Software development

Why is True Fellowship So Rare, Especially in Tech?

Why is fellowship in organisations, particularly in tech companies, such a rare phenomenon, and yet when it does emerge, it’s immensely powerful? What are the factors that make it so elusive, and conversely, the elements that make it thrive when it does manifest?

In the world of technology, competition and individualism often take centre stage, overshadowing the potential benefits of collaboration and fellowship. Could it be that the pressure to innovate, coupled with the race to stay ahead of the curve, pushes people to focus more on their individual achievements and personal wellbeing rather than the collective good?

There’s also the issue of diverse backgrounds and skill sets. With experts in various fields such as engineering, design, marketing, and more, it’s possible that this diversity might inadvertently create silos. Do these specialised domains lead to a lack of understanding and empathy among team members, preventing the formation of a cohesive, supportive environment?

And yet, when fellowship does take root within tech organisations, its power is undeniable. Why is that? Could it be that the amalgamation of diverse perspectives, skills, and experiences in a collaborative environment leads to breakthroughs and innovations that might otherwise be impossible? When individuals work together, for example with Ensemble Working, sharing their knowledge and challenging one another’s ideas, they pave the way for novel solutions and approaches.

Perhaps another reason for the potency of fellowship in tech companies is the sheer complexity of the problems they tackle. The adage “two heads are better than one” rings true, as the collective intelligence of a group working in harmony often surpasses that of even the brightest individual. In an environment where fellowship thrives, team members can rely on each other’s strengths, ultimately yielding better results.

So, why is fellowship so rare in tech organisations? It appears that the competitive nature of the industry, coupled with the diversity of skills and backgrounds, might pose challenges to fostering a collaborative environment. However, when such an environment does emerge, it unlocks the potential for innovation, breakthroughs, and success that are unparalleled in their impact. Thus organisations maigh choose to recognise and nurture the power of #fellowship to stay ahead in an ever-evolving commercial landscape.

“Not Everybody Matters”: A Bold Approach to Streamlining Software Development

💡 Need to unlock your team’s full potential and supercharge your software development process? Uncover the game-changing strategy behind embracing “Not Everybody Matters”, and learn how mastering the Needsscape and understanding the Cost of Focus can catapult your project to success! 🎯💥🚀

➡ In the world of software, service and product development, catering to every stakeholder’s needs can be both challenging and resource-intensive.

Embracing the idea that “Not Everybody Matters” can lead to more effective development processes by prioritising the most critical needs and stakeholders. By focusing on the essential elements of a project, teams can allocate resources more effectively and reduce development time.

The Needsscape
The Needsscape is a concept that helps identify and dynamically prioritise the needs of various stakeholders. By carefully tracking the Needsscape, development teams can determine which needs have the most significant impact at any given moment, and align their efforts accordingly. This approach acknowledges that not all needs are equally important, and allocating resources to meet every need regardless of relative impact leads to increased costs and inefficiencies.

The Cost of Focus
The Cost of Focus is the trade-off that occurs when concentrating on one are over another. By acknowledging that “Not Everybody Matters,” development teams can make informed decisions about where to invest their time, effort, and resources. This approach might involve prioritising features that have the highest value for the majority of users or focusing on the needs of specific subsets of the audience.

The concept of “Not Everybody Matters” in software development is a bold approach that encourages teams to prioritise the most critical needs and stakeholders by leveraging the Needsscape and understanding the Cost of Focus. By doing so, they can streamline the development process, maximise the value delivered, and ultimately create more successful software products.

How Peter Drucker’s Vision Has Yet To Transform the Workplace

💡 Imagine a world where creativity and collaboration reign supreme, where the collective minds of diverse individuals come together to generate ground-breaking ideas. Dive into the revolutionary perspective of Peter Drucker, the visionary who described a new way of collaborating that proposes we turn traditional work on its head.

➡ When it comes to Peter Drucker and his views on work and collaborative knowledge work, it’s really interesting to see how he differentiated between the two. Drucker is widely regarded as the “father of modern management,” and he had some pretty insightful ideas about work and the ways people collaborate.

