Planview webinar to focus on Adaptive Enterprise

Since I spoke at BusinessAgility2017 in New York last month, it’s become very clear to me there is a great deal of interest from upper management in my work in creating adaptive organisations.

In recent years I’ve sensed how large organisations are struggling with how to survive and thrive in an increasingly competitive marketplace. Now, it’s become clear to them that it’s time to do something about it.

To that end, Planview invited me to host a live webinar on March 29th titled Power Your PMO with the Adaptive Enterprise: Increase productivity with continuous planning.

This webinar is aimed squarely at those who head up large projects and programs in an organisation and the importance of the PMO in creating change makers.

It’s important to note the distinction between Change Makers and Change Agents.

Change Agents are usually tasked by those in upper management, taking orders without much collaboration with regards to what is being implemented and why.

On the other hand, Change Makers conceptualise, design, integrate, initiate and find new ways of delivering value, driving solutions upwards and downwards.

The webinar will discuss how Change Makers and Agents are crucial to lasting organisational change.

Turning an organisation into a dynamic changeable environment requires a different skill set that command control management. An adaptive organisation is one that is constantly renewing and reinventing strategies as part of its DNA.

To register for the webinar, click the link here and sign up.

If  you  want to talk to me further about how to make your organisation adaptable, please contact me.

presenting 2

Business Agility 2017 Conference brings even more change to New York

Although most of my time is spent working on adaptability and change with organisations, conferences are like professional vacations to me.

Discussing change issues with colleagues is an invigorating way to spend a few days. And of course presenting ideas as a speaker to an audience that may be unfamiliar with my work is always a great opportunity.

The upcoming Business Agility 2017 conference in New York City looks to be a particularly good one given that its focus is far-ranging.

Sessions include:

  • Introducing Business Agility:
  • What does it mean to be an agile organisation – you’ve heard the buzzword and seen the articles, but what is Business Agility?
  • Leading the Transformation:
  • How do you lead the change? How do you get 1,000’s of employees to align to your vision of an agile organisation?
  • Business Innovation:
  • How have agile organisations used their agility to continuously adapt in an unpredictable, VUCA, market?

All of them can be seen here.

The one I’m presenting on is Agile Organisational Design.

When I spoke on a similar topic at a conference in Stockholm late last year, I came to appreciate that discussing adaptability as it relates to organisational, rather than team, dynamics resonated more with those who are currently looking to create a culture of change within their businesses. I look forward to expanding on that in New York.

To learn more about the Business Agility conference, click here. To get in touch with me before the conference to discuss organisational change, click here.

Stephen Parry to brew up some agile in Gothenburg

There are roughly two parts to my work in Agile and Adaptiveness. One is working with organisations on transformation. The other is recharging my creative batteries by engaging with colleagues and peers on agile and adaptiveness techniques.

Biog PhotoThis week I will be taking a creative deep dive in the latter category when I attend the Brewing Agile conference taking place in Gothenburg, Sweden.

And while I will be presenting at the conference, it’s my co-presenters that I’m most keen in hearing and catching up with.

These include:

  • Vasco Duarte who transforms product design organizations into product development organisations.
  • Luis Goncalves, co-founder at Oikosofy, Agile Coach at HolidayCheck, author, speaker and blogger.
  • Hilary Johnson, a product manager with Pivotal Labs where she develops software for startup and enterprise clients while also enabling agile and collaborative practices with client teams.
  • Marc Loeffler, an agile coach, author and trainer.

For my part, I will be speaking on The Journey from an Agile Workplace to an Adaptive Business. My presentation will delve into the importance of creating the right work-climate for Agile to manage work more effectively and ensure organisations become highly adaptive to their customers and their marketplace.

Work-climate is a key part of this in this as it is a proven predictor of long-term business performance.

In examining ‘work-climate’, I’ll explore the following questions:

  • What are the best choices for managers and staff to make?
  • What needs to be eradicated?
  • What needs to be redesigned?
  • How do we put the customer and our employees at the heart of the business?

What I hope to do in my talk is persuade my colleagues in the agile and lean world to upgrade the foundation of their thinking to adaptive. It’s about liberating thinking workforces to realise their potential while redesigning the organisations they work in. The knowledge work in the creative environments they develop will change the world of work into a sustainable productive environment. And as goes the world of work, ideally, so goes the entire world.

