- Recognized industry thought leader in large-scale organizational transformations
- Hands-on expert, focused on helping complex organizations achieve gains in productivity, efficiency, innovation, and positive cultural change through Agile
- Experienced Executive having directed large globally-distributed organizations encompassing: Development, Support, Test, Project Management, and Operations staff
- Led teams in the development of a wide range of technologies including: cloud computing, distributed web applications, back-end e-commerce systems, web portals, high availability servers, compilers, operating systems, and classified systems
- Speaker at leading industry conferences: Agile 201x, Global Scrum Gathering, Better Software East/West, Agile/DevOps East/West, Cutter Consortium Summits, as well as the Security Institute
- Guest Lecturer and Senior Project Coach at University of Delaware
- Specialties: Business Transformation, IT Leadership, Organizational Agility, Software Engineering, Scrum, Scaling, Agile, SDLC, SAFe, Kanban, Lean Startup, DevOps, Globally Distributed Teams, Servant Leadership, Organizational Change
With experience in both the commercial and government sectors, Don is an accomplished software executive and change agent with deep Agile knowledge. As an executive, Don has led transformations at organizations spanning the Fortune 50 to late-stage startups. Here are just three examples of major Agile transformations Don has led:
- Lockheed – After the infamous failure of the FBI Sentinel project, Don was recruited by the CTO of Lockheed Martin, IS&GS division to begin Lockheed’s first major attempt to get serious about Agile Development. Lockheed’s IS&GS division alone was the largest provider of IT to the Federal government. Don’s job was to define and initiate a strategy for Lockheed programs to become more Agile. Over the course of 3 years Don led over a thousand LM and government employees and leaders through his Agile workshops and helped many agencies successfully adopt Agile practices. These agencies included NASA, DOD, IRS, FAA, SSA, DHS and others. During this time Don also participated in committees in Washington DC focused on helping the government forward their adoption of Agile.
- Hosting – At commercial cloud provider Hosting.com, Don was recruited by the founder to help prepare the late-stage startup for acquisition. Don was asked to take on the VP of Engineering role to mature the engineering organization and initiate Agile development practices. Don ultimately established Agile practices from the CEO office, to Engineering, Data Center Operations, and other business units. Don successfully helped the company become acquired and then acquire other cloud providers. When Don left the company after 3 years, Hosting had grown from a single location to having numerous data centers coast to coast and three engineering centers spread across the country.
- Zebra Technologies – Don helped this billion-dollar business transition from losing market share with its traditional waterfall approach to being identified by Fast Company as one of the most innovative companies of 2016. Don began working with teams in three different locations — North America, India, and Taiwan — training nearly 1,000 staff and partners, including both software and hardware engineers, in what it means to be Agile and how to do Scrum well. They learned technical practices that are now helping them improve quality, and they learned scaling patterns they can now use to build their complex systems. Don delivered specialized agile training sessions to business managers, product managers, and program-level managers, and coached project and program teams to prepare them for adopting agile at the program level. As a result of Don’s efforts, Zebra’s time available for innovation increased 900%.
Don spent his early years as an engineer at HP, ultimately leading a globally-distributed organization developing HP’s high-availability file server. He drove some of the earliest Agile adoptions at HP and was awarded for his success in management innovation. Following HP, Don was a Director at Monster.com before founding AgileBootCamp.com, where he assisted Fidelity Investments with its Agile adoptions. After Fidelity, Don joined the executive team at a late-stage startup cloud provider, where he helped establish Agile, ran the engineering department, and assisted the company through a series of M&As.
Since his early work on a pilot program modeled after the Toyota Production System, Don has been empowering teams to take ownership of their work. Along the way, he has transformed organizations using Lean, Scrum, XP, Kanban, DevOps, and, most recently, Lean Startup practices.
Certified Scrum@Scale Trainer, Certified Enterprise Coach (CEC), Certified Agile Leadership Educator (CALE), Certified Scrum Coach (CSC), Certified Scrum Professional (CSP), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Scaled Agile Framework Program Consultant (SAFe SPC), Leadership Agility 360 (LA360) Coach
EDUCATION & PUBLICATIONS
Don served as Guest Editor of the October 2017 issue of Cutter Business Technology Journal, Agile Leadership: Foundation for Organizational Agility. It offered valuable guidance in becoming a better Agile leader – crucial since the agility level of an organization will not exceed the agility of your leadership. Don’s opening statement framed the topics addressed: Agile Leadership: Foundation for Organizational Agility – Opening Statement. Based on the demand for Agile skills in the workplace, it is quite clear that leaders across the globe are coming to rely more and more on Agile principles and practices to achieve their goals. What makes some of these leaders successful with their Agile adoptions while other leaders seem to struggle?
BS, Information Technology Management, Daniel Webster College, Nashua, NH