The digital economy has transformed the way both small and large businesses operate and engage with their customers. Competition, government policy, industry standards and regulations all require smarter, faster, leaner ways of working. To navigate these constraints, an agile mindset is key. Modern agile frameworks were born out of the need to improve the customer experience through changing the way companies deliver digital products — moving from slow, expensive big-bang approaches to iterative feedback loops that validate ideas early and transform investment into value.
Agile requires people to be open to deep collaboration, continuously engaging with their customers, and for management to be open to non-hierarchical forms of leadership. Zen Ex Machina (ZXM) is a leading brand in delivery of enterprise agile services and a frontrunner in coaching management to embrace an agile leadership mindset. ZXM was created with this purpose in mind.
A Frontrunner in Agile Management Consulting
Right from its inception in 2011, ZXM was well-recognized by peers and industry alike as a leader in the multi-disciplinary use of agile frameworks, design thinking and psychology for organizational and behavioral change, in both software and non-software environments. Zen Ex Machina stepped into the market as an agile management consulting company and it thrives on making the complex simple.
ZXM helps government and corporates to improve their digital business’ products and services by using Agile, Lean and UX methods. Today, ZXM’s core values of simplicity, agility, collaboration and sustainability continue to underpin their focus on elegant solutions. Their consideration of business value and users over just technology change is one of the reasons ZXM is a leading marque. “We don’t do easy”, says Matthew Hodgson (CIO). “We make easy happen through hard work, continuous improvement, and deep collaboration with our clients and their stakeholders”.
Leaders for Perpetuity of ZXM
Mia Horrigan (CEO), Matthew Hodgson (CIO) and Kai Koenig (CTO), form the triangular truss for ZXM — the framework on which their company flourishes.
Mia, Matt and Kai come from very different backgrounds. Mia worked extensively in product development with global pharmaceutical companies, and more recently in Health IT with some of the world’s biggest names in management consulting. Kai is a German New Zealander with deep knowledge and experience in web application development and systems architectures working with brands such as Vodafone, Citibank, Siemens, and even Air India. Matthew worked on first generation online games before turning to his degree in psychology and digital know-how to customer experience for BHP Billiton, Origin Energy, eBay and the big federal government agencies in Australia.
When looking at the emerging agile transformation market, and with their combined experience, they realized that their skills covered all aspects of people, process and technology. “It just made sense that we come together to create ZXM”, says Mia Horrigan. After only five years of working together, it’s a special combination that continues to work to their advantage.
Embrace an Agile Culture with ZXM’s Consulting Services
Making the transition to agile can be a complicated endeavour. Success depends on management support, cultural change, consistency and, importantly, experience. ZXM is first, and foremost agile management consultancy. Enterprise agile transformation is currently ZXM’s strongest capability. With a multi-tiered approach that encompasses strategic, tactical and delivery layers, they work alongside executives to help them think outside the square and approach problems with Design Thinking. In essence, this means supporting them to develop their vision through embracing and embodying Kaizen — a Japanese philosophy of continuous improvement of working practices and personal efficiency.
To meet the challenges that modern organizations face, ZXM’s management consulting services focus on a wide range of business needs, including: Agile enterprise adoption & transformation Business architecture, Business strategy and innovation, Customer experience, Digital agility, Enterprise technology architecture, Lean business performance, Process improvement, Service design, Project, program and portfolio management.
Exploration and Innovation is the Key
Some companies are investing in big, innovation labs, but this doesn’t resonate with ZXM. “It’s not one team’s job to explore and innovate — it’s everyone’s”, says Kai Koenig. As a result, every day is a new challenge to practice a Beginner’s Mind. It’s something that permeates every aspect of ZXM. They don’t settle for good, only better. It means being respectful of how they work while being open and even eager to put any preconceptions aside and be curious about possibilities for positive change. “There is always a better way to do everything”, says Matthew Hodgson.
Future Holds Expansion and Sharing the Knowledge with the World
ZXM continues to grow their enterprise agile coaching services with added capability to provide certified Agile training including Scrum Master and Product Owner Certifications and the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). They’re planning growth and expansion of their services across Australia and the Asia Pacific, particularly in India, China and Singapore. The way they think and work strikes a chord with so many of their clients. People want more and ZXM plans to deliver it to them.