Cultivated Consulting

There are some problems that simply won’t be solved without some external help.

You may require some help with hiring, retaining people, building effective release cycles, getting your testing to where it needs to be, getting your managers to do the right work, trying to make DevOps work, having challenges with your Agile transition or simply struggling to build the culture you need to achieve business results.

I can help.

My specialities are management, hiring, testing and agile. I have a strong and varied network too, which means there are likely few problems you’re dealing with that I won’t be able to solve directly, or recommend someone who can help. I specialise in working with managers in agile teams.

Find out more about my services below. For an informal chat, quote or statement of work drop me an email hello@cultivatedmanagement.com

HOW CAN I HELP?

Expertise – It could be that you don’t quite have the expertise yet or you need someone to help spot problems that are holding you back. I have a wealth of experience in building highly productive agile teams in both Technology and HR. My background is testing, my passions is agile and most problems are with management! I’ve done all three and I can bring this expertise to you and your business. You can read more all of these subjects here.

Delivery– Maybe you just need someone to come in and support, nurture, mentor and grow your team – or simply help your team out in times of need. I can help manage, coach, teach or release agility.

Catalyst – I can act as a catalyst for change – this is one of my specialisms and I know how hard it can be to inspire and lead teams through dramatic change. The key is an inspirational vision that is clear, compelling and believable – I can help you craft that, articulate it and communicate it. If you’re after someone to act as a Catalyst my Blazingly Simple Guide To Turning Around A Team gives you some idea how I work.

Objectivity – Or it could be you need some objectivity – someone to bounce ideas off. Someone to come in and do an audit, assess your plans or to help you build a strategy that makes sense. I can help. I often get called on by investors to audit technology teams as part of due diligence – I can help you conduct an audit around testing, delivery and team make-up.

Teaching and Learning – One aspect of consultancy I really enjoy is teaching and learning. Maybe your teams don’t have the right skills and need some in-person, on the job training (the best form of training). Although I have many training courses, sometimes you and your team may need some on-going training and teaching.

Hiring and Firing people is hard work and it requires an approach that I can help you with. Building and forming teams takes good communication skills, empathy, respect and the ability to truly understand problems. This has been my bread and butter trade for 5+ years. It also requires an awareness and collaboration with HR – this was my life for 2 years in a fast growing tech company.

No matter what you may be struggling with, I am sure I can help – or I will know someone in my network who can.

Get in touch at hello@cultivatedmanagement.com

DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY

Don’t throw money at tech and agile consultants though if your foundations aren’t in place (values, management, career development, HR, rewards, people management, process improvement, remunerations or hiring).

Many agile software development consultants only know how to address tactical issues around testing, dev and agile. This is brilliant if you have strong foundations. If not, it could be a royal waste of time and money. I worked with a Bank who had spent £24million in agile consultancy and were no nearer to releasing often than when they started. Why? Because the very foundations of the culture were not set up to support agility.

Save your money. You cannot buy agility or excellent testing or rapid releasing – agility must be released at a pace and rate that your business and team can sustain. This comes from having strong foundations in your culture, brilliant management, HR strategies that support DevOps teams and very clear communication. Agility is nothing more than removing friction through co-operation and clear communication – but these skills are often in short supply.

The good news is I can help you with these core foundations too. I knew that move to HR would be valuable in the end 🙂

WHAT ARE THESE FOUNDATIONS?

  • HR and Rewards mechanisms
  • Strong purpose, vision and values
  • Clear communication
  • Solid coaching plans and awareness of how individuals contribute to the success of your team
  • Measures, metrics and improvements
  • Solid management principles and behaviours
  • Clear understanding of how people can progress

Below is the Cultivated Change framework I use to get us started if it’s foundational work that needs doing; management, communication, coaching, hiring etc, before plotting what moves next.

Many strategies can run in parallel but within your team, for lasting change to happen, these foundations need to be addressed at some point. For example, there is little point in moving forward with agile if your team have no idea why, how they will be measured and how they will grow. Seems obvious but communicating visions, missions, purposes and measures is hard.

The first section is about your people – treating people right.

The second section is about your managers and leaders – getting them to focus on the system, not the people

CULTIVATED PROJECT KICK OFF

I’m a one man band with a wealth of experience and access to a network of super-professionals in the agile, tech and HR space. As such, my service is a very personal one. I’m here for you to succeed. In order to succeed though we both need to understand what we’re trying to achieve.

I approach consultancy in my usual friendly, curious and fun manner, but with a seriousness designed to get to the heart of your problems quickly. At the heart of my approach is the belief that improved communication and better management will unlock your potential further.

I’m straight talking and articulate which means we can have open and honest conversation about problems and opportunities.

The following framework is the basic starter guide I like to use – it get’s us chatting about what your problems and opportunities are and how I might be able to help. It’s a useful model to discuss how we can move forward. It gets us building a relationship. It’s not set in stone but helps to guide

Relationship Kick Off Guide

Relationship Kick Off Guide

The following are some of the areas I can help you with – and any associated articles, books or resources that give you a flavour of how I can help.

  1. Being a catalyst or bringing new life to a team – Read –> Turning Around A Team
  2. Building a team in Poland.
  3. Hiring, Firing and Growing a Team – Read –> Turning Around A Team
  4. Software Testing Audit, Analysis, Team Building, Strategy – Read –> The Social Tester
  5. DevOps team building, process flows and Continuous Improvement –> I contributed a chapter to Building Agile In
  6. Releasing Agility
  7. Managing people and growing awesome teams – Read –> 10 Behaviours Of Effective Employees
  8. Communication Skills, training and corporate comms – Check out –> Communication Workshop
  9. Building a support team – Check Out –> A Blazingly Simple Guide To Building A Support Team

Don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat, quote or formal proposal of work, even if the problem you have does not fall neatly in to one of the above areas of work.

Email me to find out more hello@cultivatedmanagement.com