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Leaning in to Avoid the AgileFall
by “Agile” Al Smith, Jr.

Quick Answers to REAL-WORLD Questions That Help you Solve REAL-WORLD Agile Transformation Challenges!

Revolutionize Your Business Architecture with Agile, Lean and AI

In the early 2000s, long before terms like “Agile,” “Coaches,” and “Product Owners” dominated industry discourse, there existed a revolutionary mindset known as Lean Thinking. Back then, rogue developers quietly embraced Lean principles in hidden corners, coining it “Lean Software Engineering.” Today, many are unaware that Agile, now an industry standard, has deep roots in TPS (Toyota Production System), Lean and shares kinship with Six Sigma.

Agile thrives on foundational principles like continuous improvement, waste minimization, and value-driven delivery. While Agile literature and its various iterations abound, there comes a juncture where the wealth of knowledge needs distillation into an easily shareable concept. Thus, AgiLean emerges – a term (pronounced Agile Lean) that encapsulates the core of Agile and Lean principles with precision and accessibility.

Fast forward to today, where adept Business Architects and Product Owners are optimizing business processes through Lean methodologies, crafting flexible roadmaps, and establishing architecture runways using Agile practices. Well, now, it’s time to transcend boundaries by tapping into the potential of AI.

AgiLean steps into the limelight, orchestrating the automation of Agile and Lean processes, fueling continuous improvement through intelligent refactoring. The outcome? Elevated performance and consistent outcomes, achieved through the fusion of automation and perpetual optimization. Welcome to the evolution of Agile, Lean and AI – AgiLean.AI.


With a passion for agile methodologies and a proven track record, I have been immersed in the realm of Lean Software Engineering and DMAIC (Design, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control) since 2004. Picture this journey evolving into official recognition as a Lean/Six Sigma Black Belt in 2010, complemented by certifications as a Certified Java Programmer (SCJP) and Certified in Risk & Information Systems (CRISC).

My journey extends beyond certifications; it’s a narrative of hands-on experience and successful coaching endeavors. I’ve been a guiding force, coaching teams to embrace agile principles and steering them toward excellence. My forte lies in mentoring and constructing high-performance IT agile software teams that not only meet but exceed expectations.

In the intricate dance of technology and business, I’ve orchestrated improvements in workflows that translate into tangible value for organizations. The implementation of agile methodologies has been my canvas, where I paint efficiency, collaboration, and innovation.

Agile Al Smith, Jr

Over the years, Agile gained more recognition in the industry, and formal job titles were developed. I collaborated with the Project Management Institute (PMI) to pilot and become one of their first PMI Agile Certified Practitioners (PMI-ACP). I went on to write one of the first PMI-ACP training books and online classes, and also assisted PMI in moving their exam preparation online by writing one of their first white-label online exam preparation courses for their clients.

In order to gain a broader perspective of the entire agile workflow, I furthered my certifications and became a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) and an ICP-ACC Agile Certified Coach. Combining all of these skills and experiences, I founded my own agile consulting business called AgiLean (Agile + Lean).

Continuously striving to improve my agile expertise, I have worn various hats within the software development life cycle (SDLC) and have found new ways to improve flow and maximize value streams. This AgiLean skill set is particularly beneficial for organizations seeking assistance with Agile Transformations, Product Ownership, and Agile Coaching on best practices and strategic implementation of Enterprise Agile mindset.

While Agile is commonly associated with IT projects, I have also applied Lean + Agile thinking and embraced the mindset of continuous improvement to patent, develop, launch, and manufacture several innovative fitness products (see below).

Although not explicitly mentioned in my resume for the sake of brevity, Agile is ingrained in my IT expertise and has been applied in all of my IT engagements since 2004. As an end-to-end Agile expert with numerous Agile and IT certifications, my real strength comes from over 15 years of real-world Agile experience.

  • Sprint
  • NASA
  • Boeing
  • GE GXS
  • Blue Cross
  • Accenture
  • ePrise Corporation
  • Sony Pictures Entertainment
  • ESRI
  • Port of Los Angeles
  • Freddie Mac
  • Union Bank of California
  • Aspen Tech
  • Mission Systems
  • Bear Stearns
  • Mass Connections
  • SAS Institute, Inc.
  • Fairfax Public School
  • Dell
  • Atpco
  • TASC Inc.
  • Concert
  • SAIC
  • Sato Travel
  • Naval Surface Warfare Center
  • US District Court
  • CACI
  • US Navy
  • Raytheon
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Goldman Sachs
  • Instinet
  • Credit Suisse First Boston
  • Dreyfus Corporation
  • Merrill Lynch
  • Radian Guaranty, Inc.
  • Merck-Medco Managed Care
  • Prudential Insurance
  • CMP Media
  • Wyeth Research
  • Citibank
  • NIMA