Zen Ex Machina is a leading Agile transformation company. Following our success in CV’s Corporate Excellence Awards, Zen Ex Machina was profiled and CV magazine caught up with Mia Horrigan, CIO, Lead Partner Strategy and Advisory who provided them with a detailed insight into the innerworkings of the innovative firm.
Delivering Innovative Agile Coaching Solutions
Established in 2010, Zen Ex Machina is an agile management consulting company, with a decade of experience in agile transformation at scale, agile coaching and agile training.
With an overarching purpose to help executives transform the way their entire organisation operates, Zen Ex Machina provides busi- nesses with the keys to become more productive and responsive to changing market, customer and stakeholder needs through smarter ways of working. With unmatched practical Agile experience that spans almost two decades, Zen Ex Machina’s consultants work as cat- alysts to the cultural change that Agile demands. Going into further detail, Mia begins by informing of the core areas Zen Ex Machina specialises within, highlighting the ways in which the team ensure that they deliver a service which not only meets the requirements of their clients, but also surpasses their expectations.
“In Agile consulting, Zen Ex Machi- na’s experience spans training, certification, and coaching in a wide variety of Agile frameworks, and includes mentoring to help executives, leaders, and teams im- plement Agile on-the-job. The firm equips them with an Agile mindset needed to create the desired conditions for teams to thrive and, at the team level, create structures required for project, program, and portfolio concerns in product development to succeed. For Zen Ex Machina, clients are not locked into any framework as under- standing the client’s problem and culture comes first before bringing solutions like SAFe, Nexus, Scrum at Scale, or even Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) to the table.”
Providing the firm with the ability to deliver their clients with such an exceptional service, is the passionate, dedicated and talented team which forms the backbone of Zen Ex Machina. When discussing the internal culture, Mia is keen to highlight the significant role the team play in the overall success of the firm.
“Our staff are all experienced agile practitioners and bring this exper- tise to their training and coach- ing engagements. We want to empower our people to reach their full potential, so we aim to create a diverse, welcoming culture and a safe working environment. At the core of our business strate- gy, is our commitment to enable employees to ‘be the best they can be’ and we actively encourage professional development activities and sharing knowledge in social media forums to foster and build a stronger community.”
Ultimately, the success Zen Ex Machina has had over the years speaks volumes of its potential with the company doubling in size in the last year and expanding to the Asia-Pacific and the Southern U.S. They are also extending their Agile consulting and coaching ser- vices to the food and beverage in- dustry, energy, and superannuation verticals. Bringing the interview to a close, Mia signs off by revealing what she envisions what the future holds for the team at Zen Ex Machina, touching on how the firm will continue to experiment with new technology and products.
“Much of the agile sector continues to focus on software develop- ment. To us, it’s never been about software. Agile has never been the goal. Hyperproductive, happy teams and a culture of openness, collaboration, transparency and learning has been what truly matters, and agile is the best way we know to help our clients achieve this outcome. As the future beckons, ZXM is leveraging its al- ready extensive non-software agile experiences into Business Agility to support large value streams in rapidly responding to change by using Agile and Lean frameworks with evidence-based management.
“ZXM is always experimenting. This year will see us focus on some new digital products of our own to help assess the agile capability maturity of teams, their changes in behaviour, as well as their culture. As a coaching tool, it will see our time to plan and enact coaching activities halve and improve our ability to serve the teams, programs and executives we support.”