Henry Dittmer
Agile Coach & Trainer at Agile For All, LLC.
Berthoud, CO


Henry Dittmer, Agile Coach & Trainer

As a coach 1st, and manager 2nd, I have a wealth of experience in mentoring individuals, as well as building self-organizing teams & organizations.  I have passion for the human experience while balancing practical needs, bringing solution-oriented systems thinking to many situations.

I have 35 years of software industry experience in all aspects of engineering product development & delivery, and at all organizational levels, including executive roles & accountabilities.  The breadth of organizational complexity I have engaged in through my career includes start-ups to large enterprise companies.  I’ve developed a wide range of software from embedded systems to real-time applications, as well as SaaS & IT services.  I've managed global, distributed teams. I’ve been instrumental in defining business policies & practices for Strategic Planning & Portfolio Management, as well as software development processes & methods.  Over the last 10 years I’ve grown to embrace Agile principles, through real world application, as the most human & productive methods that I’ve tried.

In 2010 I co-founded Swift Ascent, a practical & practiced group providing services with Agile transformations, focusing on large enterprises. Recently, I translated my experience with Agile into becoming an Agile Trainer and Coach for Agile For All, which is dedicated to helping technology companies embrace Agile.

Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
Certified Product Owner (CSPO)
SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) Former
PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) Former
MBTI Certified Professional

Passionate to help individuals & teams learn, experience & transition to the Agile Philosophy
Gravitate to helping managers through executives transition to Agile
Bring clarity to Agile Release Planning & Product Backlog Management
Strategy & Portfolio Planning & Management
Scrum ceremonies: Planning, Stand-ups, Reviews, Retrospectives

Work Experience

Agile For All, LLC, Agile Coach & Trainer
2015-03-01 - Present, Berthoud, CO, US
Agile For All guides companies through the difficulties and nuances required to embrace Agile effectively and produce one-of-kind transformation. We apply a full range of Agile techniques, practices, principles and values to each client engagement to help them achieve Agile success regardless of industry. Our documented history of success demonstrates that Agile is an effective enabler for achieving business goals anywhere in an organization, even well beyond the domain of software development. Henry Dittmer has over 30 years of both engineering and executive experience in product development. He has led multi-location international teams and, as a Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner, is a firm advocate of MBTI to help people understand themselves and better communicate and work with others. Henry’s experience as an engineer and executive at Bell Labs, Lucent and Avaya adds depth to Agile For All’s executive training and coaching offerings.
Swift Ascent, LLC, Principal - Agile Coach & Trainer
2012-01-01 - Present, Denver, CO, United States

Small consultancy, partnering with two long time friends, providing coaching and training in various aspects of technology management, with an emphasis in Agile methods.

Clients have included:

High Precision Devices, a leading manufacturer of cryogenic chambers who was transitioning from a homegrown ERP system to a packaged ERP system (4 months).  Basically took their existing system and business processes and created a stack ranked product backlog for the new state.  Determined minimal feature and viable product user story sets.  Project was not completed as the company decided to shift resources to marketing due to economic concerns.  My role shifted to one of a executive team coaching on collaboration, communication, decision making etc. using Meyers-Briggs as an underlying tool (ongoing).


LeaderQuest, a technology training organization (4 months) – The organization was in a bit of chaos with a lack of clearly defined business practices and policies.  I was employed as an Acting COO using Agile methods to build out business processes.  Basically, created a business process, policy and technology backlog in a Scrum room in which we would daily Scrum on the most important needs and then work to complete those “stories”.  Within 3 months, the company’s operational processes went from Monday morning panic to a sustainable pace of delivering service.  I’m still engaged with them on a periodic basis for minor tune-ups of the backlog and working items off of that backlog.


Partnership with TEKsystems - Charles Schwab - working as an embedded coach for new teams as well as coaching executives in Agile (12 months to date).  I’ve trained some 6 Scrum Teams, provided coaching/mentoring to some dozen SMs, with Team coaching of some 100 team members, across three divisions of the company.  As an embedded coach, I participate in all Scrum ceremonies of the teams, providing live coaching and then off-line coaching to individuals, particularly the SMs and their managers.   I’ve established a reputation of taking newly formed teams, training them in Scrum and providing embedded coaching such that they are at a reasonable cadence within 3-5 Sprints.  Most recently have started to work with Senior VP and their direct report to “integrate” Agile projects within the corporate business processes that manage the portfolio of projects.  Recent team engagements have added meaningful training and adoption of Scrum by business leads; something that to date had been missing at Schwab.  Additionally, demonstrating how to integrate enterprise programs involving multiple Scrum teams as well as RUP teams.  This is an ongoing engagement with an additional 4 new Scrum teams lined up for training in early 2014.


Partnership with LeaderQuest – TransFirst, a credit card processing company- providing training on best Scrum practices (1 month to date).  This is a company that had various different, and less than totally effective Scrum practices across the development organization.  To date have provided two Agile Boot Camp training sessions for some 36 developers, QA and system analysts.  These trainings have created enough of a stir within TransFirst that we have a PMO and business team training scheduled for early 2014.  Partnering with the SW Dev Director to (re)establish a company wide, consistent practice.


