Tasktop Partner Day 2018 – A Community Coming Together Around Value Stream Management

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The speakers at Tasktop Partner Day 2018 were very informative, and their message was thought provoking. It was very refreshing to hear a message that was focused almost entirely upon client business results (value, cost, quality and happiness) – Henry Potts, Director, Business Development, Melillo Consulting

Last week Tasktop ran its first ever Tasktop Partner Day in Washington, DC ahead of the second Tasktop Connect. Over 20 attendees from our influential and far-reaching partner network, including OEMs, resellers and consultants, participated as they sought to learn more about Value Stream Management, the Flow Framework™, moving from Project to Product, and in identifying a common language between technologists and the business.

Nick and I prepped and excited to welcome our valued partners

Project to Product and the Flow Framework™

After Wesley Coelho, Senior Director of Business Development, greeted the room with the day’s agenda and some light stand up, Dr. Mik Kersten – Tasktop’s CEO and founder – presented on his new vision that is piquing the interest of the world’s leading organizations. Touching on the excitement of the launch of his book Project to Product, Dr. Kersten was keen to focus on the industry response to the book and the Flow Framework™ that he created.

Dr. Kersten noted that Project to Product currently sits ahead of leading bodies of work on Project Management on Amazon within the ‘Business Management’ section. “Lots of organizations are realizing that project management doesn’t really apply to building great enterprise software.” He added that this change in mindset, this movement, is something that Tasktop wants to work with partners on to galvanize its impact. “We want to help you understand the vision and the things that we can achieve together.”

Dr. Mik Kersen, Tasktop’s CEO and founder, presents his new vision

One message is clear – Tasktop, its partners and the wider community (including IT Revolution and its arsenal of books) – must work together to combine our experience and knowledge, warts and all, to propel the movement and help each other to be successful with our digital transformations

 

Dr. Kersten highlighted key learnings from working with Nokia, who lost the mobile market they created, and a top 25 bank who failed multiple transformations despite good intentions and billions spent. Highlighting the illusions of DevOps and Agile transformations and their actual impact on the business, Dr. Kersten underlined just how critical it is to architect around product value streams, as Amazon and Bezos have done, to find bottlenecks and opportunities for optimization to extract more business value from IT.

Following those cautionary customer tales, Dr. Kersten stressed that “it’s not that they weren’t committed to their digital transformation, they just had the wrong model.” Walking the room through Perez’s technological cycles and revolutions, and how we’re in the Turning Point of the Age of Software, he hammered home that our shared customers core goal must be mastering the means of production to survive the Turning Point. Sink and swim, in other words. And that that we now have the right model, the Flow Framework™, to make a success of our transformations.

Business update and strategy

Firstly, I want to say a big genuine thank you to all of you today, we couldn’t have done it without you,” opened Neelan Choksi, Tasktop’s President and COO. Neelan then provided an update on Tasktop’s business and partner strategy, highlighting BMW’s incredible transformational journey with Tasktop as “proof in the pudding”, as well as referencing the Forrester reports that validate Tasktop’s Value Stream Management approach. “What’s cool when you look at these reports is that it’s not a bunch of competitors, it’s many of our partners – many of whom are in this room.”

Tasktop’s President and COO, Neelan Choksi, dives into the Forrester report that identified Tasktop as a “strong performer” in Value Stream Management

Neelan stressed that partner enablement is, as ever, a core focus for Tasktop. “As the famous adage goes, teach a man to fish….” He then elaborated on how Tasktop’s ongoing partner enablement program – including the new Flow Framework™ Partner Program – has been developed through Tasktop’s own journey into VSM and flow. “We always walk the path first before you. While our experiences may differ in certain areas, we have validated advice to give you to improve your service offering. We want to sell our product and vision through you all – we want the community to fill up around our proposition to grow the market.”

The Flow Framework™ Partner Program

Me presenting on the benefits of Tasktop’s new Flow Framework™ Partner Program

I then presented on the ins and outs of the Flow Framework™ Partner Program. “The main objective of this program is to enable the benefits of the framework through sales resources, technical training, marketing resources and community support. We want to grow your sales, increase your competitive advantage.”

Backing what Neelan noted about Tasktop “walking the walk first”, I spoke about the impact that the framework is having on me as a former IT consultant with 15 years’ experience in the trenches. Before my calling at Tasktop, I could clearly see that the project-oriented approach was not working. Tasktop truly is IT professionals helping IT professionals to better communicate with the business and to help break organizational silos.

Why resell Tasktop?

