21 February 2017

The Common Sense Leader in an Agile World: A Keynote

HR Open Standards Annual Meeting 2017 Speaker - Martin VanderSchouw


I recently spoke with Martin VanDerSchouw, President and CEO of Looking Glass Development, who will open our Annual Meeting with his timely and transformative keynote on the Common Sense Leader in an Agile World. This keynote is not to be missed! 

I wanted to share with you a bit of Martin’s background in performance improvement, business process design, IT planning and implementation, and project management training and give you sneak peek into his opening keynote at the conference. 

Here are the highlights: 

Q: Tell us a little about your role and team at Looking Glass Development, LLC? 

A: In March, I will begin my 18th year with LGd and it has been an amazing ride. We started out as a development shop for the financial services industry primarily building web-based credit decisioning engines. In those days, my role was akin to a lead architect. However, we quickly morphed because of our ability to deliver better results than our clients even when using their own people. Over time, I changed from being a technologist to being a coach and facilitator. Today I spend most of my time removing barriers for my people, and see my primary role as providing thought leadership and stirring the pot. It is all about challenging my people to deliver significantly more than they ever thought possible while being engaged and having fun. 

Q: How do you define success? 

A: The “Old” definition of project success was delivering on-time, on-budget what was promised. This definition assumed all the requirements are known up front. This is awesome whenever possible, but my experience is that it is almost impossible to know all the requirements up front. To make matters worse, research is now finding that the customers from most IT project use less than half the features completed! The problem grows only worse when one realizes that most projects are significantly over budget and behind schedule. This all means that most project teams are consistently delivering late and over budget feature sets that are not used. This is not business value. Therefore, success to me means delivering business value in alignment with the organization’s strategy while simultaneously maintaining agreed upon limits on schedule and cost. 

Q: What, in your opinion, is the biggest challenge to achieving that success? 

A: The biggest challenge(s) to achieving success are missed expectations and managing scope change. 

Q: Can you give a sneak peek of your keynote session for the HR Open Standards 2017 Annual Meeting? 


Q: What are you looking forward to most about the conference? 

A: I love meeting conference attendees and hearing their perspectives on the topics I discuss. 

Learn more about the conference or register now (registration is now closed) to hear his keynote: The Common Sense Leader in an Agile World on March 9, 2017 at the HR Open Standards 2017 Annual Meeting.