In Drucker’s view, traditional work is more about performing tasks and following procedures. Think of an assembly line worker, a farmer, or a craftsman. They’re doing their jobs, completing specific tasks, and usually working independently or with minimal interaction with others. This kind of work focuses on individual productivity and efficiency.

Now, when we talk about collaborative knowledge work, Drucker had a different perspective. He saw this as a way of working that involves people coming together, sharing ideas, and creating new knowledge. It’s less about following a set process and more about being creative and adaptive in solving problems. In this type of work, the interactions between people are really important, and the goal is to combine their expertise and knowledge to create something new and valuable.

So, the key difference between the two, as Drucker saw it, is the way people work together and the focus on generating new knowledge. While traditional work is more about individual tasks and efficiency, collaborative knowledge work emphasises teamwork, creativity, and innovation.

Isn’t it fascinating how Drucker’s ideas from decades ago still hold up today? It’s like he had a crystal ball for understanding how work would evolve over time! Maybe his vision will one day come to pass.


Some Reasons Why You Might Choose To Pay Attention To My Works

Hey there! I’m Bob Marshall, the Organisational Psychotherapist, with a passion for helping organisations transform their culture and improve collaboration. If you’re wondering why you might choose to pay attention to my insights, just let me say that my unique approach can bring profound benefits to all kinds of organisations, especially those involving collaborative knowledge work.

My blog at is packed with insights and stories from my five decades of experience. I draw on this experience, including founding Europe’s first 100% Agile software house and heading Falling Blossoms, the world’s first Organisational Psychotherapy provider. My posts highlight the importance of nurturing productive relationships and fostering a people-oriented culture.

One post that stands out is about the Antimatter Principle, which emphasises attending to folks’ needs to create a thriving, collaborative work environment.

Another post discusses Flow•gnosis, an innovative approach to developing software-intensive products and services.

When you read my posts, you’ll also learn from my decades in both technology and business, including roles at Sun Microsystems, and many other organisations, large and small. This deep understanding of the tech landscape allows me to provide invaluable counsel and therapy to ambitious, progressive technology and digital business organisations.

Moreover, those who have worked with me have nothing but praise for my approach and the results it has brought to their organisations. Time and again, I’ve helped clients create a more humane, people-oriented, and productive work environment that has led to outstanding success.

As the author of “Hearts over Diamonds”, “Memeology”, and “Quintessence”, and the originator of Rightshifting and the Marshall Model, my posts regularly and freely share the foundational knowledge that has contribute to the success of so many of my clients. So, if you want to see a real difference in your organisation, don’t miss out on the wisdom and insights shared on my blog, books, white papers, etc.

Join me on this transformative journey towards elevating your organisation’s performance, and also creating a meaningful, fulfilling work environment that nurtures innovation, everyone’s personal growth, and long-lasting success. Get down with the opportunity to be part of a paradigm shift that’s redefining the way businesses thrive!


Don’t miss out on the latest insights and strategies for transforming your organisation and its culture! If you find this post valuable, make sure to follow me on LinkedIn, and don’t forget to ring the bell 🔔 to receive notifications whenever I share new content. Ready to unlock your organisation’s full potential? Take action now and reach out for a chat, or visit my blog more transformative ideas. Together, let’s embark on this journey towards unprecedented success! 🔔

And Now For Something Completely Different…

Have you thought about what lies beyond the Agile horizon? Well, it’s something completely different. Companies are now shifting focus towards systems thinking and addressing whole-organization issues. With the changing demographics of the workforce, it’s essential that companies adapt accordingly. It’s no longer about processes, but about embracing culture changes to truly thrive in this dynamic landscape. Companies need to foster a more joyful, inclusive, and collaborative environment that promotes engagement, innovation and adaptability. Exciting times ahead, right?


The Trenches of Tech: How Non-Software People Sabotage Their Own Success

💡 Brace yourself for a front-row seat to the battlefield of hiring blunders, as we expose the costly mistakes non-software folks make when staffing software teams, and the devastating consequences they leave in their wake.

