Why We Have Partnered With Targetprocess

While we have been associated with a variety of tool vendors – AgileCraft, LeanKit, VersionOne (now Collabnet), Rally (now CA), Digite – we’ve never partnered with any.  These are all good companies with good tools.  But all have either been focused on either frameworks or Agile itself.

Net Objectives has been doing what we call Business Agility – the quick realization of value predictably, sustainably and with high quality. Lean has been the basis of our approach for well over a decade. We talk about Lean-Agile to emphasize that the principles under our approach are Lean while we incorporate Agile principles into our work.

In a nutshell, Lean is about

  • leadership
  • systems-thinking
  • visibility of work and workflow
  • attending to time
  • commitment to quality

Lean in software is quite different from Lean in the physical world. That is because software is not visible while it is being developed. The purpose of a tool is to mirror the workflow being done. Tools are not intended to be followed, but rather need to represent the work a team is doing. Using tools centered around frameworks runs the risk of teams following the framework instead of using the framework as a basis.

Targetprocess impressed us both as a company and a tool. Here are some of the compelling distinctions.

  • A commitment to their customers’ success
  • An understanding that visibility of workflow was critical
  • The Targetprocess tool having a systems-thinking mindset
  • A desire to get better and take advice from Lean-Agile experts
  • An openness to creating a community that was inclusive, not exclusive
  • A hunger to continue to get better

I have long believed that much of the challenge that people have today in adopting Agile is the lack of emphasis on standard work and visibility of workflow. This has long been a big distinction between Scrum and Kanban. As Agile has spread to scale, the ability to have a way to create an understanding of what is happening across an organization has become even more critical. While Targetprocess is already amongst the best tools available, our partnership enables the blending of Lean-Agile principles with the tailoring ability of Targetprocess so that companies can have complete solutions to their particular needs without it becoming a “free-for-all” with the teams.

Targetprocess and Net Objectives have just started on integrating Lean-Agile principles with visual controls. The opportunity for us to embed our Coaching Academy for Scrum Masters and Agile Team coaches as well as our Scrum / Team Agility Support System will be amongst our first steps. There will be many others.