Dick Carlson

  

Founder and Managing Partner, Agile & Lean Education Associates (ALEA)

Location: Orange County, CA

714-350-9946

Certifications

Certified Scrum Professional
Certified ScrumMaster
Certified Scrum Product Owner

Biography

Dick Carlson has more than two decades of demonstrated experience championing teams and organizations in the development and delivery of high quality products and software using Agile, Lean, and Scrum principles. He has developed and conducted Agile-based, Lean-based, and Scrum-based courses designed specifically for project teams, facilitators, Scrum Masters, Product Managers, Product Owners, Project Management, customers, users, executive and senior management, and other stakeholders. Dick continues to offer team-level and organizational-level coaching during project planning and throughout initial project execution. Dick teaches team members the values of close collaboration with Product Owners, users, and stakeholders, mentor Product Owners, team members, and key stakeholders during project planning, assist Product Owners and key stakeholders in the creation of a product vision, a product roadmap, and an initial product backlog, assist in release planning, and assure that core project team members are identified and available.

Many years ago, before Agile and before Scrum, Dick became motivated by reading profound and powerful books from the likes of Edwards Deming and Joseph Juran both of whom focused on quality manufacturing through the application of practices that removed non value-added steps. Back then, this activity was coined "Total Quality Control" or TQM, which was tied in very closely with the Lean manufacturing model.. These great practices found their way into the manufacturing domains in Japan, but not so much into North American business. Thus, some of the most prosperous American industries including the automobile, electronics, and many other manufacturing giants began to take their hits from off-shore operations that adopted these practices into their cultures. Within 10 years, the demise of the American automobile and electronics industries became a reality.  Many of the Lean manufacturing practices were adopted by Agile and Scrum and eventually into Lean Software Development. For more than 25 years, Dick used many of those practices on product and software development projects. He became motivated when he read Ken Schwaber's paper on Scrum back in 1996, and when Ken published his first two books on Scrum, Dick knew that Scrum was not just for software development.

From 1992 to 2003, Dick trained, coached, and mentored hundreds of software and system engineers, software developers, program and project managers, business and functional analysts, design engineers, software and system architects, testers, customers, and users at the various companies where he worked as a consultant and worked as a full-time employee.

Since 2003, Dick actively presented at conferences and closely collaborated with the Department of Defense and Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute on the application of Agile and Scrum on non-software projects. From 2010 to 2013, Dick presented papers at the National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) and Software Technology Conference (STC) on applying Agile to Requirements Engineering and Systems Engineering projects. His personal experiences in using Scrum on non-software projects include the design and manufacture of aircraft, weapon systems, fitness and strength equipment, GPS systems, aircraft simulation equipment, pilot training systems, rocket science (i.e. launch platforms and tracking systems), test and simulation laboratories, acquisition activities, engineering and legal documentation, and requirements development. There is no limit to what Scrum's values and principles can do for any project.

Dick has applied more than four decades of extensive software engineering and systems engineering backgrounds that include practical knowledge and hands-on experiences to show how to implement Agile, Lean, and Scrum principles in the software engineering, IT, and systems engineering domains within aerospace, academia, and the Department of Defense.

While at the Boeing Company, Dick taught Agile, Lean, and Scrum principles based on his many years of practical experience. He successfully developed and actively conducted comprehensive training courses for Scrum Teams, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, project and program managers, executives, senior management, and others who were seriously interested in learning about how to implement and deploy Agile, Lean, and Scrum on their software development, systems development, product line, and independent research and development (IRAD) projects.  Dick trained thousands of engineers on Agile, Lean, and Scrum methods and then coached hundreds of people, teams, and organizations, and then mentored many more people on Agile, Lean, and Scrum principles and practices from 2004 through 2013.

Dick has been an active Agile transformational leader for many small and large projects, and has frequently shared his experiences of successful Agile, Lean, and Scrum implementations at conferences, workshops, and symposia, and regularly advise executives and organizational leaders on the cost, quality, and schedule benefits of using those initiatives and techniques.  He has actively coached teams for more than 20 years on Agile and Lean Project Management fundamentals, and follows up with mentoring activities to ensure successful project execution.  Dick has also provided concentrated Agile coaching support and led many organizations, programs, and projects ranging in size from six to more than 2,000 engineers that ranged in costs from less than $50,000 to more than $1.4B.

Dick used Scrum practices and principles to manage and form the start-up of the Agile & Lean Education Associates (ALEA) Company that began July 2013, where he will continue his passionate pursuits of sharing Agile, Lean, and Scrum experiences.  Dick is now dedicated to sharing what he has learned through decades of experience by means of Agile and Lean training and the right amount of coaching to companies and other activities that want to increase their competitive advantage. The ALEA Company website (http://www.a2zalea.com) provides information about who we are and what we do.