➡ Here are ten ways non-software people bungle the hiring of software folks:

1. Cultural Misfits: Shoving square pegs into round holes, they hire developers who clash with the company culture (present and future, both), leaving a trail of discord and lost morale in their wake.

2. Lone Wolves: They bring in skilled coders who can’t play nice with others, sowing strife and creating a battleground instead of a harmonious workspace.

3. False Idols: Blinded by shiny CVs, they crown candidates as ideal team players without digging deeper, setting themselves up for a rude awakening.

4. Neglecting Soft Skills: Like generals leading their troops, they ignore the human touch, overlooking the importance of communication and emotional intelligence, and end up with a mutinous crew.

5. Tech Tunnel Vision: Fixated on technical prowess, they forget to evaluate problem-identification skills, critical thinking, and creativity, undermining the firepower of their software squadron.

6. Ignoring Red Flags: Turning a blind eye to warning signs during the hiring process, they march headlong into a minefield of underperformance and potential conflicts.

7. Failing to Verify: Taking claims at face value and not understanding the details and relevance of such claims, inviting charlatans and snake oil salesmen into their ranks.

8. Overvaluing Pedigree: Seduced by brand-name education and experience, they disregard the raw talent and potential of self-taught and lesser-known candidates, missing out on hidden gems.

9. Misjudging Passion: Mistaking enthusiasm for expertise, they hire driven but inexperienced developers, leading to rookie mistakes and costly setbacks.

10. Rushing the Process: They charge into the fray, hiring hastily to fill gaps, only to realise their recruits are ill-equipped for the challenges ahead, leaving them to pick up the pieces of their shattered expectations.

In the unforgiving trenches of the tech world, non-software commanders make grave errors in judgement when recruiting their software people. From cultural misfits and lone wolves to ill-considered hires and neglect of soft skills, these missteps wreak havoc on the battleground of business operations. Like abandoned minefields, the consequences of these blunders linger, leaving projects and teams in ruins.

Software Development: It’s Not Even Slightly About Tech Skills and Coding Practices

💡 What’s the undervalued secret sauce of software success? You’re in for a wake-up call as we reveal the overlooked ingredients that make or break software success in the business world.

➡ Blimey, it’s no surprise that most execs – those few that are even slightly interested in software development – reckon it’s all about tech skills and coding practices. But I’ll tell you, there’s more to this picture than meets the eye. Sure, being a dab hand at coding is somewhat useful, but in the context of business operations, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You see, the nitty-gritty of software development, especially in a business setting, also involves top-notch communication, teamwork, and adaptability.

And let’s not forget, building strong interpersonal relationships is a piece of cake for no one, but it’s a skill developers need to master to keep things from going pear-shaped.

A good understanding of the customer’s needs and the company’s goals is also crucial. After all, you can’t score a winner if you don’t know where the goalposts are. So, execs might choose to realise that there’s more to software development than just cranking code. And much more to hiring than the recruitment of code toads.

A successful software development team is the whole package. It’s not just about having a bunch of coding whizzes; it’s also about fostering a culture where everyone’s on the same page, working together as a community to bring work to fruition. Otherwise, businesses might find themselves up a creek without a paddle.

Beneath the Agile Mirage: Unmasking the Lipstick-Smeared Swindle of Modern Software Development!

💡 Prepare to embark on a thrilling exposé, where we unravel the tangled web of Agile’s alluring illusion, and reveal the startling truth lurking beneath its glossy veneer – a revelation that will leave you questioning everything you thought you knew about software development!

➡ You know, there’s an old saying that goes, “You can put lipstick on a pig and call it Agile, but it’s a waste of your time and annoys the pig.” It’s such an apt description of the Agile approach to software development, don’t you think? I mean, people talk about how Agile is the be-all and end-all solution to software development woes, but in reality, it’s just one big lipstick-covered pig.

Even when organisations follow Agile to the letter, it never seems to work out as expected. The whole system is supposed to be about flexibility and adaptability, but so often it just ends up being a convoluted mess. Sure, you have all these meetings, sprints, and stand-ups that give the appearance of progress, but it’s really just a bunch of people running in circles.

