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50 Most Influential Companies of the Year 2021

Agile Brains Consulting is a niche process improvement organization which helps you deliver products faster with increased quality and predictability

Agile Brains Consulting is a niche process improvement organization which helps you deliver products faster with increased quality and predictability

Technology leap and training engagements mostly have a connection with transactional selling. Vendors selling “off-the-shelf” training courses and consultants to help clients achieve business value and flourish with their digital transformation initiatives. Clients shell out millions of dollars and are not able to achieve any significant return on investment. In fact, according to an Everest Group study, 73% of companies declined to provide any business value from their digital transformation process. Recognizing this lack within the industry, in 2017, Abrar Hashmi, Founder & Chief Evangelist, launched Agile Brains Consulting – a management consulting company focused on building long lasting relationships with customers and serving as partners to clients rather than vendors focused on transactional selling. The Agile Brains Team stands on its four core pillars - Value, Integrity, Speed and Adaptability. Their engagements are built on providing value to customers, with a high level of integrity, delivering solutions and services faster while continuously adapting to change.

The journey of Agile Brains Consulting has been nothing short of a dream. Since inception, the firm has assisted enterprises from a different verticals including telecommunications, insurance, financial, gaming, entertainment, healthcare and many more in their transformation journey

Abrar Hashmi, Founder, gave us a better understanding of the company in the following interview

Q. What is your approach in solving technology problems?

One of the biggest reasons for the Agile Brains concept was to treat each customer as unique and identify solutions which would be customized to their needs. At Agile Brains, we created our proprietary framework, “ABC” to help create customized technology solutions. We understand that every organization is unique, they have different strengths and weaknesses, have tried different approaches and more importantly have their own cultural DNA. Our framework starts with an assessment “A” which allows us to understand the current landscape best. This is very similar to how a dentist approaches oral hygiene – before performing any dental procedures, a dentist starts with an oral exam/X-ray. Similarly, our assessment is focused on interviews with team members, analysis of current processes, review of artifacts and technology solutions, evaluation of technology tools and stack to help us gain insights into the people, process and technology aspects of your organization. Our second phase “B”, is using these assessment results to “brainstorm” and help create a customized roadmap to help you increase productivity and quality of delivery. Agile Brains is framework and tool agnostic and brings inputs and expertise from different practices which helps us craft out the ideal solution to meet your technology needs. The final step is change, “C”, where our team of consultants help you implement the approved customized roadmap. One of our key goals in this step is to make our clients be self-reliant and self-sustaining.

Q. What is your specialization and how does it benefit your customers?

We provide a variety of services to our customers. We facilitate training workshops; we provide strategy consulting; we coach and transform teams but if I were to choose one, I’d say we specialize in system integration. Our customers have multiple vendors working on projects of all sizes and trying to meet changing requirements. Agile Brains serves as the perfect system integrator where we are able to bring all the artifacts and vendors together to help them integrate and build one consistent solution. From using Lean-Agile and DevOps principles, to adopting traditional program management values, we have been able to improve delivery using cross-domain planning and synchronized execution. Recently, one of our clients had 16 applications they wanted to move toward the cloud by the end of 2021. In Q2, they were victims of a cyber-attack. They reached out to Agile Brains to help them define a cloud migration strategy and help execute on it. Our team was able to migrate all 16 applications to the cloud in record 3 months and saved the company multi-million dollars by moving to a virtual infrastructure.

Q. How do you assist companies with operational, financial and project management needs?

Operational excellence and project delivery are two of our specific areas of delivery. Inefficiencies are common regardless of your delivery life-cycle. Based on our assessment, we are able to help you identify operational bottlenecks and define your revised and lean process framework 2.0. With your updated 2.0 process framework in place, our change-agents and project managers can help teams adopt the delivery methodology and help you deliver systems, products and services faster. One of our music streaming customers reached out to us to help them bring Technical Program Managers and Agile Delivery Leaders within their PMO. Based on our interviews with the leadership team and PMO director, we were able to bring multiple Technical Program Managers and Agile Delivery leaders to their program. We also a conducted Agile Program Management training for their internal employees to help refine their current program execution framework. Regardless of the size of your organization, if you are looking for a technology advisor to help you increase operational excellence and execute effectively on our program and project management delivery, Agile Brains is your answer.

Q. What is Scrum Master Solutions (SMS) Program? Explain in detail.

The average total cost of a bad-hire in United States is 240,000 USD according to Link Humans. The number increases for an in-effective scrum master since they are working with so many individual contributors. With the demand for scrum masters in tens of thousands, during the pandemic, we launched our Scrum Master Solutions (SMS) program which helps customers bring talented scrum masters to support their delivery teams. Our scrum masters are vetted through our 5 round rigorous testing process, coached by our team on their delivery, and will help you build high-performing teams. Our on-boarding to the SMS program starts with a brief assessment of your current teams and products helping us identify the appropriate cultural and technical fit for your teams. We believe people are the greatest strength any organization has and the right scrum master will help you retain talent and create a culture of innovation and trust.

Q. Detail us about your different courses responsible for agile transformation.

Numerous offerings are available for your teams interested in the Agile & DevOps transformation initiatives. We have always focused on role-based training which starts with the audience learning about “WIIFM” – what’s in it for me?. Senior Executives and Leaders can take our 2-3 hour instructor-led workshops on Agile or DevOps for Execs. Business and Technology directors can benefit from our certified Agile Leadership Professional (ICP-LEA) course which focuses on building high-performing teams and building teal culture. Project and Program managers can enroll in Scrum or Kanban certified training (Certified Scrum Master, Disciplined Agile Scrum Master, SAFe Scrum Master, Advanced Scrum Master, Lean Kanban Practitioner) to learn about different Agile frameworks. Product Owners and Managers can learn about Agile requirements in our Business Value Analysis (ICP-BVA), Business Agility Foundation (ICP-BAF), Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Product Owner Product Manager (POPM), Agile Product Management (APM) or Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) training. Teams can benefit from the certified Agile Bootcamp (ICP) course which focuses on Agile delivery principles and frameworks. For our technical training needs, we offer courses on Microservices, Kubernetes, Docker, Puppet, Chef, Jenkins, Ansible, Artifactory, Site Reliability Engineering, DevSecOps, Design Thinking, Human Centered Design and numerous others. Few months ago, one of our retail client was interested in training and coaching their product management team on Agile principles and helping them scale. We created a customized 3 day training workshop with hands-on activities to meet their needs and were able to deliver it in short engaging sessions over one week!

Background of the leading light

Abrar Hashmi is the Chief Agile evangelist and Founder of Agile Brains Consulting Inc. He is an international award-winning Technology leader with a passion to inspire, lead and build high performing teams. Abrar has assisted in value-based delivery transformations in a range of organizations from small lean-startups to mid-sized businesses to Fortune 500 enterprises. Agile Brains Consulting Inc: 50 Most Influential Companies of the Year 2021 He is one of the “brains” behind Agile Brains’ award-winning proprietary framework “ABC” starts with an organizational assessment (A) followed by brainstorming (B) solutions with Coaching (C) support to help deliver business value to customers. Abrar has trained thousands of students in over sixty cities and  is focused on organizations embrace a culture of fearlessness and innovation.

“Our philosophy is to “Assess” our clients’ needs, “Brainstorm” a solution strategy and “Coach” them in the right direction to “Deliver” value.”

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