To read more about the Brewing Agile conference, click here.

If you would like to have me speak to your company or conference about an adaptive transformation, please get in touch.

Parry Presenting 4

The European Lean Educator’s Conference: My Day Two Picks

I’m heading to the  European Lean Educator’s Conference (ELEC) taking place September 16 and 17 in Buckingham. On Tuesday I gave you my run down of sessions for Day 1. Today I’m going to share my Day 2 picks.

To me, conferences such as this one are important for all who attend but especially business people taking in the world of Lean with an eye to bringing it to their companies. They get to talk with fellow attendees, speakers and presenters about the current state of Lean and Agile efforts as well as further applications in the future.

I’ve come up with a list of sessions that I’m looking forward to attending on Day Two, September 14. My Day One picks were in a previous blog, which can be found here. 

Day Two

09:00 – 9:40
Mark Pyne (Ingersoll Rand, Ireland)

Pursuit of Excellence in Shared Services: A Case Study of IRI

Abstract: “Much of today’s thinking and organisational design can be attributed to the work of Frederick Taylor. His obsession for micromanagement sparked the ‘one best way’ mentality of performing work. Organisations, just like science, are now split up into many distinct disciplines. Divide and conquer is assumed to be the best approach. This ‘command and control’ methodology is often supported by automated telephone and workflow management systems.”

I am particularly interested in shared services, as I have worked in the area for some time. I am hoping for something a little more than process flow and simply removing waste.

9:40 – 10:30
Owen Berkeley-Hill (Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, India)

Getting Lean back on track

Abstract: “The nature and definition of Lean is always the subject of energetic debate at the many Lean watering holes. Sadly, there is little consensus around what that definition actually is. This presentation argues for a broader interpretation of Lean which could be the basis for a new approach to leadership development.”

Sounds like it might provoke an interesting debate on where Lean is right now and where it needs to develop.

10:50- 11:30
Ameer Robertson(New York City Hospitals, USA)

Deep Lean Learning: How the Legal Service Industry can reinvent itself for long-term sustainability

Abstract: “Through innovative service models, non-lawyers have acquired large segments of the legal service market from legal practitioners. To compete, law firms have turned to limited applications of Lean. But to sustain viability, lawyers must engage in “deeper Lean  learning,” and utilize Lean to its fullest capability. In doing so, law firms will acquire the capacity to proactively adapt to changes in the marketplace and ultimately reinvent the delivery of their services for long-term sustainability.”

Legal Services like any knowledge based work is an excellent area for Lean and Agile thinking, however it’s often made to sound and function like Lean manufacturing –  which takes Lean backwards in these types of environments. I wonder if they came across the same obstacles as I have? I wonder more how they addressed those challenges?

Dr Mads Bruun Larsen (University of Southern Denmark)

A model and method for customisation of Simulation Games

Abstract: “Most simulation games played at training sessions use general wordings and a fixed flow and operations. In some cases, this is a serious obstacle to transferring learning from the game to real life. A model and method is presented as a first step toward fast customization for each individual session.”

You can never go wrong with a simulation game in your tool chest  – keeping it on hand to modify, or developing new ones seems to be the life of the Lean Practitioner. Being able to conjure one at a moment’s notice has got me out of many tricky situations. Indeed my own Adaptability Simulation Workshop is a very popular exercise with a few of my more forward thinking clients.


So that’s the rundown on how I’ll be spending my time at the ELEC conference this year. Of course the one session I failed to mention was my own at 14.50-15.30 on Day 2, September 14.

Designing organisations that work for Lean and Agile thinking people will demonstrate the importance of organisational design and route-map sequencing to create conducive work-climates for Lean and Agile thinkers.

Please add it to your schedules. I hope to have a good crowd.

If you think I missed an important session, please add it to the comments.

Biog Photo

The European Lean Educator’s Conference: My Day One Picks

When talking to companies about Lean and Agile, I often wish I had a way to have them take a deep dive into the broad universe of thought and opinion on this dynamic way of thinking.