And let’s not even get started on the endless stream of buzzwords and jargon that’s constantly thrown around in Agile environments. It’s like some twisted game of corporate Mad Libs that doesn’t actually result in any tangible improvements.

So yeah, you can slap a coat of Agile lipstick on your development pig, but don’t be surprised when it doesn’t magically transform into a streamlined, efficient machine. More often than not, you’ll just end up with a frustrated pig and a whole lot of wasted time.

The Secret Sauce Behind Exceptional Development Teams

💡Unleash your teams’ true potential by discovering the untapped secret to a thriving software and product development environment – it’s not about the tools or methodologies, but the way work works! Get ready to revolutionise your SOPs (standard operating procedures) and create extraordinary results.

➡Hey there! I wanted to have a little chat about a thought that’s been on my mind recently. You see, in the world of software and product development, we often find ourselves in a never-ending quest to improve our practices, methodologies, and technologies. While it’s important to strive for continuous improvement, I’ve come to realise that we might be missing the bigger picture. Here’s what I’m thinking: it’s pointless trying to improve software and product development practices before improving the way the work works more generally. Let me explain.

To put it simply, we can have the most cutting-edge technologies and methodologies, but if the overall work environment and culture aren’t conducive to innovation and growth, we’ll still face challenges and inefficiencies. Think about it: a healthy work culture that encourages collaboration, open communication, and mutual respect can create an environment where people feel empowered to share ideas and contribute to the development process.

Before we even consider adopting new tools and practices, we should focus on understanding and improving the foundation upon which our projects are built. This might involve examining our team dynamics, communication channels, decision-making processes, shared assumptions and beliefs, and the overall alignment of our teams with the organisation’s goals and values.

One way to start making improvements in the way work works is by fostering an atmosphere of trust, transparency, and attention to folks’ needs. This can create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing their opinions, admitting mistakes, and asking for help when needed. This, in turn, can lead to more effective problem-solving, innovation, and ultimately, better products.

Another aspect to consider is the work-life balance of team members. Ensuring that employees have enough time to recharge and avoid burnout is crucial for maintaining high levels of creativity, productivity, and engagement. By addressing issues like excessive workload, unrealistic deadlines, or lack of support, we can create a more balanced and healthier work environment.

So, let’s not get too caught up in the pursuit of the latest software and product development practices without first taking a step back and evaluating the broader context in which we operate. By focusing on improving the way work works more generally, we can lay the groundwork for lasting, meaningful improvements that will ultimately benefit not only our products but also the people who create them.

When Two Worlds Collide: Developers’ Hidden Fear of Psychology

💡Discover the unexpected reasons why software developers run a mile from embracing psychology and behavioural science, and how interdisciplinary collaboration could unlock the true potential of human-centered technology…

Developers and software people may be apprehensive towards psychology and behavioural science for several reasons. The two fields differ significantly, with software development and tech focusing on logic, structure, and deterministic outcomes, while psychology deals with complex, unpredictable human behaviour, which can be complex, unpredictable, and often emotionally driven.

Ethical concerns, such as manipulation and privacy, also contribute to this apprehension. Furthermore, software people generally lack the necessary interdisciplinary training to effectively apply psychological principles in their work.

Also, few are the organisations that have the application of psychology baked in to their culture.

Lastly, some software folks fear that the integration of psychology could lead to biased algorithms, which may perpetuate or exacerbate societal biases.

In total, these factors contribute to the reluctance of software people to embrace psychology and behavioral science in their field.


A Generic Conference Submission On Quintessence


Quintessence: A Radical Approach to Effective Software Development


In this session, we will explore Quintessence, an entirely new and radical approach to effective software development that eschews the whole idea of methodologies. We will discuss the challenges faced by organisations in improving their software development efforts, specifically the collective assumptions and beliefs that hinder progress. Through practical examples, we will demonstrate how Quintessence can help organisations address these challenges and achieve better outcomes, such as increased engagement, accelerated uptake of new ideas, methods and practices, increased productivity, reduced stress, etc.

