We Love to Coach!
ICON Coaches are more than technical experts—they are cultural transformation artists who truly care about the success of our clients. We invite you to learn more about some of our best Agile Coaches, their diverse leadership experience, and their coaching philosophies.
Our Coaching Team
Matt AaronRead bio
Matt is a customer-focused, self-directed, and detail-oriented Agile Transformation Coach and IT Professional with seventeen years of experience in software development. He has excellent knowledge of Agile processes and software methodologies, including experience running Agile projects as Scrum Master. He has consulted or worked full time for financial, medical, retail, and technology companies, all of which have helped him cultivate strong interpersonal skills and knowledge of different industries. Matt became an SPC in 2014 and an SPCT in January 2017. He enjoys training and coaching people at all levels in Agile and Lean principles.
Bryan AhoRead bio
Bryan is passionate about helping development teams maximize their productivity by leveraging continuous integration with the Agile development methodology. Co-Contributor to the SAFe® DevOps class, Bryan has experience scaling Agile in DevOps implementations. He partners with organizations to improve their technical practices, including continuous integration, unit testing, build promotion, infrastructure-as-code, acceptance testing, feature toggles, and feature branching. Bryan has experience in the Education, Finance, and Retail sectors.
Ed BarberRead bio
Ed is a Trainer, Coach, Mentor, and Agile Transformation Coach with over 40 years of IT experience. He performed many roles, from Developer/Tester to Project Manager on projects of all sizes in telecom for 18 years, applying Agile-like principles because they "made sense." He has been involved in Agile Transformations at multiple companies in retail, telecom, finance, insurance, and oil/gas domains during his 22 years as a consultant. Ed is team-focused and likes to facilitate discussions with the right people to resolve problems, applying his experience and Agile/SAFe principles to discover a solution. Ed has been an SPC since 2012. When he is not working, Ed may be found reading a book on a beach in Florida or spoiling his grandson.
Niraj BhallaRead bio
Niraj is a Mentor, Trainer and Agile Transformation Coach with 25+ years of national and international experience. He started his career as a developer, moved up the corporate ladder into senior management, and then into the agile world, where he worked as a scrum master, an agile transformation consultant and a SAFe agile coach for the last 10+ years. He has led and participated in numerous Agile Transformations for companies of all sizes, including Fortune 100 and 500 companies, where he has mentored others in Agile values, principles and techniques. Niraj has extensive hands-on experience in implementing the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), including launching Agile Release Trains (ARTs), running PI Planning sessions and providing portfolio, program, team, and leadership coaching and training. Niraj is a certified SAFe Program Consultant (SPC4), Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Professional (CSP) and ICAgile Certified Professional (ICP). Niraj has dual Masters degree (an MS and an MBA) and lives in the United States and India (and is hopeful to live in other countries) depending on where his Coaching assignments take him.
Rita BreenRead bio
Duane BushmanRead bio
Duane Bushman is a Consultant, Trainer and Agile Transformation Coach with a genuine passion for helping organizations to understand and realize the business value of Lean and Agile principles. His pragmatic approach to applying principles and proven practices to develop a culture of continuous improvement has been cultivated from 10+ years of practicing and coaching Agile in IT and product development environments. Duane's personal journey in life-long learning includes being certified as a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) in 2014 and an SPC Trainer (SPCT) in 2016. Duane brings an engaging, energetic and highly collaborative presence to both the classroom and the most challenging real world scenarios. Guiding teams large and small, he has consistently helped leaders understand what it is they need to do to unlock the potential of their people and become truly Agile.
Jim CamdenRead bio
Jim has over 35 years helping large and small companies solve painful problems in technical and organizational areas. His early career was in software for large and complex mission critical systems. He was a developer, designer, architect, and business analyst. Jim has been intrigued by the human side of technology success for the last 20 years, which led him to Agile and SAFe. He is motivated by observing successful SAFe Transformations in organizations that benefit in tangible ways from their efforts. As a coach, he has seen the organizations he works with gain clarity in what matters and what doesn't, and then concentrate on the former. These principles are so powerful that they work when adopted in any organization—in every sub-group, in any industry, at every level, whether co-located or distributed—despite the current level of Agile maturity within the organization and regardless of the current structure. The key is to have a coach that can make them real to you and your people.
