Dean Stevens

Feeding the Agile Beast

Kanban is being used by agile development teams to produce software faster and with higher quality than ever before. While agile works for small teams achieving these same benefits at the enterprise level has failed. Agile’s delivery cadence drives transparency which compels learning and adaptation. Within small teams, this learning and adaptation happens in real time. At scale, the adaptation and learning happens at different times resulting in a kind of intellectual version control problem that corrupts progress across teams.

Business capability analysis supports the cadence of agile development and has proven an effective control mechanism for these larger teams. This helps larger teams realize similar speed and quality results of smaller teams while remaining aligned with what is most valuable to the business.


Dean Stevens consults with business executives committed to operational excellence. He leads focused improvement events that rally people to change the way they deliver products and services. The results are often dramatic improvements in performance and employee morale. He teaches businesses how to “do more with less”. Dean’s work with an automotive distributor was published in a Harvard Business Review article in 2008. Dean blends expertise and experience in Operations Management, Lean Principles, Project Management and information technology to develop high impact solutions. He believes change can be a positive experience, and requires learning to change minds and participation to change hearts. Dean has helped dozens of companies in various industries and sizes. His clients recognize both his passion for teaching and leadership ability to quickly deliver significant results. Prior to his consulting career, Dean held director level positions in supply chain and operations management for public and private companies including Milliken & Co. and Acuity Brands. He earned certifications as a Trainer in Operations Management from APICS, Six Sigma, Strategic Sourcing and ISO 9000. Dean earned his Master of Business Administration from Georgia State’s Executive MBA program and his Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Clemson University.