Practice Lead: Enterprise Agile Delivery
Martin Burns is a lean/agile coach with a track record of leading and improving delivery in outsourced enterprise custom software development and systems support, with hands-on experience of introducing and using SAFe, Kanban and other methods. Martin coaches delivery leaders, initiating sustainable transformation to more effective ways of delivering business value.
Martin also writes, speaks to and educates international audiences.
What I Do
I work with large organisations to help them transform towards Lean & Agile ways of working, through both transformative consulting and hands-on delivery, ensuring that clients have both theory and experience to draw from.
With the client base I work with, I have found that the Scaled Agile Framework is often a useful starting place and a model that stakeholders find it easier to buy into. To enable me to be more effective in supporting clients in that model, I am certified as a SAFe™ Programe Consultant.
Sources of Inspiration
I read voraciously to the limits that time and budget permit. All my hypotheses and experiments are systematically validated against both theory and real life experience of others. This is no ivory tower, egghead pursuit, but a thirst for meaning.
- Delivery Leadership
- Portfolio and Project Management
- Continuous Improvement
- Lean thinking
- Change Management
- Portfolio Management
- Programme Management
- Facilitation and Coaching
- Culture Change
- Stakeholder Management
- Method Innovation & Introduction
- Commercial & Financial Management
My Recent Work
Delivery Leader: IBM Custom Development & Support Services
Leading the delivery and commercial management of multiple contracts for a 50 person multilevel team in the UK and India.
RBS Retail Bank
Programme Scrum Master: Electronic Customer Review (eCR)
Contract Agile Coaching role for a large, distributed programme team delivering a portal application, in the first significant Agile delivery in RBS Retail Bank.
Lean Coach: UK & Nordics Global Services Accounts
Coach to large outsourced delivery organisations delivering Application Development and Support Services into major customers.
After many years, I have finally found a set of values that effectively articulate my way of working in technology-heavy environments.read more
I have found a beautiful summary of the way I work with organisations, and the values I seek to amplify.read more
Once a software delivery system grows beyond about 20 people, program-level structure emerges and requires management for system-level optimisation for collaboration and trust.read more
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There are two distinct benefits of Agility. Assuming either is universal and exclusive causes unnecessary conflict: Agilists need to appreciate and value the diversity and find context-specific balance. We are uncovering better ways of developing software says the manifesto, while fudging the question about what ‘better’ means. Exactly what you’d expect in a superficial peace treaty. But by ducking the major source of conflict and focusing on the easy stuff, it pretty much guarantees further conflict. Since its very inception, the Agile community has been riven by conflict. The very manifesto event was essentially a peace treaty between different groups and individuals who had some very different ideas about what they were writing. Like most intractable conflicts, these are not driven by conflicting answers to a question, but different views of what the question is. In Cynefin terms, we are in Disorder, and the clearest conflict is between two Cynefin domains, each of which addresses a different business question. It’s no surprise that the conflict is illustrated through the first two Agile Principles. Early and continuous delivery of valuable software This school of thinking emphasises minimising Cost of Delay, and says that if you start delivering value earlier, and incrementally, you will deliver a lot more total value than if you wait until it’s all delivered. You can find this all over flow-based approaches, in Theory of Constraints, DevOps and Kanban. Move the value through the system faster. Smaller batches, moved more frequently. Deploy often, minimising the time from developer desktop to production. Often in this school, we work to identify reducible uncertainty and variation. Elephant Carpaccio is a... read more