Charlene M. CuencaRead bio
Charlene M. Cuenca
With over 25 years of professional experience, Charlene has been a leader in transforming organizations and teams into Agile and Scaled Agile best practices. Charlene has experience working with enterprise Agile initiatives with large, publicly-traded corporations, as well as the Federal Government for over 12 years. She is passionate about Agile, and enjoys helping enterprises on their journey towards organizational agility. She is a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), Certified Scrum Professional (CSP), Enterprise Business Agility Strategist (EBAS), Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), Project Management Professional (PMP), SAFe Program Consultant (SPC4), SAFe Program Consultant Trainer (SPCT4), and more. Charlene has been part of several proven large scale Agile Transformations providing portfolio, program, team and leadership coaching and training. When she is not working, Charlene can be found at the beach, listening to music, spending time with family and friends, sightseeing, and knocking items off of her bucket list.
Kumar DattatreyanRead bio
The biggest gap we face in any transformation is leadership. It's not that leadership isn't bought in, or that leadership doesn't have the intent to change, but too often, leadership doesn't have the tools or skills to achieve the outcomes they desire.
With 20+ years in the software industry and a decade of running restaurants prior to that, Kumar possesses a unique skill set and approach to transformational coaching that’s always evolving. He strongly believes that guiding leaders on a path to a coaching mindset is key to unlocking the potential of the individual, the team, and ultimately the organization.
Being a former Restaurateur set the stage for a long journey as a leader and a coach. Working in restaurants equipped Kumar with the skills and pragmatism to adapt quickly to changing environments.
Kumar is a recognized agile change agent and leader and his experience in traditional environments and his pragmatic approach to Agile Transformation allows him to help organizations bridge the gap when adopting Agile practices.
Most recently, Kumar has been working to bring the John Maxwell method of training, coaching and speaking to help in his Agile Practice. Kumar also is one of a few stewards in North America for the XScale Alliance.
Ryan FergusonRead bio
Before getting involved in Agile software delivery, Ryan gathered early experience in IT Operations in all roles from helpdesk technician through Systems Engineer. The frequent delivery & maintenance challenges he experienced firsthand in IT Ops drove him to pursue his MBA, his PMP, his SPC, and to become a DevOps enthusiast, advocate, and coach. Ryan has personally managed multi-million dollar technology investments in hardware, software delivery teams, and data centers. Since 2011, Ryan has helped companies ranging from 20-person startups to Fortune 100 enterprises create Agile transformations and integrate DevOps thinking into their decision making, improvement processes, and culture. Ryan is a big fan of Clemson Tigers Football.
James GainesRead bio
With 25+ years of professional experience, James is a leadership coach and consultant specializing in organizational scaling, portfolio management, flow engineering, and enterprise agility. His experience spans coaching and training at large companies; typically those with an intention to engage VUCA and disruption by developing their innate agile capability to sense, respond, and adapt. Because most organizations are uniquely challenged with implementing systems-thinking and adaptive management at scale, James’ coaching style amplifies “starting where the client’s feet are” and dampens dogma or any focus on behaviors that do not “move the needle”. He successfully navigates the client landscape by applying his synthesized knowledge of leading methodologies. These approaches include SAFe(SPC4), Design Thinking, Cynefin, Model-Based System Engineering, Enterprise Business Agility (EBAS), and many more that might apply to the client’s “problem to be solved” and deliver a measurable result. Prior to consulting, James was a derivatives trader on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange specializing in financial futures and foreign currency options. Outside of transformational coaching, James enjoys film-making, option-pricing theory, lean cooking, queuing theory, and listening to music.
Scott GreenRead bio
Scott has 20 years of experience in software development companies implementing process improvement. His foundations in Agile, eXtreme Programming (XP), and Scrum have enabled him to deliver products and solutions for enterprises around the globe. While coaching and hands-on problem-solving, he was led into the exploration of and certification in the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) and became an SPC in 2014. Scott specializes in integrating Scrum teams into larger Agile Release Trains focused on value delivery and organizational OKR's and KPI's. Leading SAFe® Transformations has given Scott the tools and skills needed to help large-scale enterprises appreciate the benefits of transformation, including increased speed to market, higher quality products, and increased employee engagement. In his free time, Scott enjoys hanging out at the beach and golfing. His claim to fame is playing a round of golf with Tiger Woods in high school.
John HudsonRead bio
Over the last 40+ years as an IT professional, I have acccomplished many things; from my early days as a mainframe developer to my current role as an Agile Coach. It has been an amazing journey that has taken me all over the world and afforded me the opportunity to work with genuinely talented individuals from diverse backgrounds, including some whose bios are on this site. I have spent countless hours developing systems, living the enjoyment of success and the frustration of failure; I like to think I learned something from both.
