11 - 13 May 2016

thestudio, Manchester, UK

Strategy in a lean enterprise

Ollie Stevenson ThoughtWorks

Session type: Tutorial
Session duration: 60 minutes

Slides from session

The slides used for this session are available to download from here.

About this Tutorial

As the average life expectancy of Fortune 500 companies falls, the need to react quickly to market changes or seize market opportunities becomes increasingly important.

Large organisations, however, struggle to move quickly enough. Often, the problem can be attributed to a lack of clearly understood strategy, and an inability to make strategic choices.

This inability can also be frustrating for teams and lead to a feeling of being disjointed from a bigger purpose, and an over-reliance on management 'above' them. In the end, they slow down.

Developing a visible hierarchy of business goals and outcomes can be a great way to communicate your strategy and contextualise teams' work. We call this the Lean Value Tree, and it can be a really powerful way to unlock the potential of agile teams. With a clear understanding of outcomes to be achieved, and the intent behind them, teams can autonomously ideate, experiment and innovate to continually improve the product, and react much more quickly to market changes.

About the Speaker

As a business designer at ThoughtWorks, Ollie has worked for multiple clients, across different industries, in various capacities. His experience includes working as a coach on a large lean enterprise transformation, as a business analyst for the world's largest store of academic journals, advising one of the UK's largest retailers on agile transformation, and helping an online gaming company in Leeds define, structure and communicate their strategy for growth.

Specifically, Ollie is very interested in introducing agile and lean principles to the wider business, beyond IT, so the whole organisation can be more responsive.

Outside of his consulting work, Ollie enjoys helping his beer industry friend carry out research, the odd game of tennis, and is a fan of both Arsenal and Bournemouth football clubs.


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Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of Agile and Lean practices. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.