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Engineering Teams, Innovation Management, Project to Product Shift, Value Stream Management

Tasktop Turns 15, Turning the Tide on More and More Transformations

Published By Mik Kersten
Tasktop Turns 15, Turning the Tide on More and More Transformations

Today marks Tasktop’s 15th anniversary. On January 12th, 2007, I defended my Ph.D. thesis, which explored a new approach to focus and flow for developers. I took the weekend off for some skiing in Whistler, then filed the incorporation documents with Dr. Gail Murphy, my Ph.D. supervisor, and Rob Elves, a fellow developer, on the following Monday.  The incorporation was official two days later and the rest is history. And a wonderful history it has been, with Gail continuing to be involved throughout the company’s history (listen to my podcast with her here) and Rob playing as critical a role as ever as Tasktop’s VP of Product Strategy.

At each of Tasktop’s birthdays, I reflect on the past year of the journey. 2021 was by far our biggest year yet. Our Value Stream Management (VSM) business grew over 50% year-on-year, Tasktop Viz grew over 200%, and our staff surpassed the 200 employee mark. All on the back of securing a $100M strategic investment from Sumeru Equity Partners. After all these years, it is incredible to see our acceleration as a company and to witness how critical the VSM category that we pioneered is becoming. But it is the names more than the numbers that come to mind when I think back on the year.  

Turning the tide on transformations 

In the past year, all of the innovation that Tasktop has been creating for the past 15 years has been critical in turning the tide of digital transformations. The customers and champions who have placed such large bets on Tasktop have seen their operating model shift from project to product more quickly, and have had a much easier time driving the flow and feedback needed for fast moving transformations. Many more customers have shared their stories of the impact Tasktop has had in supporting their journeys. It is not just the names of the brands that stand out, such as BMW, BNZ, Lloyds Bank, T-Mobile and TUI Group, but the transformational leaders at those organizations who have placed their bets on our tools and teams. It is much more interesting to hear it in their words, such as those from Pieter Jordaan, the Group CTO of TUI:

The way Pieter describes TUI’s business, the criticality of becoming a digital platform and the results we have helped him and TUI deliver is what inspires me and my fellow Tasktopians to come fired up for work each morning!  

Another presentation that I found very inspiring was from Paul Littlefair and BMK Lakshminarayanan, of Bank of New Zealand, at the 2021 DevOps Enterprise Summit. Theirs is a big-picture thought leadership presentation and does an amazing job showing how value stream management, Flow Metrics and the turnkey, tool-based solutions from Tasktop provide such a profound acceleration and agility to transformations. 

For more stories of this sort see: 

Progress for our customers, the industry and for Tasktop

One of Tasktop’s core values is “Vision to transform the industry, validated incrementally.” I am thrilled that the past year has seen more validation of how fast the impact of shifting from project to product can be. In addition, we have packaged all of the learnings from the past year into new kinds of offerings for those needing to move fast and at scale (get in touch to learn more). While I am still in awe at the rate at which tech giants continue to improve their platforms and practices ahead of traditional companies, it is great to see our customers moving so much faster than they were a year ago. Our mission is to help the world’s enterprises become software innovators, and on this day I could not be happier to reflect on the progress that we, and more importantly our customers, have made.  

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Written by Mik Kersten

Dr. Mik Kersten started his career as a Research Scientist at Xerox PARC where he created the first aspect-oriented development environment. He then pioneered the integration of development tools with Agile and DevOps as part of his Computer Science PhD at the University of British Columbia. Founding Tasktop out of that research, Mik has written over one million lines of open source code that are still in use today, and he has brought seven successful open-source and commercial products to market. Mik’s experiences working with some of the largest digital transformations in the world has led him to identify the critical disconnect between business leaders and technologists. Since then, Mik has been working on creating new tools and a new framework - the Flow Framework™ - for connecting software value stream networks and enabling the shift from project to product. Mik lives with his family in Vancouver, Canada, and travels globally, sharing his vision for transforming how software is built, and is the author of Project To Product, a book that helps IT organizations survive and thrive in the Age of Software.