How well does your organization respond to changing market conditions, customer needs, and emerging technologies when building software-based products? This practical guide presents Lean and Agile principles and patterns to help you move fast at scale—and demonstrates why and how to apply these methodologies throughout your organization, rather than with just one department or team.

Through case studies, you’ll learn how successful enterprises have rethought everything from governance and financial management to systems architecture and organizational culture in the pursuit of radically improved performance. Adopting Lean will take time and commitment, but it’s vital for harnessing the cultural and technical forces that are accelerating the rate of innovation.

Discover how Lean focuses on people and teamwork at every level, in contrast to traditional management practices

Please note: the video lectures in this course are available exclusively on LinkedIn Learning. While this course website is free to access, you’ll need a current LinkedIn Learning subscription to view the lectures.

Who should take this course

This course is aimed at leaders and teams who want to build high performing organizations to develop digital products and services, and create a culture of experimentation and learning.

In the clip below, Jez, Joanne and Barry discuss the main obstacles that we see preventing teams from achieving higher performance and how to overcome them.

Clip of Jez, Joanne and Barry discussing obstacles to high performance


Module 1: Running Agile at Scale

There are several frameworks which aim to enable large organizations to implement the ideas and principles of the agile manifesto. However the results often fail to create transformative change. In this module, Jez presents the common issues that arise when trying to implement agile at scale, discusses how to run large programs in an agile way, provides a case study of such an implementation, and shows how worker-led continuous improvement is at the heart of an effective agile adoption.

Module 2: Purposeful Organizations

Research has shown that focusing only on maximizing profits has the paradoxical effect of reducing the rate of return on investment. Rather, organizations succeed in the long term through developing their capacity to innovate and adopting the strategy of focusing on employees, customers, and products first. In this module, Barry sets out why the clarity of communication and understanding of your organizations purpose is a key differentiator and indicator for higher engagement, alignment and performance of your business.

Module 3: Financial Management to Support Business Agility

In many organizations, financial management process and activities drive behaviors and decisions which limit people’s capabilities to to continuously improve, experiment in areas of great uncertainty, reduce real risks, and innovate. In this module Joanne talks about different ways to look at Financial Management to remove barriers to experimentation, innovation and improved value delivery to your customers.

Module 4: Building High Performing Teams

What is high performance in the context of a team, and how can we achieve it? In this module, Jez presents the Taylorist and Lean management paradigms and the contexts in which they best operate, shows the impact of culture on organizational performance, discusses how to change culture illustrated with a well-documented case study, and provides a guide to improving team performance and the principles that enable high performance.

Module 5: Managing the Innovation Portfolio

High performance organizations continuously move initiatives through the business model lifecycle from Explore to Retire. They understand that using the same strategy, practices and processes across the entire portfolio will result in negative outcomes and results. To be successful, a company should have a balanced portfolio of products that reflect the mission, strategy and desired state the organizations wishes to be in. In this module, Barry will share how to build the capability to continuously seek out new business models, products and services to ensure the future business relevance, growth and evolution of your organization innovation portfolio.

Module 6: Moving Fast with Defined Constraints

Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) are necessary, but the intent is not evil. Regulations are created to reduce risks of bad things happening. Unfortunately, we often see in organizations where the greatest risk to an organization today - failure to respond rapidly to market changes - is increased dramatically by the very structure, policy, process and controls imposed “for compliance” meant to reduce risk. In this module, Joanne takes you on the journey to understand the world of GRC and how to work to achieve overall organizational balance of risk between observing required constraints and implementing change as required to get ahead of your competition.

Module 7: Economic Frameworks for Portfolio and Product Management

In the majority of organizations investment and prioritization decisions are not made on the basis of economic modeling. This inevitably leads to decision making using the “HiPPO” method (the Highly Paid Person’s Opinion). In this module Jez presents two tools - decision trees and cost of delay - that can be used to drive decisions at the portfolio, program and product level. Jez then shows how to use these tools to expose and validate assumptions, and to constantly align your plans to the best economic choice.

Module 8: Starting Your Business Transformation

Transforming organizations, teams or even yourself is challenging. There’s no one-size fits all method to achieve success. It’s a combination of hard work, persistence and patience. That said, the most successful enterprises are continually experimenting to learn what works and what doesn’t. They focus on meeting customer needs by clarifying goals, shortening feedback loops and measuring performance based on outcomes, rather than outputs. To become a high performance organization you must develop the capability to continually adapt, adjust and innovate. This requires a deliberate practice of experimentation and learning. In this module, Barry distills a set of practical strategies and principles to help businesses on their journey to become high performance organizations.

Your Instructors

Jez Humble has co-authored several books on software, including Jolt Award winner Continuous Delivery (Addison-Wesley) and Shingo Publication Award winner Accelerate (IT Revolution). He works at Google and teaches at the University of California, Berkeley.

Joanne Molesky’s work focuses on processes, governance and risk management in the use of information technology for over 20 years. She retired from paid work in 2019.

Barry O’Reilly is a business advisor, entrepreneur, keynote speaker, author of Unlearn, founder of ExecCamp, and a faculty member at Singularity University.