Rapid Assessments – Have you ever thought “how can our company improve, be better”! …Here’s how you can

Have you ever looked at your organisation and thought, “This must be able to be better”? I’d say it is one of the most common things for leaders to notice. Hidden inside, however, there is a scream of pain, doubt, and loss. A plea for help.

Too often we are either embedded so deeply in a problem that we can’t see the forest for the trees or so distant that we can see the problem but can’t fathom how it is happening. When that is the situation, your best approach is to bring in an outsider. Someone who can give you a direction and some fresh perspective. An expert in this area.

We know a man who can…Andrew Parker performs rapid assessments of software organisations exactly for this purpose. He gives an outsider’s perspective on what you have already noticed by spending a few hours with key people and inspecting documentation and code. It is fast but enough to get a good read on the situation and explain what is happening. Then, with an experienced outsider’s perspective, he will let you know how it could be better. He will tell you what you need to do.

He does this by:

  • Interviewing a small number of key people
  • Reviewing a small amount of your code
  • And evaluating how your organisation acts to produce that code

You may disagree with what he comes up with, but it will be a different perspective. And that is the point of bringing in someone else. Isn’t it?

The purpose of the rapid assessment is to quickly get you that different perspective. He will first have a quick conversation to establish what you are noticing when you think things could be better. Then we schedule the interviews in one day and he gives you his assessment at the end of that day.

He uses this approach with clients when they want a quick outside perspective:

  • To change or confirm their thinking.
  • At the start of a coaching engagement to get a baseline.
  • To have fresh new ideas injected into the organisation.

To get advice about the health of an organisation for larger change plans, investments, or acquisitions a longer Health Check is better as it can dig deeper into specific questions.


Andrew Parker, The Software Anthropologist (LinkedIn), is a software engineering consultant creating highly effective engineering cultures by bringing the right skills to the organisation’s leaders.

He has over 20 years of experience leading organisations in various domains, from e-commerce to open-source configuration management software. He augments his practical experience with an MSc in Software Engineering from the Technical University of Munich.

His engineering department at TIM Group was featured in two books on building effective teams, where he applied methods from anthropology and sociology to get to the root of what is going on in groups and collaboratively design better systems.

You can learn how Andrew thinks about and helps organisations on his podcast “Tactics for Tech Leadership”, which he co-hosts with Mon-Chaio Lo.

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