Under new management

I am delighted to announce my new independent consulting company, Dan North & Associates, which has the handy abbreviation of DNA. Take a look around the new website - I’d love to hear your feedback and suggestions, especially in terms of the direction I’m taking. Going independent has been on the cards for a while now, and the timing feels right after successfully carrying out a Lean transformation programme with my current employer, DRW Trading.

Moving on

Eighteen months ago I embarked on a three month experiment with CIO Seth Thomson to see if we could pair on a change programme across DRW IT, with me in London and him and his team in Chicago. In that time we’ve been applying ideas from Lean operations and Theory of Constraints to improve turnaround and communication across the firm’s IT group. We started small, with a book club looking at Agile project management via throughput accounting to Eli Goldratt’s classic The Goal. This led us to implement a programme of coaching, workshops and one-on-one sessions and we embedded specialists in various cross-functional teams. This in turn led to a shift in focus so that ideas and innovations for process change are coming from people on the ground rather than from Seth or myself. So, eighteen months into our three month experiment, we are just where we wanted to be, and it’s time for me to do something else.

In many ways it’s been a dream gig. I’ve seen too many change programmes fail due to management inertia or even active sabotage. DRW Trading is blessed with the kind of enlightened and open-minded management team that doesn’t exist in the real world. Working with the triumvirate of Seth as CIO, Derek Groothuis as Director of Software Engineering and Lyle Hayhurst as CTO has been a fun, enlightening, invigorating ride and I’ll be sad to leave them, as well as a lot of insanely talented folks. I expect I’ll still be visiting from time to time.

Open for business

I’m excited about the possibilities for Dan North & Associates. I will be retaining my independence and contrarian outlook. I promise not to run any course with the word “Certification” in it. My first public course is Faster Software Delivery at Foo Café at the end of August, and I’ll be announcing further courses and conference appearances as they shape up.

Drop me a line if you want to talk about working together. In the meantime I’ll be adding case studies and other reference material to the site over the coming weeks.