That said, I looked at the schedule for the upcoming European Lean Educator’s Conference (ELEC) taking place September 16 and 17 in Buckingham, UK with an eye to what the business community and my customers can learn from it. 


I’ve come up with a list of sessions that I’m looking forward to attending. What follows are my Day One picks. Day Two will follow in the next blog post on Thursday.

Day One

Prof. Darrell Mann (Systematic Innovations Ltd)

Counter-Intuitives: Lean, Innovation & Complex Adaptive Systems
Abtract: “Lean for Leaders When we cross the threshold between systems that are complicated and those that are mathematically complex, or when we cross the threshold between the world of Operational Excellence and the world of step-change innovation, many of the Lean truisms turn out to no longer be true.

This presentation will examine some of the counter-intuitive shifts in thinking necessary in order for organisations to successfully survive in a post-’continuous improvement’, innovate-or-die world.

The paper is borne of a seventeen year, 5.5 million case study analysis of what does and does notwork in complex environments, and will explore why there is no such thing as a ‘root cause’, why ‘ready, fire, aim’ is the more appropriate change strategy, how the propensity of butterfly wing flaps to cause distant tornadoes makes the Pareto Principle dangerous, and why some degree of ‘waste’ is critical when our world flips into the mode of a complex adaptive system.

I am particularly interested in organisational adaptability, as I have been involved in this particular field for a number of years. This session’s theme is important not only for practitioners and (increasingly so) chief executives but also start-ups.”

Prof. Dr. Christoph Roser (Karlsruhe University of Applied Science, Germany)

The Origins of Lean & Lessons for Today

Abstract: “Lean manufacturing is arguably the best approach to faster, better, and cheaper manufacturing. We all know that Lean originated at Toyota in Japan, from where it spread throughout the world. But Toyota did not imagine their Toyota production system out of thin air. They took many good ideas from others. The Toyota production system, and hence Lean, is based on inspiration from the United States, Britain, Germany, Japan, and others.

The achievement of Toyota is to merge these ideas in a new and unique approach to manufacturing that the world has never seen before. Let’s have a look at some of the many origins of Lean production. But remember, the giants of Lean stood themselves on the shoulders of Giants…”

Much of LLoyd Parry’s work has been with a number of companies in Germany – where there seems to be a much more open attitude to accepting and experimenting with new ideas. Lean and Agile is no exception. The ‘engineering – logic’ aspect of Lean and Agile seems to resonate with German management practices. I really interested to see how they managed with the soft side of Lean and Agile with regards to changing behaviours and cultures.

Belinda Waldock (Being Agile)

Agile for Lean People

Belinda helps teams and businesses find and hone their agility to support growth and improvement. She is author of Being Agile in Business, an introduction to agile working for the whole business, a professionally qualified ILM Coach and Mentor in business, and a Computer Science graduate. Working with a diverse array of businesses she supports the development of growth strategies through technology, teams and leadership using agile methods and practices.

There are still serious misconceptions  and misunderstandings within the Lean and Agile Communities, leading to futile discussions about Lean trying to become Agile on the shop floor and Agile trying to scale up using Lean. I have written on this issue in the past and I am sure it’s a subject I’ll return to it again after the conference and inspired by this session.

Sir Anthony Seldon (University of Buckingham)

Innovation in Education

Abstract: “Education is just about to enter its fourth revolution in 10,000 years. Delegates must puzzle out what the first three were before hearing about the fourth!”

I’ve often wondered why it has taken so long for academia to make the connection between education and Lean – which is the best known business learning system available to managers today. It will be interesting to see how they apply Lean – to create better, more effective, learning experiences for students that teach them the principles of continuous learning. More importantly I’m also looking forward to how they use Lean to ‘Lean our administration processes’.

In closing day one looks like a cracker. The content across all the sessions looks great and if you can’t find something in the list you like, then by all means go through the agenda and make your own. And if you want to add a few more with your reasons for choosing them, go ahead and add them in the comments below.

Parry Presenting 4

A3 thinking guides managers from thinking to doing

One of the more popular workshops I conduct has to do with the A3 decision making process

It’s popularity isn’t surprising. Many managers at all levels know well how challenging it can be to manage a steady flow of data and information coming to you from a myriad of sources.

