Category Archives: Uncategorized

Find your way through the maze: online course ‘Compass to Scaling Agile’

Travelling around the world to train and coach people about scaling Agile is a privilege. Working as a trainer feels sometimes like working as an explorer. During the trainings I get to educate and inspire people to apply Lean-Agile ways of working. But sometimes I notice that the participants would need some extra advise on where to start from. For this, we have recently developed a new online platform.   After 2-4 days of training, your behavioural patterns might not be radically... Learn more

BOSSA nova combines ‘everything that works’

Keynote speaker Jutta Eckstein’s recent book ‘Company-wide Agility with Beyond Budgeting, Open Spaces & Sociocracy’ aims to bring Agile principles beyond the software development core – which aligns neatly with our focus on the supporting functions at Agile Munich 2019. She chose not to add yet another framework to the already brimming pool of Agile-ish intellectual property, but rather sifts through what’s out there, tests its merits, and builds a better beast from... Learn more

Hooray! We’re 5 years old today…!

One moment in 2014 you’re nervously watching registrations trickle in for your first training session. The next moment, five years have passed. Happy birthday to Gladwell Academy! Time for a heart-felt thank you: to our many eager participants, to our ambitious clients, and to all the colleagues who have come and gone.   A simple realization gave birth to this company. That ‘digital transformation’ was starting to have a huge impact on business. That consulting services alone... Learn more
Agile for Hardware

‘Certified Hardware Agilists’ to be trained at Gladwell Academy

  Agile for hardware manufacturers? No way, we used to say. The interdependencies involved in physical product development are too rigid; development takes too much time to turn on a dime, we used to say. Until today: consultants Ali Hajou and Davar Azarmi explain why, how and when they will be offering our new course! Upcoming course aims to bring Agile approaches to hardware design and manufacturing   “For hardware and other non-software environments, embracing Agile... Learn more
Agile at Scale

Agile at Scale: ‘Not without the supporting functions!’

Low-maturity functions – Agile at Scale - those parts of any large-scale organization that have not yet transformed – are the core theme for 2019’s Agile Munich, which will take place on May 8th-10th in Munich, Germany. We asked Chairman and conference curator Nils Oud, whose consultancy firm Incrementor will be hosting with Gladwell Academy, to outline the event.   Agile Munich website Agile at Scale “Implementing ways of working with Agile at scale is always a... Learn more
Silver FD Gazelle

Thank you…! Silver Gazelle Award goes to Gladwell Academy

For the second year in a row Gladwell Academy has been selected as Silver FD Gazelle, the award handed out by business newspaper Het Financiële Dagblad to the fastest growing businesses of 2018. This year we are not just on the list though; we have landed a solid second place for the West Holland region, small business category - just after Gold winner Stars and Stories.   International growth The FD Gazellen awards are given to companies that have shown a consistently impressive... Learn more
SAFe leader

A safe transformation to a SAFe organization requires a SAFe leader

In practice, the Scrum/Agile way of working seems to work best in a greenfield. The ideal approach is for one or two development teams to set up and maintain an application landscape. As soon as there’s a complex environment with a lot of legacy and interdependencies, more help is needed. This is why more and more established organisations in particular are becoming familiar with the Scaled Agile Framework, SAFe. What are the concrete tasks of a SAFe leader?   Why scaling is... Learn more
FD Gazellen 2018

Gladwell Academy is one of the fastest growing companies in the Netherlands!

Gladwell Academy is again FD Gazellen 2018!    For the second year in a row Gladwell Academy is nominated as one of the fastest growing companies in the Netherlands by the Dutch newspaper Het Financieele Dagblad's FD Gazellen-awards. The final results of the rankings will be published in the middle of November and the final held in December. We celebrated this achievement with a tailored cake!   “We are extremely happy and proud of this achievement. We have seen a... Learn more
Scaled Agile Framework 4.6

Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) 4.6 for Lean Enterprises released

Scaled Agile Inc. Announced 3rd October the general availability of Scaled Agile Framework 4.6 for Lean Enterprises. Main updates constitute the five core competencies of a Lean Enterprise, and two new courses: SAFe for Government and Agile Software Engineering. The new Five core competencies of organizations that have successfully transformed into a Lean enterprise, working as the starting point for understanding and implementing SAFe:     Lean-Agile Leadership     Team and... Learn more
SPCT candidate Niels Groen

SPCT candidate Niels Groen: “Failure is often the best mentor there is.”

