Winning the War of Attracting/Keeping Talent – Using Agile/Lean Methods to Manage Your Entire Company (Panel)

Facilitator – Kelley Allan | 01:30 — 02:45


The incredible potential of agile/lean development methods are too often constrained by corporate management policies.  The problems are clearly revealed in a recent survey of 450 Columbus area developers.  We will provide highlights of the survey findings which can help employers, managers, and recruiters gain insight into what attracts and keeps talent.  One key finding from this survey is that prevailing “command and control” or “carrot and stick” management approaches drive talent away.  Fortunately, the roots of the Agile Development stem from the work of Taiichi Ohno (LEAN) and W. Edwards Deming (New Philosophy of Management).  Ohno and Deming provided means by which to transform entire organizations to function as effectively as Agile does for development.  The panelists will address questions from the audience and provide case examples of how to proceed with spreading the positive power of Agile to the entire company.

The panelists point out that the need to move away from “command and control” management methods is a very practical consideration and is closely connected to competitive advantage. And, competitive advantage is very important to growing companies.  Please join us for a robust discussion.


Kelly L. Allan is a Senior Associate of Kelly Allan Associates, Ltd., a company with 24+ associates that has been in business since 1974.  Kelly has published articles, commentary and letters in a variety of journals, including Business First, Fast Company, Personnel Journal, Marketing News, Business Marketing Association News, Nature Conservancy, Harvard Business Review, and The Wall Street Journal.  Has has been featured in Fast Company, The Columbus Dispatch, Sam’s Club The Source, Tanning Trends, Quality Progress, The Masterful Coaching Fieldbook, The Knowing-Doing Gap, and Abolishing Performance Appraisals.

In 1999, poor health forced Peter Scholtes (The Team Handbook, and The Leader’s Handbook) to retire from conducting seminars and consulting.  Peter asked Kelly to continue the seminars and consulting practice.  Scholtes says, “There is much to appreciate about Kelly.  His exceptional ability to combine theory with real world implementations is perhaps what clients appreciate the most.”

In 2004 Kelly was 1 of only 12 people selected by the W. Edwards Deming Institute to conduct Dr. Deming’s famous “Four Day Seminars.”  Kelly is also a member of AMA and ASQ.


Brandon Childers specializes in leading and enabling agile transformations at all levels.  His passion lies in building lean organizations that deliver high-quality software and can quickly adapt to change.  A developer at heart, you will often find him discussing patterns, architecture, and the hottest new framework; however, he realizes the greater importance of vibrant work environment where people are respected, empowered, and engaged.

As the Director of Application Development at IGS Energy, Brandon oversees cross-functional teams comprising analysts, developers, and testers.  He studied Computer Science and Engineering at The Ohio State University where he still mentors students and prospective developers.

Poorani Jeyasekar is a workforce development professional with an engineering background. She uses a combination of quality tools and performance improvement techniques to solve organizational problems. She is a skilled facilitator and analyst.

Poorani has worked in multicultural environments and her expertise includes process improvement, needs analysis, job and task analysis, e-learning, marketing, and instructional design.  She is an experienced researcher and is responsible for the survey that was conducted with 450 Columbus area developers in regard to job satisfaction and related topics.

She has an MA from The Ohio State University and has Six Sigma Black Belt training.

Joe O’Brien is a father, business owner, speaker and developer. In 2006 he co-founded EdgeCase, a leading Ruby and Ruby on Rails training and consulting company. They have had a tremendous amount of success helping companies as large as Ingersoll Rand, GAP and AT&T Interactive as well as those startups still in the inception stage. Through a partnership he has been giving training for well over three years on testing and development with Ruby on Rails. He is a speaker and has spoken at conferences ranging from RailsConf to numerous regional conferences and countless user groups