At the forefront of my personal "mindmap" are my two wonderful children, Jen and Matt; it has been a privilege to watch them grow up and move on with their own lives. I sincerely believe they are both more talented than me and will achieve great things in the years ahead. My wife, Linda, affirms my former point and is hopeful of the latter.
This brings me nicely to the substance of being an Agile Coach; it is not about my personal achievements but what I can do to uplift others. Agile Transformations are complex and continuously evolving and sometimes full of missteps; it is only by embracing our challenges and understanding our failures that we truly improve and move forward. Principles and frameworks provide useful guidance and are "directionally correct," but it is the transformation of people who live with them that matters. My role as an Agile Coach is to work with your teams to surface the questions they need to address; they will know the answers that will work for them.
Dan JamesRead bio
Dan James is a 40+ year veteran of the IT world (wearing every hat in the stack along the way), an Agile specialist since 2002, and an Agile Coach since 2008. Today, Dan focuses on Lean-Agile, SAFe, and DevOps enterprise transformations and coaching within the Fortune 500, from financial services to healthcare to transportation and industrial technologies. He pragmatically guides his clients to become Lean by out-learning and out-improving the competition, building in quality, and organizing around continuous value delivery. Dan is a Certified SAFe 4.5 Program Consultant (SPC4), a SAFe 4.5 DevOps Practitioner and trainer (SDP), and a certified Professional Scrum Master (PSM). Dan has an MBA with IT Management specialization but has been able to preserve his sense of humor longer than his IT career. When not training and coaching agile at scale, Dan is a professional studio musician --- so there’s no guessing where he’s at on weekends!
TJ JohnsonRead bio
Thomas Lee "TJ" Johnson is a Lean-Agile Coach and Entrepreneur. He is the Founder of a Strategy Consulting Firm, a Member of the Board of Governors of the Association of Change Management Professionals (ACMP), an Executive Producer for Agile Immersive Entertainment, Chair of The Motorsport 007 Rally, and Guest Lecturer at George Washington University, Graduate School of Business. TJ has consulted The African Union, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the Israeli Knesset, the European Commission, political appointees of the US Government, and senior leaders of several Fortune 500 companies. TJ teaches various courses in Agile, including Agile Strategy, SAFe DevOps, and POPM. He has authored white papers, business courses, and screenplays, including "Albert & Paul," a movie in pre-production straring the Oprah Winfrey Network actor Mr. Lamman Rucker. TJ is husband to Amanda and father to three boys, Ty, Ezra and Elijah.
Terry KeayRead bio
Terry spent the first 28 years of his career in Product and Manufacturing Development with a High-Tech computer company, the last 8 of those years involved with Lean/Agile, Scrum and SAFe. He was lucky enough to be on the ground floor to one of the largest SAFe Transformations at the time in 2013, with 8 Trains, 225 Scrum Teams, across 4 geographies and all in the same week. Now a coach, Terry continues to learn from everyone he works with, including his fellow ICON coaches. He believes that Scrum and SAFe are great frameworks, but they will only show you where your problems are, if you let them. So, Terry is passionate about helping his clients with transparency and making everything visible. If you can’t see it, then it is hard to ask the right questions and even more difficult to make improvements. He also loves to use Excel to do summary reports from Rally to help RTE’s see their entire Train in one place.
Terry is a certified SAFe Program Consultant (SPC4), Scrum Master (CSM), Certified AgilityHealth Facilitator (AHF) and has held roles as Release Train Engineer (RTE), Scrum Master, Lean/Agile/SAFe coach/trainer and Rally Administrator. He holds a Master’s in Business, a BS in Electrical Engineering and a Minor in Computer Science.
Simon KilbyRead bio
Simon is a certified Agile Coach & Trainer who has helped 11 organizations on their Agile journeys during his 25+ years of systems development experience. These organizations have been of all sectors and sizes (from start-ups through FTSE 100 and DJIA organizations), some in highly regulated environments. He loves what he does and genuinely believes Agile is a better way of working. He says it feels as if he has always been working and encouraging others to work like this and claims to have figured out the "efficiency paradox" and "systems thinking" long before ever discovering they were actual things. Outside of work, Simon lives in the UK with his wife and 2 dogs and enjoys cars, bikes, food, drink, and traveling.
