Zen Ex Machina (ZXM) is a professional management consulting company that specializes in digital transformation, Agile coaching, and personnel training across government and commercial entities. ZXM helps the government and corporate world improve their digital products and services by using Agile, Lean and UX techniques.
ZXM has coached over 65 teams across 20 organizations and trained over 600 people over the last five years. Its Agile coaches and trainers are experienced practitioners who have worked with government departments and agencies to help organizations, portfolios, programs, and teams perform as effectively as possible.
With offices in Australia and New Zealand, ZXM counts among its clients the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Department of Industry and Innovation, the Department of Human Services, Origin Energy, Nestle, and eBay.
ZXM uses Agile frameworks and user-centered design techniques to work collaboratively with clients to solve complex business problems.
An Interesting Journey
ZXM started with a focus primarily on customer experience, and digital product design and development. Digital transformation is a major area of concern for the company’s clients, and ZXM’s experience in both the human and technology sides of modern product development puts them in a strong position to deliver this change.
After ZXM’s first few engagements, several clients expressed keen interest in the Agile frameworks the company used in its own projects. It was from these early conversations that ZXM’s agile coaching and digital transformation services were developed; they now represent its biggest service delivery area in the global marketplace.
ZXM quickly became a pioneer in adapting behavioral science models from psychology to assist its clients with Agile adoption, change management and digital transformation. The challenge with cultural change areas is a perpetual issue for many of ZXM’s clients.
These frameworks still underpin the company’s consulting services from Agile coaching and training to digital agility and project, program and portfolio management. Combined with 21st century digital, Agile and design thinking techniques have made ZXM learn faster, deliver better, and continuously improve their practice.
ZXM faced challenges during its initial growth in the business world as Agile services. The company worked through the global financial crisis with clients who had similar values and this helped them to build deep trusted relationships that they have continued to maintain.
While change is the one constant that often adversely impacts many modern organizations, ZXM has learnt to continuously improve and adapt its skills to meet the evolving needs of their clients, and embrace new and complex challenges.
Committed to Enhancement
One of the leading causes of failure of Agile initiatives is a lack of experience in implementing the frameworks and practices. ZXM aims to improve the agility of its clients’ program teams. It primly focuses on building capability and enablement through coaching support that enable teams to adapt the trends of their industry with foremost agility.
ZXM’s efficient frameworks enable its Agile consultants to focus on the creation of Agile capabilities and organizational change with enterprise clients, and support the digital transformation of public services for the government sector.
The company places particular emphasis on developing digital services that meet the DTA’s Digital Service Standard by integrating UCD methods, tools, and practices into Agile processes. This includes the ‘Definition of Done’, and how best to describe and define a Minimal Viable Product (MVP). Additionally, ZXM consultants provide pragmatic advice on best-practice Agility based on practical experience across Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and scaled frameworks like Nexus and SAFe.
A key element in ZXM’s approach to support its clients in achieving the best outcomes is capability and knowledge development, and focus delivery of value based products through the use of user-centered design methods, including Design Thinking, combined with Agile frameworks such as Scrum to drive improvement cadence and Lean to improve efficiency.
An Experienced Leader
Zen Ex Machina (ZXM) is a professional management services consultancy established in 2011 by Mia Horrigan (CEO), Matthew Hodgson (CIO) and Kai Koenig (CTO).
Mia Horrigan is an experienced Program Manager with over 15 years of experience as a senior executive leading and implementing software solutions, including digital transformations.
Mia has worked with Agile teams for over 10 years and is an experienced Product Manager and Scrum Master. She has been successful in delivering business outcomes and value through the successful implementation of Agile/Scrum at both team and enterprise level.
Over the years Mia has specialized in Agile/Scrum Coaching and Training, which includes business engagement with senior executives, program boards and stakeholders. She has also developed strategies and roadmaps for Digital Transformations programs. Mia has extensive experience in Program and Service Delivery management, and in leading and managing teams of consultants, project teams, and operational staff.
Market-Leading Agile Solutions
ZXM strives to build a strong, collaborative relationship with each of its clients. Agile methods are at the core of its practice. It has grown significantly over the past two years and now has the depth of capability to support its large enterprise clients with effective digital services and other futuristic solutions.
The company’s core values are simplicity, agility, collaboration and sustainability – values that underpin their versatile solutions. This focus on business value and users over just technology change is one of the reasons ZXM is a leading brand in the delivery of Agile services in this highly competitive digital age.