Chris R. Chapman, President and Founder
For over ten years I've been on a journey to uncover better ways of developing and delivering software by doing it and helping others to do it. Over this time I've worked first as a developer and then as consultant to customers across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and Canada, most recently in private practice and for Microsoft Canada (MCS). Throughout my career I have sought out, studied and applied the best development and project governance practices I could find to provide world-class solutions to tough software project challenges, chief among them the destructive and pervasive influence of Big-Design-Up-Front/Waterfall methodologies on success rates, quality, team morale and return-on-investment (ROI).
As an industry, software development has a poor reputation: It's commonplace to hear about projects of all sizes that fail to meet scheduled delivery dates, go well over budget and in the end fail to perform the tasks they were designed to resolve. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars have been lost just in the past decade alone to cancelled or over-budget projects that we know of, and the cost of these failures is far-reaching in jobs lost or offshored, products that fail to come to market and an overall decline in productivity. In sum, the foundations of our new "knowledge worker" economy is on shaky foundations.
I knew that there had to be a better way, and discovered in 2000 that others were having the same thought and doing something about it, creating lightweight process frameworks like Extreme Programming (XP), and Scrum which, in contrast to their heavyweight counterparts, make it possible to deliver a return-on-investment in as little as two weeks by relying on empirical practices of visibilty, inspection and adaptation within defined, repeatable time boxes.
From that time onward I have been a passionate advocate for agile/iterative/incremental/lean software delivery processes, using and refining them with almost all teams I have worked alongside to significant effect. What has been most inspiring to me is the transformative power these practices have had on teams and organizations, removing the chaos, confusion and distress of their previous efforts and replacing them with a sense of professionalism because they could show increasing value over time and ROI for their managers and customers.
With my experiences of the past past decade in mind, I founded derailleur consulting, inc. in April 2011 to help good software people and organizations trapped under bad practices become world-class by teaching them how to "become agile" with frameworks like Scrum.