Rodger KoopmanRead bio
With over 30 years in technology, Rodger started his career as an Air Force officer developing weapons guidance systems and global terrestrial & satellite networks, working strategically in counter-terrorism at the joint DoD level. After retiring from the Air Force, Rodger was an early employee in two successful start-ups and a key participant in five mergers & acquisitions. When Itron acquired Rodger's first startup, he was tasked by Itron's CEO to move to Raleigh, NC to lead and re-organize Itron's R&D office. Rodger has led numerous successful implementations of highly effective agile practices and automated DevOps pipelines in both startups and multiple Fortune 100 companies. Now an Enterprise Coach, Rodger is a certified SAFe 4.6 Program & DevOps Consultant (SPC, SPD) and certifed AgilityHealth Facilitator. He holds master's degrees in Computer Information Systems from Boston University and Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma. He was an adjunct Computer Science faculty member for three years at the University of Maryland and four years at Rose State College, OK. His wife is an Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel and Veterinarian.
Todd KromannRead bio
Todd is a strategic leader and dedicated Agile Coach with over 20 years of deep and broad experience. Entrepreneurial, patient, and highly experienced, Todd has an extensive background in Software Architecture, DevOps, and Project Management within highly competitive markets. He is an analytical professional skilled in successfully navigating large and small corporations through periods of accelerated growth. As a collaborative communicator, Todd is continually focused on building relationships and promoting synergy across business lines and global units to drive positive change, cohesive, comprehensive business approaches, and enhanced profitability. Motivated and results-focused, he brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to each engagement, including Agile and DevOps Coaching, strategic planning, senior leadership, innovation & creativity, test automation, project management, java development, and budget management.
Vimlesh KumarRead bio
Vimlesh Kumar has over 25 years of experience in IT industry, in which the last 15 years have been focused on agile methodology adoption, agile software engineering practices, IT strategy, emergent application architecture, application integration, and development capability improvement. He has served as an Agile Technical Coach/Mentor (Scrum, XP, Kanban, Lean, SAFe) in diverse technology projects for clients throughout the US and Europe. He has in-depth knowledge and experience with many programming languages, tools, and frameworks. Vimlesh specializes in agile engineering practices that include Test Driven Development (TDD), Refactoring, Pair-Programming, Continuous Integration, and Acceptance Test Driven Development (BDD / ATDD). He is a certified SAFe Program Consultant (SPC).
Doug LessRead bio
Doug is an energetic and relentless Agile Transformation Coach with a passion for helping organizations navigate their journey to agility. He has over 20 years of multidisciplinary consulting services experiences with the last decade aimed at driving the adoption of Agile values, principles and practices to help people go beyond DOING Agile to BEING Agile. Doug's coaching approach involves applying compassion, humor, flexibility and creativity to navigate some of the most difficult transformation situations and motivate people into doing amazing things. He has been a SAFe SPC since 2015 and has trained and coached teams, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, Product Management, Engineering Management and Executives at several large and international Scaled Agile Transformations. Doug draws his energy from a very active and adventurous family, including his wife Kerri and their three children Mackenzie, Miranda, and Mason.
Enric LizondoRead bio
Like any Agilist, Enric's journey in the Agile world has been evolving for years. He started with traditional project management and execution within large corporations before moving onto Agile approaches. He played the role of Scrum Master in the finance, entertainment, e-commerce, and insurance arenas. After growing into the role of Coach of Teams, Enric discovered the value of being an Enterprise Coach that helps organizations with their Agile Transformations. Enric takes a holistic and integral approach to Agile Transformations, where Agile is not just a process or a set of values, but also a mindset, a way of looking at the world, a way of responding to the emerging future, a way to organize, and a way to acheive a higher level of maturity as a leader. Additionally, Enric has had the opportunity to learn in a variety of envrionments and cultures, including California, Texas, the UK, Mexico, and Spain. He holds certifications in SAFe SPC, Scrum, and professional co-active coaching by CTI.
Mitch MalloyRead bio
Mitchell "Mitch" Malloy has 25+ years in the software industry. A Coach and Mentor for 10+ years, he keeps a focus on value, an eye for excellence, and a passion for people. Since the 1990s, Mitch practiced Agile techniques while growing in his own Agile journey. He has led and participated in numerous Agile Transformations for companies of all sizes, where he has mentored others in Agile values, principles and techniques. As an SPC and SDP, he is certified to train and mentor Teams, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and Product Managers, developing Lean-Agile leaders. Drawing from his depth and breadth of experiences, Mitch has: managed technology as a Naval Officer, taught applications and programming to high school students, and developed software as a Technical Lead. He has coached youth and high school sports and has mentored teenagers as a Youth Pastor. Mitch enjoys working with and cultivating teams of all sizes, but his primary team and greatest accomplishments are his 5 children and grandchildren that he and his wife have raised together.
