Consulting, training, books for effective software delivery
Name: Matthew Skelton
Position in the company: Founder and Head of Consulting
Years with the company: 3
Number of employees: 3
Conflux specialises in helping clients to adopt sustainable software delivery. Could you please expand on your services?
At Conflux, we help organisations to adopt and sustain proven, modern practices for delivering software rapidly and safely using consulting, training, and our own range of books. We specialise in applying Continuous Delivery, software operability, and team-first organisation design across organisations of all sizes, from startups to multinational corporations.
We are the originators of the Team Topologies approach to organisation dynamics for modern software delivery. Team Topologies addresses many of the sociotechnical challenges facing organizations when building modern software systems: Conway’s Law, team cognitive load, effective domain boundaries, organization evolution, team ownership, and more. At Conflux, we help organisations to take the ideas and patterns from the Team Topologies book and make them a reality.
We also provide first-class, practitioner-led training courses and workshops for Executives, Managers, and Engineers, based on our extensive consulting experience. Our training helps to accelerate the adoption of modern, effective practices, driving better business outcomes for you and your organisation. We have trained people from organisations such as CapGemini, IBM, Hermes, Porsche, Dell, SAP, LexisNexis, GOV.UK, and Daimler AG.
Finally, we also provide consulting expertise to organisations around the world, both in-person and (increasingly) remotely, helping with organisation design, transformations, adoption of practices, software & systems architecture, and capability development.
Please take us through a successful case study.
We often undertake assessments for organisations that want an outside expert view on current challenges and where to focus change efforts. We recently undertook a comprehensive engineering practices assessment for an online legal services firm with operations in the UK, France, and USA. Here is what our client, Sachin Saxena (VP of Global Technology), had to say of the work:
I needed a root-and-branch assessment of engineering practices and product development approaches across multiple teams in four locations and three time zones globally. Having worked with the Conflux consultants before, I knew that their approach would be refreshingly different from many consultancies.
Crucially, the output from the assessment was a list of actions and tasks co-created with my staff so buy-in was high and we had an immediate shared vision of where to head next.
As this example shows, at Conflux we make staff engagement a key aspect of our assessments and consulting work. Buy-in from staff accelerates the adoption of new practices and ways of working, making transformation programmes more effective.
Please tell us more about a “Workshop for Leaders” and its benefits.
For busy IT execs and managers, it can be difficult to navigate through the minefields of tools, “scaled agile” frameworks, and snake-oil solutions from vendors trying to repackage existing products to fit the latest IT buzzword. Our workshops for leaders help busy execs and managers to get up to speed quickly and effectively with new approaches and to gain a useful understanding of the challenges and opportunities. The workshops help get to the core ideas and actual working practices in modern software delivery, avoiding the hype and concentrating on tactical and strategic choices for improving IT effectiveness.
The workshops cover several crucial dynamics in modern software organisations, including organisation design, engineering culture, DevOps and SRE, Continuous Delivery, and internal tech conferences. These workshops help managers and execs to increase organisational effectiveness, a key differentiator in the modern, remote-first workplace.
Could you please introduce Conflux Books?
We publish books under the Conflux Books brand and our subsidiary brand, Skelton Thatcher Publications. The books are “by technologists, for technologists” – high-value expertise. Our books help to accelerate and deepen learning in the field of software delivery. We focus on subjects that don't go out of date: fundamental software principles & practices, team interactions, and technology-independent skills.
The Team Guides for Software series covers operability, business metrics, testability and releasability, all key aspect of modern software delivery that help to make software more reliable and more business-relevant. The books take a team-first approach to software systems with the aim of empowering whole teams to build and operate software systems more effectively.
We also have books that cover technical writing for engineers, better whiteboard sketches, and internal tech conferences. In a remote-first world, good written communication is essential to avoid confusion and rework; our book Technical Writing for Engineers explains how to communicate technical subjects well. Good diagrams can convey ideas rapidly, but whiteboard sketches are often a mess of lines and illegible text; our book Better Whiteboard Sketches provides clear guidance and approaches for diagrams and sketches in a software delivery context.
Finally, internal tech conferences can make a significant impact on an organisation's level of sharing, learning, and communication by accelerating multi-team learning across technology departments. An increasing number of enlightened organisations are using this powerful approach to spread and embed new ideas and practices. In the book Internal Tech Conferences, we share practical advice on how to prepare, run, and follow-up on an internal tech conference, together with some case studies from several organisations showing the approaches in common and the adaptations for each situation.