Nick Wilson, Partner Account Manager, provided an overview of why partners should be excited about what Tasktop and Value Stream Integration and Management can do for their customers. He expanded the current state of play, including the general consensus that Agile and DevOps are not enough.

“We know of so many horror stories of customers coming back after wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to create or deploy alternative solution.” Nick Wilson warns of the perils of underestimating how complex and important value stream integration is.

“That’s where Tasktop comes in,” explained Nick. “There’s nothing else like it on the market – it’s a sophisticated model-based integration infrastructure that’s easy to use, reliable and scalable. We know of so many horror stories of customers coming back after wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to create or deploy alternative solution. We can help you help your customers understand that. The impact of Tasktop will be immediate and profound for everyone involved.”

Tasktop is a customer-driven product, added Nick. “We currently connect with 58 best-of-breed tools now, adding more every quarter, and it’s all based on demand from customers – something that you, our partners, can help with. If a customer requests a tool, don’t say Tasktop doesn’t do it – tell us! By closely monitoring these trends, we can expand our dynamic network and increase the end user value of our solution for your customers.”

Value Stream Management

To close the day, Carmen DeArdo, Tasktop’s Senior Value Stream Management Strategist and former customer, gave an end user perspective from his time at Nationwide as Technology Director. He spoke about the insurance company’s transition from project to product, the epiphanies he had, and the lessons he learned. “How do you understand what a customer wants from a product or is thinking about a product until they get it? You need to be focusing on end-to-end flow that involves all stakeholders and, of course, the customer. To reach that state, there’s three fundamental things you need to do: connect, flow, measure.”

Who better than to sing the praises of moving to a product-centric model and value stream mindset than a former customer? Carmen DeArdo has been there and done it and is always forthcoming about the lessons he learnt from his vast experience

Carmen acknowledged that it’s not easy to move from project to product, that culture is a constant barrier, and that there can be gap between what people want to be happening and the reality of the situation.

“At Nationwide, we did a lot of mapping. We talked about process. But I would often wonder if how much people’s perception of the process was wishful thinking. It would often depend on who was there and in the room at the time. Either way, it was hard to substantiate and prove what worked and what didn’t. Tasktop offers to you and customers is the opportunity to actually get the position where you can hold of real-time accurate metrics of the value stream to reveal the truth. That truth that helped us know what was and wasn’t working because you can’t trick it.”

Thoughts from our Partner attendees

“The Tasktop Partner Day gave us an opportunity to enjoy vibrant discussion with partners ranging from the height of Washington DC buildings (restricted to the width of the street they face + 20 feet), to the need for training and tooling to realise the Flow Framework™. It’s early days, but we got a glimpse of bridging the gap between business and engineering through a common language, model, and visualization of the flow of value. Read all about it in Dr. Kersten’s Project to Product book – it is an infectious read!” – Willy Peter-Schaub, Software Engineer, Director, AJATO Transformations, Ltd.

“I want to take this opportunity to thank the Tasktop team for including Melillo Consulting in your Partner events last week. The speakers were very informative, and their message was thought provoking. It was very refreshing to hear a message that was focused almost entirely upon client business results (value, cost, quality and happiness). The Tasktop approach to improving results provides a concise and understandable methodology that helps clients to focus on areas of improvement in their value stream; thereby reducing the lead time from business idea to delivery of their product. We look forward to our partnership and becoming a Tasktop delivery partner to assist clients in adopting the “Flow Framework™” from Tasktop. “ – Henry Potts, Director, Business Development, Melillo Consulting

“Tasktop Partner Day was very informative. Many key team members took time to talk to us about the essentials of being great partners and the ins and outs of the sales process including hurdles and how to get over them.” – Heather Morgan, ReleaseTEAM, Inc.

“Tasktop’s Partner Day was really inspiring and will take our company in some really cool directions! So much good stuff! Project To Product is pretty much a must read for everyone on our team.” – Partner Day attendee

What next for existing or new Tasktop partners

Partners – become a member of Tasktop’s Flow Framework™ Partner Program to:

  • Help your customers increase their business value by adopting Tasktop’s Flow Framework
  • Enable customers to join the age of software and take advantage of successes enjoyed by tech giants and digital startups
  • Get access to training and content for Flow Framework™ consulting services delivery.
  • Join the partner community discussion about Flow Framework™ training and implementations

To register your interest about this exciting movement along with the Flow Framework™ Partner Program, please register here. You can also contact me with any questions.

Interested in joining the Tasktop Partner Program?

If you’d like to learn more about joining the Tasktop Partner Program as a Reseller, Referral Partner, or Flow Framework™ Partner – please reach out to us at partners@tasktop.com for more information and we’ll be happy to help!

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