A3 thinking pulls that info apart separating the noise from the really useful information. Adapting an A3 process provides a structured problem-solving mindset to guide you and your staff to the best solution.

First developed at Toyota, A3  Thinking is a process is now applied to just about any management conundrum. However It is especially effective at helping understand and solve complex, cross-functional, and chronic problems.

The A3 Thinking process helps you:

  • Make rapid, iterative steps toward improvement and problem solving
  • Surface issues and problems in a way that avoids blaming individuals
  • Cut through the noise and/or misleading information to get the facts
  • Be clear with your team about priorities and responsibilities
  • Quickly develop a problem solving mindset in your staff to take responsibility for improvement

At Lloyd-Parry, we engage with companies at all levels to demonstrate just how effective A3 is in empowering management environments to move ahead smartly and quickly when sourcing solutions.

If you are interested in A3, Lloyd-Parry is interested in talking to you about workshops and educational sessions. Please be in touch by clicking here.



A3 thinking: separating the noise from the wisdom

You know the conundrum well. Perhaps too well. 

There’s a steady flow of data and information coming to you from a myriad of sources. And after perusing and assessing all of it, you’ve got to make a decision.

How much of that info is just noise and how much really useful?

The answer lies is in adapting an A3 process; providing a structured problem-solving mindset to guide you and your staff to the best solution.

First developed at Toyota, A3 Thinking is a structured process has come to be applied to just about any management problem. It is especially effective at helping understand and solve complex, cross-functional, and chronic problems.

The A3 Thinking process helps you:

  • Make rapid, iterative steps toward improvement and problem solving
  • Surface issues and problems in a way that avoids blaming individuals
  • Cut through the noise and/or misleading information to get the facts
  • Be clear with your team about priorities and responsibilities
  • Quickly develop a problem solving mindset in your staff to take responsibility for improvement

At Lloyd-Parry, we engage with companies at all levels to demonstrate just how effective A3 is in empowering management environments to move ahead smartly and quickly when sourcing solutions.

If you are interested in A3 I will be participating in a workshop for Managers in May in Budapest. Here are the details.


  • Date: 12 May 2016 – 13 May 2016
  • Price: 1090,- EUR + VAT / participant
  • Early price: 990,- EUR + VAT / participant, when paid until 14 Apr 2016

Register by clicking here. 

How to Diagnose your Organisation to Chart your Lean Journey – Part 1 and 2

How do you design a lean transformation process across a large enterprise?

How to Diagnose your Organisation to Chart your Lean Journey – Part 1

How to Diagnose your Organisation to Chart your Lean Journey – Part 2

Lean business consultants in Europe

Workshop for Social Sciences Staff

I am looking forward to taking part in a debate on how researchers should engage leaders in industry. I will supply a follow up article after the event.

My Talk: The gap between management research and the world of business.

My Theme, Often the tenants of good research are not taught at management schools or included within management development programs. This results in the proliferation of pseudo-management approaches taking root within many large organisations. Being able to know the difference between what research teaches us and what businesses do needs to become a management core competency.

Workshop for Social Sciences Staff. 6th December Warwick University


The need for academic researchers to engage with external organisations is more important than ever in terms of delivering research impact, gaining fieldwork access, and winning funding from non-traditional funding sources. This workshop has, therefore, been designed to provide useful tips and insights into the art of external engagement. To this end the following speakers will share their expertise and experiences with you:




12:00 – 12:40:              Arrival and lunch

12:40 – 12:50:              Welcome and introduction by Head of Faculty, Professor Christina Hughes

12:50 – 13:20:              Stephen Roper: Dimensions of Impact via External Engagement

13:20 – 13:50:              Stephen Parry: The gap between management research and the world of business

13:50 – 14:50:              External engagement workshop

15:00 – 15:30:              John Parkinson: The sense of betrayal in academic public engagement,

and how to get over it.

15:30 – 15:45.              Wash up


Professor Stephen Roper

Stephen Roper is Professor of Enterprise and Director of the Centre for Small and Medium Enterprises (CSME) at Warwick Business School. Stephen is an economist with degrees from the University of Durham, Oxford University and LSE. He joined Warwick in 2008 having previously been Professor of Business Innovation at Aston Business School, Birmingham and earlier and Assistant Director of the Northern Ireland Economic Research Centre, Belfast.

