@SCALE

THE AGILECRAFT BLOG

Steve Elliott

Steve founded AgileCraft in 2013 to help leaders excel in their management duties through the use of agile to transform the way they do business. He is passionate about finding ways to help organizations scale all aspects of business operations. Steve has been a senior executive in multiple startups including Vovici acquired by Verint, Approva acquired by Infor and Virsa acquired by SAP AG. He has lead several successful agile transformations including a large scale 50+ team agile transformation with 12 release trains at a large public company. Steve began his career at PwC as a security and controls expert. He holds an advanced business degree from Texas Tech and is a graduate of the Executive Management Program at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Business.

Recent Posts

AgileCraft is joining Atlassian!

Posted by Steve Elliott on Mar 18, 2019 3:59:19 PM

Today, we are excited to share that AgileCraft has reached an agreement to be acquired by Atlassian.

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Topics: Strategic Planning, Enterprise Scaled Agile, Digital transformation, atlassian, CIO, enterprise agile, portfolio-management, lean portfolio, agile basics

The Benefits of Revisiting the Basics of Agile

Posted by Steve Elliott on Mar 12, 2019 2:00:00 PM

As someone who has been trying to master the guitar for quite a few years, I always try to challenge myself with learning more complex songs. Sometimes, I’ll get hooked on something extra complicated, and will find myself practicing it over and over until it seems like all the notes blend together. That’s when I know it’s time to take a step back and take a moment for a pause to clear my head.

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Topics: Digital transformation, lean agile, enterprise agile, agile at scale, EAP, agile basics, scrum, kanban

The Death of an Agile Transformation in Four Acts

Posted by Steve Elliott on Feb 22, 2019 5:56:45 PM

Friends, I shared this article on LinkedIn earlier this month on transformation failures, and it made me think of a story close to me. This is a tale of a digital traveler: a lean man who had fire in his agile soul, a fire that was nearly drowned out after getting caught in the rush of an unexpected waterfall. This is the story of that dream shattering, his redemption, and a cautionary tale for all the other heroes out there on their own digital transformation quests. Pour yourself your beverage of choice, and settle into your favorite easy chair next to a crackling fire, because I’m about to tell you a tragic story: The Death of an Agile Transformation in Four Acts. 

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Topics: Scaled Agile, capacity planning, Enterprise Scaled Agile, Digital transformation, Agile, ROI, devops, CIO, Fintech

6 Things to Consider When Integrating Team Tools with an Enterprise Agile Planning Platform

Posted by Steve Elliott on Feb 12, 2019 12:45:00 PM

Software development teams and their tools have a relationship similar to that of drivers and their race cars: when they find the one they like, they stick with it. Sure, they might add new components or upgrade old ones that have aged out. They might even try out a new model, trading in the older model to get all the latest chassis changes, as well as the new bells and whistles. But at the end of the day, they stay faithful to the strengths of the automotive design team that always seems to know what they want in a car, and keeps delighting them with their latest innovations. 

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Topics: Digital transformation, lean agile, enterprise agile, agile at scale, integration, team tools, EAP, connectors

AgileCraft Introduces The Lean Portfolio Manifesto: A Conversation Starter

Posted by Steve Elliott on Nov 28, 2018 2:07:17 PM

As agilists, one of our primary drivers is to continuously improve the outcomes of our work. This often means stepping back, taking a critical look at the impact our way of working has on our outcomes, and participating in an inspired, passionate debate about ways to improve them. Every now and then, when engaged in debates of this nature, you stumble upon something monumentally huge: a critical problem or set of related problems that, if solved, can help hundreds of thousands of people be better at what they do. That’s when it’s time for your crew to buckle down, flex those brain muscles, and figure out how to communicate the message in a digestible, clear way that will maximize its value to and impact on the market, and ultimately, future customers.

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Topics: Digital transformation, lean agile, enterprise agile, agile at scale, portfolio-management, lean, lean portfolio

Build Scale with Strength: Creating an Agile Program Management Powerhouse (part 2)

Posted by Steve Elliott on Oct 8, 2018 1:15:00 PM
Last week, I talked about my Grandpa's "powerhouse" workshop, how AgileCraft models its "powerhouse" program management features after the way he carefully thought about the most efficient way of getting work done and how his careful creation of this work environment inspired me.  We've developed these features over the years, in collaboration with our customers and partners, and continue to refine as we learn more about how our customers scale for success in the enterprise.
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Topics: Digital transformation, lean agile, enterprise agile, agile at scale, program management

Build Scale with Strength: Creating an Agile Program Management Powerhouse (part 1)

Posted by Steve Elliott on Sep 26, 2018 1:15:00 PM

At AgileCraft, we are driven to expose and enable what’s truly important to running successful programs and release trains.  We leverage our extensive experience collaborating with customers as they transform their companies to uncover unique insight into the best way to work, day to day, on programs, release trains and PIs. What we’ve discovered is that program managers and RTEs are the soul of servant-leadership on scaled agile teams. They need to have top-to-bottom transparency and insights into all aspects of their programs and release trains. This can only be accomplished when all the elements of the program and associated data can be intelligently connected through tooling.

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Topics: Digital transformation, lean agile, enterprise agile, agile at scale, program management

Steve's Top 10 #WorldsMostAgile Humans List

Posted by Steve Elliott on Jul 10, 2018 1:09:18 PM

In my last post, I covered the seven characteristics of what being #WorldsMostAgile means to me. These were inspired by a group of humans that have had or are currently changing the world with their ability to think and act with agility. So without further ado, I’ll introduce you to my dream team roster of #WorldsMostAgile humans, divided into two categories:

The first list includes the immediate movers and shakers who are currently tearing it up out there on the front lines, in the throes of their immediate transformation successes. The second list covers the lifetime achievement awards, for leaders who have changed the world in over the course of their long and influential careers

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Topics: Scaled Agile, Enterprise Scaled Agile, Digital transformation, Agile, lean agile, CIO, enterprise agile, agile at scale, strategy, leadership

The 7 Attributes of the #WorldsMostAgile Humans

Posted by Steve Elliott on Jun 25, 2018 12:43:42 PM

At AgileCraft we like to have a little fun, and one night, after we were up late building out the new website (I sure hope you like it!), we did a little joshing around about what agile superheroes might be able to do. Could they jump 50 release trains in a single bound? Could they groom a backlog using mind powers? Photoshop, a few beers and some stock photos of millennials with impressive beards got involved, and, well, we ended up with this tongue-in-cheek portfolio of the #WorldsMostAgile humans. And hey – if you can think of any superhuman agile powers, feel free to submit them to add to our collection! 

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Topics: Scaled Agile, Enterprise Scaled Agile, Digital transformation, Agile, lean agile, CIO, enterprise agile, agile at scale, strategy, leadership

The Perils of Marketplace Apps and Heavy Jira Customization – Advice from Atlassian and Steve

Posted by Steve Elliott on May 30, 2018 2:27:09 PM

Atlassian recently released a terrific, yet cautionary, article and infographic on strategic ways to prepare for scaling Jira to the enterprise. They shared some pretty mind-boggling statistics on the size and scale of their enterprise-sized customers’ Jira instances. As a Jira fan, my eyebrows raised so high they nearly left my head when I read the statistics around the sheer scale of what enterprises are doing with Jira at the team level:

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Topics: Scaled Agile, Enterprise Scaled Agile, Digital transformation, Agile, atlassian, JIRA, CIO, enterprise agile, agile at scale, strategy