Session Description In Full

Software development has been described as “the most complex endeavour known to Man”. Despite the prevalence of popular methodologies such as Agile and Lean, many organisations still struggle to improve their software development processes and achieve better outcomes. One of the main reasons for this is the collective assumptions and beliefs held by these organisations, which hinder progress and frustrate the effectiveness of traditional methodologies.

Quintessence offers a new approach to effective software development that goes beyond traditional methodologies. It emphasises a paradigm shift in the way we think about software development. Instead of focusing on processes and methodologies, Quintessence places emphasis on the social and cultural context of software development.

In this session, we will explore the challenges faced by organisations in improving their approach to software development and how Quintessence can help address these challenges. We will discuss how collective assumptions and beliefs impact software development, and how Quintessence offers a road map or guide book for overcoming these challenges. Through practical examples, we will demonstrate how Quintessence can help organisations achieve better outcomes and improve their organisational culture.

Join us for an insightful discussion on this paradigm shift in software development and the practical applications of Quintessence. Whether you are a software developer, manager, or executive, this session will provide valuable insights into improving software development in your organisation.

Session type

  • Talk


  • Paradigm shift in software development
  • Overcoming collective assumptions and beliefs
  • Practical applications of Quintessence
  • Systems Thinking
  • Psychology
  • Bigger picture

The Art of Tech Business

Sun Tzu, the military philosopher, stated over 2,400 years ago that if you want to elicit victory before the battle even begins, then you need to ensure all the critical contributing elements are collaborating in perfect harmony toward achieving the win.

Quintessence sets out in practical detail all the critical contributing elements necessary to win in the business of tech, and especially in software development.

You can find Quintessence (the book) on LeanPub. Take a look!

Software Development: Culture Shift is More Vital Than Any Coding Practices

With 50+ years experience in the software development industry, I’ve come to understand that the key to progress in this field lies not in technological advancements, but in cultural changes.

Alan Kay’s concept of obliquity highlights the idea that the most effective way to achieve a goal is not always by pursuing it directly, but rather by approaching it from a different angle. In the context of software development, this means that our focus might better be placed on changing the underlying culture that shapes how software is created and delivered.

The current state of the industry is far from optimal, with over 90% of Agile adoptions failing to deliver the promised benefits. The pressure to meet unrealistic deadlines, the lack of whole-systems thinking, and the absence of a learning culture all contribute to the failure of Agile initiatives.

A critical aspect of cultural change is the need to embrace failure. Failure is not something to be feared, but rather an opportunity to learn and grow. It is through failure that we discover what works and what doesn’t, and can adapt our approach accordingly. A culture that embraces failure as a natural part of the learning process is one that is more likely to succeed in the long run.

In addition, we must move away from the traditional focus on individual performance metrics and instead measure success based on the collective achievements of the whole organisation. This means redefining success as the ability to deliver high-quality software that meets the needs of the business and its customers. It also means recognising and rewarding collaborative behaviour, rather than individual contributions.

Finally, we must recognise that cultural change is a continuous process, not a one-time event. It requires ongoing effort and commitment, and must be reinforced through the actions and behaviours of leaders at all levels of the organisation. By fostering a culture of collaboration, learning, and continuous improvement, we can create an environment conducive to the adoption of effective practices.

In conclusion, technological advancements are of little import in software development, unless accompanied by cultural changes. Alan Kay’s concept of obliquity reminds us that sometimes the most direct path is not the most effective. By focusing on building a culture that values collaboration, learning, and continuous improvement, we can deliver better outcomes for our businesses and customers.

The Future is Now: Unleashing the Full Potential of Cutting-Edge Software Development Culture

For software developers, understanding the role of business culture in the development process can seem entirely irrelevant. Yet, business culture sets the tone for the company’s shared assumptions and beliefs about how work should work, and it can have a significant impact on the efforts, and quality-of-life of software developers.

One example of where the impact of business culture is particularly visible is in the thorny question of permitting or forbidding developers to talk with users and customers.

In many organisations, the relationship between software developers and users/customers is seen as strictly separated. In such cases, developers are not allowed to communicate with users/customers, and all communication is done through customer support teams or business analysts. This is primarily driven by the belief that developers cannot be trusted, and must focus solely on the technical aspect of the product, leaving customer interactions to others.