Kathy MarshakRead bio
Kathy Marshak is a Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) Fellow and Agile Transformation Coach and instructor with ICON. For more than 20 years, she has helped clients improve how they deliver value to customers and stakeholders through the adoption and sustainment of lean and agile values, principles, and practices. She works with C-suites, leaders of teams of teams, and team members to guide the cultural changes required to make a new way of working stick. Kathy became a certified SAFe Fellow in 2019, an immense achievement. She became a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC) in 2012 and achieved the SPC Trainer (SPCT) certification in 2014.
In the past few years her accomplishments include helping several organizations adopt SAFe and establish internal coaching programs and working with Dean Leffingwell, the creator of SAFe, to help a 3000-person program envision their SAFe transformation.
Kathy is grateful to her clients for their willingness to embrace change, run experiments, and collaborate to resolve challenges.
Tonya McCaulley-BlindRead bio
Tonya is a Strategist, Coach, Mentor, and Educator on the cutting edge of Enterprise Business Agility. Since 2009, she has taught and coached companies on how to pivot, think strategically, and use the Enterprise Agility toolbox. Her passion lies in partnering with dedicated stakeholders and teams who desire to change the status quo of their company culture. Tonya has helped well-known companies, including many Fortune 500 companies in the insurance, finance, transportation, and technology sectors, acheive greater agility.
John MillerRead bio
John has been working in the complex systems development world for over 20 years. When he realized that the problems of large organizations could be solved by combining the use of fundamentals from Lean, Agile, Systems Management, Engineering, and other practices, he dove into understanding and using SAFe. He became a certified SPC in 2013 and a certified SPCT in 2018. John is the co-creator of a Lean Agile Budgeting course designed to help Senior Leadership in large organizations understand and improve the financial side of their Value Streams and ARTs. He has been involved with many organizational transformations and has launched dozens of ARTs and Solution Trains. He invests his time working with Senior Leadership, Portfolio, and Program teams and training both private and public SAFe® and Engineering courses. John is a life-long learner who is more than willing to chat about the next book you might consider reading.
Mark NelsonRead bio
Mark is a Senior Consultant, Trainer, Agile Transformation Coach, and early adopter of the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), receiving his SPC in 2013. He has successfully led Enterprise and Portfolio level SAFe Transformations internationally in Europe and Australia as well as in the US. Mark has experience in multiple industries, including banking, financial services, telecommunications, online travel, airlines, retail, and healthcare. Mark understands Agile is not a framework, but a mindset that requires both business and technical people working together toward a common goal of delivering better, faster, and cheaper business value to the customer. Being pragmatic and not following a "cookbook" or another company's path are keys to a successful transformation. Each environment is different and needs to be treated as such. When not helping others with their Agile Transformations, Mark spends his time riding 1 of his 6 motorcycles or 4 bicycles. He also enjoys Italian wines and his annual Italy visits.
Colin O'NeillRead bio
Colin is an Entrepreneur, Thought Leader, Business Executive, International Lean-Agile Trainer, Conference Speaker, Organizational Change Agent, Enterprise Business Agility (EBA) and Executive Coach. Over the last 33 years, he has guided numerous Global 1000 companies to improved operational and financial outcomes with the latest business and technology principles and practices.
In 2011, he co-founded Scaled Agile, the world’s leading enterprise Agile consulting, training, and certification company. After serving as its CEO and President of Asia Pacific Operations, Colin launched Value Stream Global in 2014 to bring the science of Value Stream Management to companies everywhere. Colin strongly believes that aligning Value Streams to business goals significantly improves outcomes, profitability, and growth, and contributes to a better world.
Charles OsburnRead bio
Charles started working with XP teams in 2006. Since that introduction to Agile practices, he has held the positions of Scrum Master, RTE, Product Owner and Agile Coach working with Teams, Release Trains, Product Teams and Enterprise Transformations. In the past several years he has focused on supporting scaled Agile adoption in the Financial, Health Care, Pharmaceutical and Power Generation industries. Currently, Charles has added Gestalt coaching to his practice and is working on an ICF certification.
Charles works with all levels of the organization to promote advanced Agile practices. He provides support to help clients better understand attitudinal, process, and tool options that allow improved Agile execution. In Charles cosmology, Outcomes are critical to support Mastery, Purpose and Autonomy in the client organization. He believes there is an important Human component to execution that can be summarized as “this is our personal journey to deal beautifully with the Rate of Change in the world around us.”
