctional cultures, and of old habits.

All types systems

All types of products or projects, including those with a hardware component

In the same organization, software innovation may take many forms. We have helped clients across the spectrum of work, including corporate IT projects and software products, enterprise software and embedded systems with a strong hardware component, systems of record and systems of engagement, green-field projects and technical debt-ridden legacy systems.


How We Help

Realize value

Focus on realizing value, not improving team dynamics

Improving team performance, one of the key goals of Agile, isn’t an end in itself. Improving teams is part of a larger strategy for realizing greater value out of software innovation. We put value front and center from the beginning, and guide clients through the steps needed to increase the value of software innovation within their organization.

All steps

Plan all the steps needed to achieve success

There are many roads to achieving greater value. Therefore, we help you build a roadmap to increased software value realization that fits your circumstances, and balances other goals (quality, governance, etc.) along with value. We can help you across all phases of your transformation, not just getting started. And we’re glad to stay in touch after the official engagement is done.

Alignment

Create alignment to deliver business value quickly, efficiently, predictably, and sustainably

To realize business value quickly, efficiently, predictably, and sustainably, our approach aligns the efforts of everyone involved in the innovation process, not just the software development team. From the inception of an idea – for example, when an executive decides that, to open new markets, the company needs better customer-facing applications – to delivery, when the development and operations teams need to collaborate effectively, we help people throughout this effort work in sync. The result is faster, more reliable realization of value.

Leadership Management

Ensure that leadership and management play their proper role

Rather than exclude executives and managers from the picture, we help clients establish their role in the transformation effort, and the work that follows it. We promote middle-up-down management, which respects the ability of workers to self-direct and self-organize, while providing a framework for providing leadership and establishing constraints. We help clients build better systems, not just better teams – and we help leaders and managers sustain and improve these systems.

Shared thinking

Build on your lessons learned, not just ours

Although we are experts in many areas, no one knows your business better than you. Most of our clients have been attempting to improve their methods for some time – we want to take advantage of those lessons learned. By partnering with our clients we take advantage of what they’ve learned without requiring them to re-invent the wheel. This partnership helps you transform in ways that will last, as your situation and strategy both evolve.


Who We Are

Our consultants

Get practical advice from people who have been there

All of our consultants are people who have actually built, managed or led the creation of software. We have learned in the trenches and bring that experience to you. Our approach and suggestions are not theoretical but based on real work and practices.

Turnaround

If you’re stuck in your Agile journey, we can help you turn it around

A good number of our engagements involve fixing the first, second or even third attempt at the transformation that has stagnated because the approach was inappropriate to begin with or not implemented well. We can do this because we go outside of the box of popular methods and understand the principles on which they are based. This enables us to tailor them to make them effective in your context.

Deep Pool of Experience

Tap into a broad, deep pool of experience

It’s not just that we’ve been around for almost two decades that should give you a comfortable feeling. It’s that we’ve helped lead the adoption of most of the frameworks and methods that are considered Agile. In particular, Scrum, XP, Lean, Kanban, and SAFe. Our deep and broad experience in these approaches enables us to see what will work best for you, while preventing us from getting attached to any particular approach.

Thinkers

Work with transformation experts who can think on their feet

Virtually all of our staff are capable of consulting, training and coaching. We feel these skills are essential to be able lead organizations in transformation. One must know what to do, be able to train people in doing it, and then coach them in what they are trying to accomplish.

Future innovative

Anticipate the future of Agile and Lean

Many of the top consultants in the Agile community have found a home at Net Objectives. Some are well-known, such as Al Shalloway, Israel Gat, and Ken Pugh because they have a long history of blogging and have written several books. But half of our staff is at this same level – they just haven’t been as prolific in writing. In fact, the top two-thirds of our staff have an average of over 30 years of experience. You can be assured that the people who work with you know their stuff. I fact, many of them literally “wrote the book” on leading Agile and Lean practices.


Our Offerings

Use a wide array of both long-established and leading-edge approaches

Net Objectives has been on the forefront of most Agile and Lean methods involving software for the last 17 years. Therefore, our toolkit includes well-established approaches, such as Scrum, Kanban, and TDD, as well as newer methods. We use design patterns to create the composite solution that fits your needs, avoiding the dogma that proceeds from having just one thing to sell our clients. We deliver this expertise through several channels:

Pragmatic Consultants

Assessments

Assessments to help you understand both where you are at the start of your transformation as well as to understand the main problems you must start attending to.

ConsultingConsulting Services

Consulting Services to help you decide what to do. Our consultants have seen the problems you are facing before, and have first-hand experience with the responses that have a better chance of working than others.

CoachingCoaching

Coaching to help you implement the plan. We can provide both embedded coaching as well as coaching on a less frequent basis – or even remote.


Comprehensive Training

Comprehensive Training

Live training in all areas from the C-suite to product management to development to shared services to DevOps – we cover it all.

Coaching academy to build a strong internal coaching capability that will last long after Net Objectives has finished our work with you. Rather than impose a canned set of practices, we emphasize the skill sets that will do the most good in your organization.

Online learning portal that describes Net Objectives’ approach to Lean-Agile transformation in a multi-dimensional manner. This includes webinars, on-line courses, learning-paths for self-directed study, and an extensive library of articles.

 

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