However, in some organisations, the opposite is true. Developers are actively encouraged to engage with users and customers, and they are seen as a vital link between the technical side of the product and the needs and desires of the customers. This approach is often driven by a culture that values transparency, customer satisfaction, and continuous improvement.

The impact of these differing business cultures on the role of software developers is significant. When developers are not allowed to talk to users/customers, they are limited in their ability to truly understand the customer’s needs and desires. This can lead to products that are technically sound but miss the mark when it comes to user experience and customer satisfaction. On the other hand, when developers are encouraged to talk to users/customers, they are more likely to create products that are not only technically sound but also meet the needs and expectations of the customers.

It is important to consider how changing the business culture can change the nature of what developers are allowed to do.

In conclusion, software developers play a crucial role in the development process, and it can help to understand the impact of business culture on their efforts. The question of permitting or forbidding developers to talk with users and customers is just one example of how business culture can impact the development process. By considering the impact of business culture and making changes as necessary, companies can ensure that their developers are empowered to create the best products possible and drive better business results.

Breaking the Myopia Mold: How to Expand Your Awareness in Software Development

Myopia, or a narrow focus, is a common issue among software development professionals. This can manifest in a number of ways, such as an over-reliance on a specific technology or methodology, a lack of consideration for the bigger picture or long-term implications of a project, or a failure to keep up with industry developments and advancements.

One example of myopia in software development is the over-reliance on a specific programming language or framework. This can lead to developers becoming experts in one particular technology, but not having the skills or knowledge to work with other technologies. This can be detrimental to a company, as it limits the pool of potential hires and can make it difficult to adapt to changes in the industry.

Another example of myopia is a lack of consideration for the bigger picture or long-term implications of the work at hand. This can manifest in a variety of ways, such as not thinking about how a results will integrate with other systems, not considering scalability or maintainability, or not thinking about the end user. This can lead to software that is difficult to maintain, not scalable and not user-friendly.

A third example is failure to keep up with industry developments and advancements. This can happen when software developers become too focused on their current ways of working, and do not take the time to keep up with new technologies, methodologies, or best practices. This can make them less competitive in the job market, and can also make it difficult for them to adapt to changes in the industry.

In order to combat myopia in software development, it is important for professionals to continually educate themselves and stay up-to-date with industry developments. This can be done through attending conferences, reading industry publications, participating in online communities, or taking courses. Additionally, companies can encourage a culture of learning and development, by providing training and development opportunities for employees.

It’s important to always keep an open mind, and be willing to consider new technologies, methodologies, or ways of working. A good software developer should be able to adapt to changes, and be able to work with different technologies. They should also be able to think about the bigger picture and long-term implications of their work.

In conclusion, myopia is a common issue among software development professionals, and can manifest in a number of ways. It’s important to stay updated and flexible in the field, and to keep in mind the bigger picture and long-term implications of the projects you work on.

PS Not just relevant to software development professionals, of course.

Revolutionise Your Development: The Benefits of Ditching Version Control

Avoiding the use of version control in software development may seem like a daunting task, but there are several advantages to doing so.

First, it can save time and resources. Without version control, developers do not need to spend time committing changes, merging branches, or resolving conflicts. This can lead to faster development and fewer delays in the project.

Secondly, avoiding version control can also simplify the development process. With fewer tools and processes to worry about, developers can better focus on the needs of the Folks That Matter™, and on meeting those needs. This can lead to improved customer satisfaction, fewer bugs and a more streamlined development approach.

Thirdly, avoiding version control can also lead to greater flexibility in the development process. Without the constraints of version control, developers can work on code in any way they see fit. This can lead to more creative solutions and a more efficient development approach.

Lastly, avoiding version control can also lead to greater collaboration among team members. Without the need to constantly merge branches, developers can work on different parts of the codebase at the same time, leading to faster development and a more efficient workflow.

