Here's what people are saying about Capala Consulting Group, LLC.
Pilot Flying J Travel Centers
“Anu has worked with our organization consistently over the past several years to train our Scrum Masters and Product Owners and elevate our knowledge and foundation in our Agile journey. Anu brings a wealth of experience and is eager to share her stories, which have always been relatable. With her help, we have been able to select, train and dedicate Product Owners to our dev process and deliver both speed and increased business value as a result”
Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury
"We've had three groups of leaders go through the Agile Leadership class with Anu and Capala Consulting over the last year. Even the ones who attended a year ago still talk about their experience. Over the last year, we have seen mindset shifts take place among our leadership team and we still have conversations about the philosophies and concepts Anu introduced. People are leading more with authenticity and using the concept of agile leadership to find new ways to help their teams get things done. Anu’s training also kicked off some new ways of thinking about ‘team’ and what it should look like – that a true team is so much more than a ‘group of individual contributors’. One group from the class has launched a major journey of cultural change for their section where everyone, from the newest staff to the most senior leader, is involved in figuring out how to bring this vision of ‘team’ to life and work together to produce amazing results.
Leading with an agile mindset was particularly effective when all our teams suddenly began working remotely in March. We found ourselves well-positioned to tackle the situation with new thoughts and a more authentic and vulnerable mindset about how to continue connections and be an effective team. We appreciate our time with Anu because she stretched us and challenged us to think differently about leadership and how we fulfill our mission, and we are a much better team for it."
Vertigo Media, Inc.
“When Anu arrived at Vertigo, we were in structural chaos (I’m sure she would agree). Her observations of our company were spot on:
“No clear team structure” “No clear framework in use” “No ScrumMaster”
“No Product Manager” “Lack of trust….”
“Not enough openness and transparency…”
She immediately began to apply the principles of Agile leadership. The first thing she did was have a long meeting with the leadership team. She mostly asked questions and observed what was going on and recommended that this group become our own scrum team. I volunteered to be ScrumMaster. We began having weekly standups and made significant progress as we adopted the principles of Agile. As a company building a social music mobile app that operated in a rapidly changing environment, we were a textbook case for being in a context for Agile.
After another all-day meeting with our development team, Anu made a number of recommendations that were critical needs for the organization. We established a (Chief) Product Manager, formed cross functional teams that were self-organized and began opening the lines of communication between teams in Kansas City, Charlotte, and Russia. These fully contained teams no longer had to handoff work between cities. This enabled more autonomy and improved productivity.
Looking back, I can see now why Anu started with the leadership. We needed to demonstrate and grasp the principles of agile before expecting the rest of the staff to adopt. In addition, the problems with structure, communication and transparency started at the top. By forcing us to see our own failures, we could learn from our mistakes before helping to coach the rest of the company.
I appreciate Anu for being a change agent to our organization. She coached us at a pivotal moment in our company. At the time, we were about to release the first version of our app. However, due to all the issues that she identified, productivity was slow and inefficient. Since implementing her recommendations, we now have cross functional teams, a better definition of “done”, value at the end of each sprint, a defined Product Manager and clear direction. As always, there is room for improvement, but we have made huge strides in productivity and focus thanks to Anu’s leadership.
The Scrum Alliance is fortunate to have such a great teacher and communicator as a leader for the values and principles of Agile. Not only is she very knowledgeable and a domain expert, she is funny, engaging and speaks the truths of Agile boldly. I cannot recommend anyone more highly than Anu to become a Cal Level 1 Educator.”
“Anu Smalley has had multiple engagements with Capital One helping materially advance agile maturity in multiple areas of our Capital One business. In 2015, Anu joined our Card Partnerships Technology team as a consultant to help us roll out and advance Agile. This was a particularly challenging assignment for me and Anu because the timing and scope involved associates that were part of a recent Capital One acquisition. There were deep cultural biases (e.g. command and control people managers, obsession with legacy processes, high % of technology outsourcing/offshore, etc.). I would characterize Anu as one of the top 3 influencers in shaping the overall plan and the progress to follow over the course of the next year to year and a half to follow. The programs and curriculums she identified, recommended, and ultimately helped us execute on were endless. The training programs and ranged from SAFe training for 100+ agile teams, leadership agile learning sessions across M&A, Operations, Technology at VP+ level, role specific training such as scrum masters, product management, and software engineers. One of Anu's strengths that impressed me the most in Anu's approach to shaping overall change management plan and the development to approaching various outcomes was how pragmatic she was and staying true to key agile principles such as test and learn servant leadership.
Over the course of a year and a half we rolled out several versions of our SAFe model, each time focusing on a specific purpose and advancement on a particular dimension. Our very first version was all about test and learn and getting to practice Agile as a team. The benefits were endless - 2 week sprints, working as a team through ceremonies, and leadership working the team and resolving impediments. The next versions to follow were more sophisticated focusing on self-sufficiency of teams, improved product orientation, and advancement of engineering practices such as paired programming. What I witnessed throughout the organization was a culture that organically transformed from what I described previously to one where associates self-identified ideas on improving self-sufficiency and the overall organization's self-confidence grew and grew organically. Each version had Anu's fingerprints on them through shaping of the objective, change plans and ultimately guiding me and the rest of the leaders as well as the teams.
Throughout Anu's engagement, I developed a particular rapport with Anu, as did many other senior leaders. As I reflect back on my own personal Agile journey Anu was the most meaningful contributor to my personal understanding and advancement of agile and I feel incredibly fortunate to have worked with her on our Agile transformation for our Card Partnerships business.”