Challenges We Solve

Even though software is a key part of our lives and work, software innovation often yields results that fall short of expectations. We help our clients overcome this challenge, which has several faces:

Not enough software value

Not enough software value. Customers are unhappy with the business results – for instance, better customer retention, higher profits, improved productivity – of software innovation. While the business talks about value – for instance, better customer retention, higher profits, improved productivity – IT talks about project schedules. Friction and misalignment are the natural results.

Act Now

Increased urgency. Business disruptors are rapidly changing markets, business models, and competition. New technologies are changing the digital components of corporate strategy just as quickly. Organizational agility, not just team Agility, is a critical trait. And software is a key component of that agility.

Struggle to keep pace

Struggle to keep pace. Demand for new software is rising, in spite of dissatisfaction with the ability to deliver software value. Customers think that software professionals are less efficient than they need to be – and sometimes, that criticism is valid. Ineffective approaches persist, in spite of past efforts to improve them.

Inability to scale Inability to scale. One of the chief inefficiencies is the ability to build on what has worked on a smaller scale. While there might be some Agile teams, there aren’t enough of them. The teams can’t coordinate their work effectively, and there’s no clear way to spread the benefits of Agile around more of the organization.
Poor software quality Poor software quality. Technical debt mounts, and software quality sufferings. Technical complexity undermines software design, and technical skills in areas like testing, design patterns, and coding practices are not strong enough to meet many development and delivery challenges.
The moral of these stories is the same. Whether you’re a  Fortune 100 enterprise or an early startup, it’s no longer enough to simply practice Agile development. In the dynamic digital world, you must achieve enterprise agility to flourish.  Net Objectives can help.

Our Commitment


We Partner

Our commitment to you
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.
 

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


Pragmatic Consultants
 
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:
 

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.

Assessments
 

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.

Consulting
 

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.

Coaching

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.

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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