In conclusion, while version control is a powerful tool in software development, there are advantages to avoiding its use as well. By doing so, developers can save time and resources, simplify the development process, increase flexibility, and improve collaboration among team members.

Hardware design / development has had Muntzing since the 1940’s. How about importing the idea into software design / development?

Could this facilitate the spread of #NoSoftware?

Or are programmers too self-indulgent to cut out much of their crap?


More On Sea Change

Do you need to see a Sea Change in the software industry, or does the status quo suit you and your needs just fine and dandy, thank you very much?

As the inventor of Agile software development circa 1994, I feel uniquely placed to suggest the need for such a sea change,and what that sea change might look like.

It’s all laid out in my most excellent book “Quintessence“, along with its companion volumes “Hearts Over Diamonds” and “Memeology“.

How often have you discussed the subject with your peers, friends, colleagues, higher-ups, etc.?

Without your active support and involvement, a sea change ain’t never likely to happen. Until then, status quo FTW.

– Bob

Further Reading

Marshall, R.W. (2021). Quintessence: An Acme for Software Development Organisations. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at:[Accessed 08 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2021). Memeology: Surfacing And Reflecting On The Organisation’s Collective Assumptions And Beliefs. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 08 Jun 2022].
Marshall, R.W. (2018). Hearts over Diamonds: Serving Business and Society Through Organisational Psychotherapy. [online] leanpub.comFalling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed08 Jun 2022].

Second Time Around

Y’all may like to know that Ian Carroll (of Solutioneers fame) and I are launching a new venture named TheQuintessentialGroup, offering a range of services in the software delivery space. First out of the gate will be “Quintessential Teams“. You can find out more at our shiny new website:


Note: We’re looking to revolutionise the world of software delivery, along quintessential lines, and we’d love for you to consider joining us.

First Time Around

Back in 1996 we* found ourselves with the opportunity to demonstrate what we had been telling clients for years – that our** approach to software delivery was way more productive than:

a) the industry norm

b) their current approaches

c) what they could ever believe possible

*myself and some colleagues at the Java Centre within Sun Microsystems UK, along with some mutual friends.

**the company we named “Familiar”.

Second Time Around

Now, we*** find ourselves in the same situation once again. Our**** approach to software delivery is again way more productive than:

a) the industry norm

b) our clients’ current approaches

c) what our clients and prospects could ever believe possible

***Ian Carroll and myself

****the company we’re naming TheQuintessentialGroup

Nothing Like Agile

The first time around, commencing circa 1996, our approach could be described as an Agile approach (Scrum-like, albeit risk-based).

The second time around our – distinctly different – approach can be described as the Quintessential approach (nothing like Agile, Scrum, etc. – albeit still very risk-oriented).

Alien Tech For Human Beings

And this second time around, we again lead the industry in breaking the mould and demonstrating the validity and sheer awesome power of the Quintessential approach.

The Quintessential approach is no secret. It’s all laid out, in detail, in my book(s). And yet we defy anyone to replicate this game-changing alien tech. At least, until they have thrown off the shackles of outmoded and crippling beliefs about work and how work should work.

And that ain’t likely to happen any time soon. Although can help with effecting such changes, too – see my book Memeology, for starters.

If you’re at all interested in the quality, cost, timescales, and predictability of software delivery, you might like to take a look at our newly launched website: We have big ambitions and big plans – and we’re hiring too!

Yes there’s more than a little déjà vu here at Sensei Towers at the moment. Familiar was an outstanding success, vindication, trailblazer and golden goose back in the late 90’s. We have every expectation that TheQuintessentialGroup will surpass even that outstanding benchmark.

Putting a dent in the Universe.

– Bob

Further Reading

Marshall, R.W. (2021). Quintessence: An Acme for Software Development Organisations. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2022].

Marshall, R.W. (2021). Memeology: Surfacing And Reflecting On The Organisation’s Collective Assumptions And Beliefs. [online] Falling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2022].

Marshall, R.W. (2018). Hearts over Diamonds: Serving Business and Society Through Organisational Psychotherapy. [online] leanpub.comFalling Blossoms (LeanPub). Available at: [Accessed 22 Apr. 2022].

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