Matt Turner
Agility/Ways of Working Coach
More about Matt Turner...

Matt Turner has over 20 years leading and managing IT and business services; coaching and training teams in lean and agile practices, with experience stretching across various industries and sectors, including central and local government, financial services, telecom, rail, utilities, higher education, scientific instrumentation and consulting. Founder at and Partner at Sooner Safer Happier. Matt is fascinated by enterprise flow, the psychology of change, and behavioural economics. Accredited BVSSH and Kanban University Trainer. Contributing author of Agile an Unexpected Journey

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Creating flow at Waters out of thin air
Waters Corporation (NYSE:WAT), a global leader in analytical instruments & software with annual revenues of $2.5B, has pioneered chromatography, mass spectrometry, and thermal analysis innovations serving the life, materials, food, health sciences for over 60 years. Employing over 7,800 worldwide, operating directly in over 35 countries, it has 14 manufacturing facilities and products available in over 100 countries. This story presents the surprising challenges, successes, and failures we experienced in introducing experimentation and the Scientific Method into a scientific organization, where determinism and standardisation held fast to project delivery. Waters had been on an Agile Transformation (capital A, capital T), at the usual great expense, nearly a decade earlier than the starting point. The expected improvements were not forthcoming any time soon, and many influential people had become sceptical of the Agile promise. From top down the view was of wanton indiscipline and from bottom up the view was of time-and-scope boxed bureaucracy. A culture of fear, lack of psychological safety and mistrust kept things in a perennial state of learned helplessness and broken promises. We begin as SPEAKER1, weary of working away on his first experience of a “Big 4” waterfall delivered Agile Transformation agrees to help a couple of teams at a site, local to him, for a bit of a rest over the dark winter months; SPEAKER2, had just attained the role of Director of Product Owners and it quickly became apparent to him that he had no idea how to be successful in the role. Beginning with 1st principles, inspiring and being inspired by the scientific culture around them, they began to build trust and confidence in the people behind on the task of innovating a new flagship platform & suite of products. With a bit of courage, this grass roots movement held criticism and the traditional paradigm at bay to bring delivery under control and produce an award-winning solution.
Key takeaways…
We explain Agile is not dead, we forgot where it lives; agile is for people, takeaway how we enabled them and they empowered themselves. Even scientists can be taught how to forget the science (and not know it) – we will show you how to (re-)kindle a love; of data (and the data we used as kindling), uncertainty, experimentation with different practices (and the practices we experimented with), learning and transparency. Learning how to be successful in his new role Kieran had to bring people from all over the organisation together. We will show you how to build a Team of Teams across functions, with behavioural science and getting people to volunteer freely by tapping in to curiosity. We will show we changed the view of leadership, against some stiff opposition, winning people over through evidence and outcomes. This was truly home grown, agile transformation does not need big investment – we thought big, started small and learned fast, to achieve what agile always promised.