Stephen has led over 50 externally funded research projects. He is currently working with OECD on the development of an innovation voucher scheme in Montenegro and an evaluation of the NESTA Creative Credits programme. Stephen has also consulted for OECD, DTI, BERR, Small Business Service, EMDA, AWM, Scottish Executive, Invest Northern Ireland, Forfas (Dublin), Enterprise Ireland, Northern Bank, InterTradeIreland, Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment (Belfast), Department of Education and Learning (Belfast), Royal Mail, and MoreThan4Business.

Stephen Parry

Stephen is a World leading authority and strategist on the creation of lean, adaptive organisations. He has applied adaptive learning principles to the design and operation of operations in Europe, Middle- East, Asia-Pacific, (including Japan, India, Australia, Philippines) and the USA. Clients include many global corporations and national governments: SAP, LEGO, BT, UK government, police authorities, financial services and shared services. His work has been covered in the Harvard Business Review and cited in numerous books and research papers. He is often interviewed on BBC Radio 4 and his work has featured in documentaries on National television BBC1 and Channel 4

Lean business consultants in Europe

Dr John Parkinson

John is Associate Professor of Public Policy in PAIS, University of Warwick. A specialist in democratic theory and public policy, and an occasional media commentator and advisor to the House of Lords Constitution Committee, John has a previous life as a public relations and management consultant.

Stephen Parry honoured to be speaking at:The Agile Lean Europe (ALE Network) Unconference Berlin 7th -9th September BOOK NOW

Stephen Parry Speaking at an event designed by engineers for engineers ALE2011 Berlin“Creating an Integrated ICT Value Stream Using Lean and Agile Thinking”

The IT function and Applications development organisations are well-placed to help organisations benefit fully from applying Lean principles. But success depends on aligning all the steps in the life-cycle value stream from definition, software development, deployment, support and retirement.
If you integrate Lean service and Agile development to support each other, you’ll be able to deliver the radical improvements in service, quality and development time that our current tough climate demands.

We need to understand that Agile and Lean thinking together completely and permanently transforms the nature of work throughout the Software Development and IT support functions.

Major application development companies have to re-think their whole approach to work design, roles and responsibilities and measurement. In addition they need to re-think their whole approach to change and those responsible for change.




The talk will cover:

  • new ways of working require new ways of thinking, especially management thinking.
  • we consider the implications of adopting a Lean strategy and the impact this has on process, decision-making and management
  • integrating Lean and Agile to make both scalable
  • ensuring change “sticks” through mutual reinforcement between customers, staff and management.

Main Messages to take away:

  • Demonstrate the value of IT and Software Development in business outcome and customer terms.
  • Learn to see what waste looks like in IT and Software development operations
  • Changing management thinking and perceptions.


Lean and Agile



The Agile Lean Europe (ALE) network is an open and evolving network of people (not businesses), with links to local communities and institutes. It helps people in European countries by spreading ideas and growing a collective memory of Agile and Lean thinking. And by exchanging interesting people with diverse perspectives across borders it allows beautiful results to emerge.

It will be an amazing event, with diverse and innovative speakers and with participants from all around Europe. It will take place in a great city, Berlin, on September 7-9, 2011.

ALE2011 will focus on the sharing knowledge principles and Agile/Lean European networking. To reach its goals, the (un) conference organisation under the following format :

The mornings will be opened by an one hour keynote, followed by 30 minutes talks in a few tracks. In early afternoon, several lightning talks will be presented. The selection of the lightning talks will be done via a lottery among the lightning talks proposed by the each of the participants. The afternoons are dedicated to Open Space sessions. So be prepared to give your lightning talk, you might be selected. We encourage participants to come to Berlin with their families and therefore there will be an alternative “spouses and kids” programme organised for them in the mornings and the afternoons and evenings will be planned so that we can all spend time together.

On Friday morning in parallel with the sessions, a coding DoJo facilitated by Jon Jaegger will take place

Friday afternoon will be dedicated to the retrospective and closing keynote.

Each participant will do a lightning talk to introduce himself, his assets and first future action to contribute to the ALE Network.