Work experience

Agile & Lean Education Associates (ALEA), Trainer, coach, mentor, consultant
July 2013 - Present, Garden Grove, CA, US
At ALEA, I am the founder and managing partner and work as a consultant by providing complete and comprehensive training for individuals, project teams, management, and support personnel related to Agile and Lean software, systems development, and rapid system delivery. Coaching people, teams, and organizational leaders and management is an integral part of the training experience, flowed by an appropriate amount of mentoring. I have at least two decades of demonstrated experience championing teams and organizations in the development and delivery of high quality products using Agile, Lean, and Scrum principles. I conduct Agile-based, Lean-based, and Scrum-based training specifically designed for project teams, facilitators / Scrum Masters, Product Managers / Product Owners, Project Management, customers, users, executive and senior management, and other stakeholders. I offer team-level and organizational-level coaching assistance during project planning and throughout project execution. I teach team members the values of close collaboration with Product Owners, users, and stakeholders, mentor Product Owners, team members, and key stakeholders during project planning to ensure the creation of a product vision, a product roadmap, an initial product backlog, assist in release planning, and make sure that core project team members are identified and available. While at the Boeing Company for 9 years, I taught Agile, Lean, and Scrum principles based on my many years of practical experience. I successfully developed and actively conducted comprehensive training courses for Scrum Teams, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, project/program managers, executives, senior management and others who were seriously interested in learning about how to implement and deploy Agile, Lean, and Scrum on their software development, systems development, product line, and IR&D projects. I have used my extensive software and systems engineering background (more than 4 decades) that includes practical knowledge and hands-on experience to show how to implement Agile, Lean, and Scrum principles in the software engineering, IT, and systems engineering domains within aerospace, academia, and the Department of Defense. I have developed and actively conducted comprehensive training courses for Scrum Teams, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, project/program managers, customers, executives, senior management and others interested in learning how to implement and deploy Agile, Lean, and Scrum. I have been an active Agile transformational leader for many small and large projects, and frequently share my experiences of successful Agile, Lean, and Scrum implementations at conferences, workshops, and symposia, and regularly advise executives and organizational leaders on the cost, quality, and schedule benefits of using those initiatives and techniques. I have actively coached teams for more than 20 years on Agile and Lean Project Management fundamentals, and follow up with mentoring activities to ensure successful project implementations. I have led numerous organizations, programs, and projects ranging in size from 6 to more than 2,000 engineers that ranged in costs from less than $50,000 to more than $1.4 billion.

The Boeing Company, Agile Coach
November 2007 - May 2013, Huntington Beach and El Segundo, CALIFORNIA (CA), US
Taught and coached Agile values and principles and Scrum values and practices from years of empirical experience. Developed and actively conducted comprehensive training courses for Scrum Teams, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, project/program managers, executives, senior management and others seriously interested in learning how to implement and deploy Agile and Scrum on their software development, systems development, product line, and IRAD projects. Coached and mentored all levels of management, software engineers, systems engineers, customers, users, testers, analysts, and architects on Scrum implementation strategies applied to major programs, small and medium sized projects, and in work environments.

The Boeing Company, Transformation Leader
May 2004 - May 2013, N/A, US
I used my extensive software and systems engineering background that includes practical knowledge and hands-on experience in the implementation and deployment of Agile, Lean and Scrum values and practices in the various software engineering, IT, and systems engineering domains within the company. I developed and actively conducted many comprehensive training courses for Scrum Teams, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, project/program managers, customers, executives, senior management and others interested in learning how to implement and deploy Agile and Scrum. I was an active Agile transformational leader for many small and large projects, and frequently shared my experiences of successful Agile implementation at conferences, workshops and symposia. I regularly advised executives and organizational leaders on the benefits of using Agile, actively coached teams on Agile and Lean Project Management fundamentals, and then followed up with mentoring activities to ensure successful project implementations.

The Boeing Company, Software Engineer & Process Architect
May 2004 - May 2013, El Segundo, CALIFORNIA (CA), US
I served as a pro-active member of the Software Engineering Process Group (SEPG); Supported the development of command media and the enterprise Process Council; Supported Software Function Training and SCM Process Action Teams; Developed Real Time Software Engineer career roadmaps; Served as Content Manager for the Ground Systems & Software Engineering website; Managed (hands-on) the Process Improvement Proposal database management system; Developed and conducted courses and coached individuals and teams on Scrum to enable Lean processes; Evaluated Boeing- developed tools and COTS tools for project use; Actively supported the S&IS Systems of Systems and Software Engineering Committee; Set up software change request process for SEPG change management activities supporting legacy and new programs; Assisted in the preparation for CMMI Level 5 appraisal; Actively supported and served as a Process Maturity Group member; Developed training and detailed desk instructions and procedures for programs; Organized organizational process improvement opportunities; Defined qualitative and quantitative methods for implementing process improvement initiatives; and developed Agile training courses to teach the basics of Scrum in an environment where Agile was not yest accepted.