Kathleen OsburnRead bio
Kathleen is a Coach and Strategist with a passion for forming collaborative partnerships with organizations as they navigate change and expand their capacity to change well. Over the past 25 years, she has been privileged to help global organizations through major transformations including: initial public offering, mergers, acquisitions, enterprise & business agility. Kathleen now works on the cutting edge of Enterprise Business Agility and values a highly collaborative approach that supports everyone as they adopt new ways of working to deliver faster, safer, and happier outcomes. She believes that engaging in thought-provoking and creative ways inspires individuals, teams and organizations to maximize their full potential, and that change is most effective when grounded in an organization's transcendent purpose and cultural archetype. She coaches at all levels, helping people to increase awareness, shift to a more holistic and creative mindset, develop transformational leadership approaches, change operating and organizational models, and adopt new frameworks that foster dynamic outcomes. Kathleen is a life-long learner and promotes continuous learning through experimentation and rapid feedback-loops.
Saahil PanikarRead bio
Saahil has been a leader in transforming organizations and teams by helping them master Agile and Scaled Agile best practices for over 10 years. He is a passionate Agilist whose thirst for continuous improvement led him to his first Agile Transformation in 2013 and has caused him to push the envelope ever since. He has experience working with large-scale Agile initiatives in a variety of contexts. He has worked with start-ups and small businesses, the Federal Government, and Fortune 500 and 100 companies. Saahil has led multiple SAFe and Agile Transformations, some internationally, providing portfolio, program, team, and leadership coaching and training. Throughout his career, he has launched 40+ ARTs and Solution Trains. In addition to being a Scaled Agilist and SPCT Candidate, Saahil is a certified Enterprise Business Agility Strategist and is determined to help organizations extend their Agility beyond IT. He has degrees in Mathematics, International Business, and Design Thinking, and he started his career as a Data Scientist, so Saahil is still passionate about DevOps and the metrics behind successful transformations. As a former collegiate rugby player for the University of Florida, Saahil bleeds Orange and Blue and is a die-hard fan of Gator Football.
Saajan PanikarRead bio
Saajan is an effective Lean-Agile coach and dedicated servant leader with 7+ years of experience guiding and building teams, managers, and executives, often taking them from forming to high-performing. From small start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, he has utilized Lean-Agile methodologies and tools across a myriad of industries, including Food and Beverage Retail, Banking and Financial Services, Personal Security, Healthcare Education, and Virtual Reality Services. Saajan’s resolute belief in the effectiveness of collaboration, communication, and facilitation support the inevitable growth of self-managing, self-directing teams in any environment. He has led multiple SAFe and Agile Transformations and has provided team, program, and leadership coaching and training. Saajan holds several SAFe certifications and the biggest lesson he’s learned is that Agility is for everyone, not just IT. Saajan has a BS in Wildlife Biology (ask him about how he used to wrestle alligators) and holds a Masters in Business with a focus in Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
Travis ReedRead bio
Travis is currently on his third career, drawing his passion for helping Organizational Leaders implement 'Good Change' in their organizations using Agile, Lean, and other practices. He has led multiple Enterprise-wide Re-engineering efforts within the context of Digital Transformation, Agile Transformation, and efforts in Lean/Lean Six Sigma. His energy and passion are powered by his experience in System and Software Development and Support for over 25 years, as well as the problems he encountered and learnings he developed. He retains multiple industry certifications including: SAFe Program Consultant, Certified Discipline Agilist, Enterprise Business Agility Strategist, and Lego Serious Master Strategist.
Frank RiosRead bio
Frank is a highly experienced and sought-after Agile Coach and trainer with strong leadership and organizational skills. He is a frequent contributor to local conferences and has published several articles on LinkedIn with very positive responses. He was first exposed to an Agile framework called eXtreme Programming (XP) back in 1998, where he fell in love with the idea of empowering teams, fast iterations, and of course, coaching. Over the course of 20 years, he has obtained many professional Agile certifications, including a LEGO®️ SERIOUS PLAY®️ Facilitator Certification. As a mentor, trainer, and facilitator, he has taught Agile to well over 1000 people all over the world, individually, in formal classroom settings, and at conferences He is a certified Enterprise Agile Coach with experience in successfully leading global Enterprise Agile Transformations as well as Team and Scaled Agile Transformations in both IT and non-IT organizations.
Allen RutzenRead bio
Allen is a dedicated, experienced coach and instructor with demonstrated capacity to effectively manage a variety of IT projects and staff. A natural leader with business acumen and technological expertise, Allen has a strong record of increased responsibility, variety in job assignments, and solid accomplishments, including an MBA in Systems Management.