PMCentersUSA, a technology training company – virtual training Agile Boot Camp;


AirCell, a general aviation wireless technology provider – This engagement was in partnership with my two business partners.  They had coached individual teams to successfully use Scrum on their individual projects.  However, the nature of the companies offers required x-Scrum team collaboration and planning.  Using SAFe PSI planning training as a tool, we successfully facilitated and coached two PSI planning sessions with some 12 Scrum team and some 150 people at each session.

Dittmer Consulting Group, Principal - Agile Coach & Trainer
2009-03-15 - 2011-12-31, Denver, CO, United States

Individual consultancy providing technology managemenet coaching, focusing on Agile methods. Clients included:

Mercury Payment Systems, a credit card POS processing company (7 months) - The organization had read some books and taken some CSM training, but had not adopted all aspects of Scrum leaving out most ceremonies, good User Story construction, and the concept of self-organizing teams.  The result was a bit of chaos development with no clear set of goals for performance.  I worked with the newly appointed Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Scrum Teams, and Director Leadership Team to restructure their Scrum set of practices.  Additionally established a management Scrum for the continued improvement of the organization's Scrum practice.  Asked back to manage the organization as an interim SW Director during which time interviewed and placed a knowledgeable and experienced Scrum Director.

Grapevine Technologies, a startup where I used Agile to help the take a concept to beta in 8 months, and then provided 2 week Sprints that ultimately attracted some $1.2M in funding (20 months).  Provided direct services in all sorts of roles, SM, PO, Developer, CTO & COO etc. As each element of the product came together I would hire on talent and train on use of Scrum to do their job (developers, QA, operations...) and work with the Team.  We got to a point where we were delivering market valued software on a two week cadence with the ability to drop virtually on notice updates to code if the market demanded.  Use of Scrum extended beyond the product development into the development and ongoing maintenance of other business processes including deployments and support infrastructure.

Avaya Inc, Senior Director/Aciting VP
2004-11-01 - 2008-12-31, Denver, CO, United States

Lead the transformation of a silo’d set of locations into a collaborative high performance development organization developing applications and systems to enhance, improve and reduce service delivery costs. • Established a portfolio strategy and management process & discipline that helped the P&L business leaders more effectively invest in R&D projects which in turn drove better business management discipline • sponsor & advocate establishing Agile methods cross-organizationally globally • Envisioned a business altering strategy on a predominately cost avoidance set of technology creating potential $100M+ annual revenue • Created a set of development processes increasing throughput by 1.7 time previous levels • Organization, once silo’d, was able to rapidly re-deploy a large mass of developers (40-80) globally to business strategies • Delivered some 56 projects in last fiscal year enabling a $2B revenue stream • Established an R&D center in India of 45 employees in 20 months

StorageTek, Management Consultant - Quality Management
2004-09-01 - 2005-01-01, Longmont, CO, United States
Assessed and then revamped corporate wide new product development process involved with enterprise storage system hardware and software • Quantitatively, objectively and subjectively assessed existing product realization processes within 90 days • Created plan for establishing a full set of business processes within in 3 months, delivering increasing improvement throughout new process definition and deployment • Turned around a once divisive set of functions into a collaborative solution delivery engine that resulted in 8% improved time to market and quality
Avaya Inc, Director - Global Business Management Processes
2000-01-01 - 2004-08-31, Denver, CO, United States
Defined, deployed & managed of a corporate wide set of business management processes as well as quality management system producing telecommunication and unified communication systems • Based on prior organizational performance, chosen to lead corporate wide business management process definition comprised of Portfolio Strategy & Planning, Concept to Market and Lifecycle Management disciplines • Instituted a comprehensive, enterprise-wide Quality Management System enabled through an interactive, web-based approach that reduced overhead by 30% • Managed rollout and change management of corporate wide processes and quality management systems resulting in institutionalizing corporate processes that has endured for 11 years
Lucent Technologies, Director - Software Development & Division Program Management
1997-01-01 - 2000-12-31, Denver, CO, United States
Lead a software development organization and established a division wide program management organization developing voice mail and unified communication systems • Established a unique PMO accountable for both process definition and program management that within 2 months rapidly won over the entire voice mail division • Created and drove a disciplined approach to managing and optimizing sustaining versus new software development that improved investment in new revenue generation by 20% • Created custom development technological and business model that secured critical customers at an additional profit
AT&T Bell Labs, Supervisor of Software Development
1980-06-18 - 1996-12-31, Denver, CO, United States
Lead various teams in the realization of real time software systems; specifically telephone and voicemail systems • Transitioned a languishing, under-achieving team into a high-powered efficient software development organization that lead a major product release • Awarded an unprecedented two Partner of Choice Awards for supporting customers through difficult technological and relationship challenges saving business worth some $10M in revenue • Devised a self-directed team model for delivering software resulting in a major re-write of 20KNCSL of code, that resulted in 11 patents, including 1 international patent