With the popularity of Scaled Agile Framework only on the rise, demand remains high for the SAFe Program Consultants (SPCs), the professionals who guide organizations towards governing their Agile workforce with a tried and proven approach. That in turn raises the demand for those who train the SPCs: the SPC Trainers (SPCTs). Nonetheless, there are currently less than a hundred working in the world today. It’s quite the responsibility, but Niels (SPCT candidate) looks forward to it, he... Learn more

Book review: Visual Thinking, Empowering people & organizations through visual collaboration

In training, coaching and consulting, the effectiveness of our efforts are dependent on the quality of our work x the acceptance. As a trainer and consultant, therefore, I am always looking for new ways to improve my quality, but also the acceptance.  As I am a firm believer in visual thinking, either for decluttering my own thoughts & argumentation structure or to support collaboration, I recently bought the book "Visual Thinking, Empowering people & organizations through visual... Learn more

Prototyping @local government

During an introductory Agile training at a local government we discovered a desire to start Agile ways of working. I was amazed at first by the current cautious approach of decision making and value delivery at the government: i.e. writing a vision document, then a planning documentation, etc. before talking with customers or creating anything real. We turned amazement to mutual opportunity.   Together with the participants we formulated three problem areas and started working on... Learn more

Increase Results of Social Capital with Synthetron

A large international insurance company works hard to transform its operations with Agile ways of working. Blinkane Consulting and Gladwell Academy help drive this transformation.     Derived from the SAFe framework, the company deployed several Agile Release Trains (ARTs): a team of teams mounting to over one hundred people collaborating to deliver value to their customers. On 12 September 2017, an experienced ART held its 3-month Inspect and Adapt meeting. The energy from... Learn more
Product Owner

Product Owner course review

Are you a product owner or do you want to learn more about this role? The Product Owner training of Gladwell Academy gives you great insights into the tasks and responsibilities of product owners, and it addresses common issues which you as a product owner have to deal with in practice.     As a product owner you fulfill a specific and important role in the organization. You are the value optimizer, the product backlog owner and responsible for prioritizing all needs. You are... Learn more

Co-create to motivate

Some time ago, when I did mostly freelance training and consulting work, I wished to be proud of a visible product, something to touch. With some other city-folk we started to grow a community around healthy food, directly from the biological farmers surrounding our city. Each with our own motivation for joining we connected city-people throughout class and culture. Our first successes made us proud, they triggered more action. Yet, when we grew in people and turnover, there were different... Learn more
SAFe for Teams training

Team Coaching #3: Agile self-organization needs a plan

So here they are, the so-called ‘self-managing’ teams, steered by their Scrum Master (SM) and/or Product Owner (PO). ‘A pity’, some team members call it; ‘too much for my taste’, says an extremely competent freelancer before he decides to leave the team. You can almost see the other members think: ‘this so-called self-management is a nuisance, probably adhering to the new Agile way of working’. And the Scrum Master and Product Owner? They too do not feel comfortable with their... Learn more

Team Coaching #2: Doing it the right way

With a series of articles I’m offering practical guidance to unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers. According to motivational theory, carrot and stick won’t bring more success. Yes, we need enough payment to get money off the table but more than that, knowledge workers need some space to decide for themselves -autonomy, a path of professional growth – mastery, and clarity about their added value to the whole –purpose. Let’s continue. #1: Move authority to where the... Learn more

Team Coaching #1: Taking one for the Team

With a series of articles I’m offering practical guidance to unlock the intrinsic motivation of knowledge workers. According to motivational theory, carrot and stick won’t bring more success. Yes, we need enough payment to get money off the table but furthermore, knowledge workers need some space to decide for themselves -autonomy, a path of professional growth –mastery, and clarity about their added value to the whole –purpose. Let’s start at the... Learn more
Introduction Scaling Agile

SAFe Leadership Day

Increasingly, large corporations enjoy the benefits of start-ups while not being hampered by their impediments. Agile ways of working foster a ‘can do’ mentality of self-organizing co-located teams. Yet, as Agile teams turn projects into success, corporations like to scale the benefits, which in turn leads to a new set of challenges and constraints. Only leaders can change the system, and in scaling Agile the system in place needs transformation. Specifically, changes are required in the... Learn more

Agile Consortium conference

This conference took place at KBC Bank in Brussels on Thursday, February 23d. The speakers invariably addressed the social cooperative aspect of Enterprise Agility elaborating on practical usage of Sociocracy and multiple ways of looking at organizing and the organization. We focussed attention on three talks, namely: Organisational development by Jaap Peters, Sociocracy 3.0 by James Priest, and Complexitools by Niels Pflaeging. Together they form a train of thought on what the... Learn more

Agile for Hardware

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