Allen's specialties include Scaling Agile practices with SAFe, project management, software development methodologies - Agile (SCRUM / Kanban) and waterfall), business analysis, strategic planning, software development methodologies, process improvement, metrics and measures, resource/capacity planning, business process modeling, program management office, vendor management, coaching, mentoring, training, conversions, data warehouse, disaster recovery, and budget management.
Hans SamiosRead bio
For the last 12 years, Hans has focused on building sustainable improvements in organizational effectiveness through large-scale Agile transformations. Leveraging his deep knowledge of Agile, Scrum, Lean, XP and SAFe, Hans applies a pragmatic, team-oriented approach to coaching customers through optimizing the entire delivery process from concept to cash. His domain experience spans technology, IT, energy, banking and insurance, but Hans also relishes applying Agile principles to non-traditional spaces such as marketing, construction, finance, and HR.
Nishant SasidharanRead bio
With 18+ years in the software industry in a variety of roles and a decade's experience working as a coach, Nishant possesses a unique skill set to find creative and sustainable ways in the midst of traditional transformation methods. He strongly believes that guiding leaders on a path to a coaching mindset is key to unlocking the potential of the individual, the team, and ultimately the organization. Nishant is a recognized Agile change agent and leaders, and his experience in traditional/legacy environments and his pragmatic approach to Agile Transformation allows him to help organizations bridge the gap when adopting Agile practices. Most recently, Nishant has been working to incorporate various Enterprise Business Agility techniques along with DevOps and XSCALE principles to his method of training, coaching, and speaking to help his clients in their transformations.
Matt SheppardRead bio
Matt is a leadership coach and consultant specializing in operations strategy and Enterprise Business Agility. Over his 20-year professional career, he has evolved a strong focus on engaging with clients to execute transformation and innovation initiatives, driving growth and profitability while evolving organizational learning and adaptive agility capabilities. He is a highly seasoned Lean-Agile coach, trainer, and methodologist with a depth of experience advising and developing leaders, teams and change agents to support independent, ongoing innovation and improvement.
Prior to launching his consulting practice and joining ICON, Matt was a management consultant in the IBM Global Business Services (GBS) Operations Strategy consulting group. Over 10 years with IBM, he consulted with many organizations in commercial and public sectors and supported major transformational efforts that yielded long-term improvements in clients' operational performance and business capabilities. Matt served as a thought leader in IBM's global Lean-Agile and Operations Strategy Center of Competence and as a leader and methodologist in the GBS Smarter Process practice.
Matt's background prior to joining the business world was in Anthropology and social sciences generally, including behavioral economics. This background strongly informs his thinking and approach to his coaching practice, as much as does his business education and experience. Matt has a BA and MA in Anthropology, received his MBA from the R.H. Smith School, University of Maryland, and is a SAFe SPC4. In addition to driving change and success with his clients, his passions include his family, music, travel, and continuously learning new things.
Karen SiersRead bio
Karen personifies the profound drive for excellence she's paid to deliver. Business has a new language. A life-long student of Lean/Agile concepts and principles, Karen is a globally recognized translator for 21st century transformation. She leads tech startups from scratch to Silicon Valley, eases monolithic giants through the troubled waters of digital change, and rouses a new, essential positivism everywhere in between. With the imagination to challenge norms, Karen builds visionary leaders who fuse strategy with execution. Her passion for people and efficiency fuels the courage to break form and embrace the Lean mindset. Karen utilizes her unique background in Psychology, Engineering, and Computer Science, along with her deep knowledge of Agile and Lean, to adapt strategy and evolve operating models that are responsive to her clients, their clients' ever-changing needs and shifting landscapes.
Karen is extensively experienced in Business and Leadership Agility and is a popular, passionate speaker who presents laser-focused, culturally sensitive, universal value. She is the author of highly successful proprietary Lean/Agile iterations for pan-agency growth across the Business, including Operations, IT Development, Product Development, and Mergers/Acquisitions. She has curated multiple cross-global projects and teams of 100 to 10,000+ for Fortune 500 companies in the Airline, Supply Chain, Financial, Insurance, Healthcare, Retail, U.S. and Foreign Government, Gamin, and Worldwide Publication sectors.
Karen is a joyously connected mother to Hunter, MacKenzie, and Devin, life partner to Dale, and dedicated servant to Charlie the English Doodle. Her family enjoys traveling abroad and time on the water. Karen is dedicated strongly to charitable efforts that focus on the inspiration and development of young people.
Randy SmithRead bio
Randy is a Consultant, Trainer, Agile Transformation Coach, and SPCT. He believes that a transformation is about more than adopting a framework—it's also about meeting people where they're at to help them create an optimal human system that can happily and effectively deliver value to customers. Randy has more than two decades of experience in the industry and has worked in several sectors, including tech, manufacturing, shipping, financial, and medical firms, and he has served many roles like developer, test management, release management, support, etc. He started using Agile principles and values with a team in 1999, got his SPC in 2014, and completed his SPCT in May 2019.
Susan K. StrainRead bio
Susan K. Strain
Susan is an Agile Transformation Coach who works with clients implementing Agile practices that span the enterprise. She coaches and trains Agile principles and methodologies, including Enterprise Business Agility Strategy, Scrum, Kanban, and the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe). She has experience with clients in a wide variety of industries including banking, financial, government, hospitality, insurance, investments, manufacturing, military, publishing, and retail. Over the course of her career, she has been a soldier, computer nerd (she went to Steve Jobs house to see his first Lisa computer!), journalist, and Agile coach.
John H. ThompsonRead bio
John H. Thompson
John is a results-oriented, MBA-trained business management leader with 20+ years of business, consulting, and Agile coaching experience. He has been an SPC since 2015 (SA since 2014) and has employed SAFe to coach Executives, Program Leadership, Scrum Masters, Product Management, and diverse technical teams, helping them make transformational change from traditional waterfall-oriented approaches to Agile and SAFe delivery practices and principles. His efforts have resulted in improved program alignment, higher velocity of work delivered, and quicker responses to customer requests. His broad skills were gained through sound Fortune 100/500 industry experience and delivering multi-million dollar Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) and Business Intelligence solutions. He has balanced experience in coaching, consulting, program/project management, and systems development and has also co-authored several Agile Boot Camp courses. John enjoys playing Jazz, Gospel, and virtually any kind of music on his Alto or Tenor sax. He also loves travel and photography.
Janet TierneyRead bio
Janet is ICON's Director of Scaled Agile Coaching and excels at helping non-IT areas navigate Agile Transformations. Janet started in Finance, but raced to IT to become a Product Owner and enthusiastically applied the Lean and Agile principles honed in her entrepreneurial ventures, Finance, and nonprofit careers. She became a SAFe Program Consultant (SPC4) in 2016 and sees Agile as an opportunity for large companies to harness the power of smaller, more entrepreneurial competitors. She talks about math a lot, but only because she enjoys helping people see the business strategy behind Agile Transformations (well, and maybe because she misses Finance a little...). When not traveling for work, she can be found in Milwaukee, WI, spending time with her husband, recording a monthly radio segment on Personal Finance for her local NPR affiliate, helping entrepreneurs refine their business plans, and facilitating strategic planning workshops for area nonprofit organizations.
Allen WardRead bio
Allen Ward is a SAFe Certified Agile Transformation Coach. He was trained as a Scrum Master by the inventor, Jeff Sutherland. He was trained on Agile Coaching practices by Lyssa Adkins, author of the book Coaching Agile Teams, and he was trained on SAFe by the inventor Dean Leffingwell. Allen is currently on an engagement with Farmers Insurance in Woodland Hills, supporting the Enterprise Digital Marketing Organization. In this capacity, he is leading the SAFe Agile Transformation at the Leadership level. Additionally, he teaches SAFe Certified Courses including Leading SAFe, SAFe for Teams, Scrum Master, Advanced Scrum Master, Product Owner/Product Manager, and DevOps Practioner, and Release Train Engineer. Allen also coaches and mentors teams and programs and holds enterprise level workshops such as Value Stream Mapping, Lean Business Case, Lean Portfolio, Agile Budgeting, etc. Allen also teaches non-SAFe Agile short courses such as the Agile Mindset, Story Writing, and Intro to Scrum. He teaches all of these courses publicly as well as privately. Allen lives in Newport Beach and enjoys boating in the harbor.
Doug YoungwithRead bio
Doug is an Agile Coach with a collaborative approach. When coaching or training, Doug's emphasis is on meeting people or teams where they are in the transformation journey. Recognizing that Agile, SAFe and Lean concepts often require far more than a 2 or 3 day training class, Doug is passionate about a "walk before you run" approach, holding teams and enterprises accountable for the little things that make the whole engine roar. A lifelong communications learner, Doug values the many feedback loops prescribed by SAFe. Because transformations are often made up of hundreds or thousands of individual transformations, Doug espouses an empirical, accountability-based format coupled with empathy and compassion for the individual.Doug spent many years in the finance and insurance industry as a performance tester, IT-Security consultant (CISSP) and later as an internal audit program coordinator (CISA). Later, while managing a networking team, Doug became enamored with Agile and has coached (SPC) in three large enterprises.