Meet the Maker – Mike Idengren
The Meet the Maker Interview series is a fun and relaxed behind-the-scenes insight into people and what they do. Showcasing their talents as well as seeing what makes them tick. From ‘What’s your party trick?” to “You’ve got a week off, where are you going?” we want to know where they are and how they got there. Check out our interviews with architects, process people, agile folks, and more.
Hi, I’m Mike Idengren. I’m a tech-head, a tech-advisor, world traveler, a Massachusetts bike trail explorer, science fiction reader (e.g., Dune & Foundation), a dog owner, and an aspiring pilot. Mostly, I like to think of myself as a practical academic — always learning and applying, getting some things wrong, and trying again. I like most things technology – I’m a “mac person” — I like a pretty interface, but always need ready access to a terminal prompt to “get under the hood”.
That’s my company, Lean Scaled Architects — improving digital business agility, by improving context and collaboration — enabling a Solution Intent Repository approach, with the right mix of Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Management and SAFe (Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise). Our services include advisory, training, and tool customization. We focus on side-by-side enablement to deliver the right balance of improvements across agility/speed, risk/compliance, and cost of service delivery.
1.What did you want to be when you grew up?
I always thought I would do something technical, but wasn’t sure what “flavor” that would be. I knew I liked building systems and teams, and helping people use technology. I started my early career as a computer technician, then a webmaster. I looked to formal education for business skills, and kept a “tinkering” and “do it myself” attitude towards learning and using technology.
2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do for a living? (in case you have your own firm: what was the moment that prompted you to start your own brand?)
I like learning new things, and it’s important that I can “integrate” those into my professional endeavors. For example, though I started with agile web development, I learned more about BPM, and Enterprise Architecture, and got PMP certified in 2005. My career tracked more towards EA and BPM advisory, especially helping build Centers-of-Excellence teams, practices and tool customizations — but I really wanted to shift my focus towards “balancing” agile software development with EA/BPM principles. I didn’t see many firms focused on this kind of “balancing act” — most were either all-in-agile (typically pushed by business), or enterprise-compliance focused (typically pushed by IT).
3. In 3 words, describe your occupation or what do you enjoy most about your job?
Watching Teams Grow
4. What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Get out of your comfort zone if I want to grow.
5. What are your main sources of inspiration? Are there any outlets you reference regularly?
One of my early mentors was Jill Womble — when I worked at a utility company in Gainesville, Florida. She was both an engineer and a lawyer, and one of the most diverse people I’ve ever met. She told me stories about growing up working for a large male-leadership-dominated utility company in Florida in the 80s, and putting up with all kinds of sexist nonsense. She was tough and smart, and taught me a lot about people — for example, training me in Interest-Based-Bargaining techniques and becoming a facilitator for union-management negotiations (which pushed me WAY out of my comfort zone).
6. Where do you see yourself (and your brand if applicable) in 10 years time?
In less than a year, I expect my patent for the Lean Agile Blocker Index to be approved, and for it to become another tool in the toolbox for realizing the balanced scaled agility EA/BPM vision.
In 5 years, I expect to have built good relationships with cross-industry clients and agile/EA/BPM leaders, with more stories to tell. I hope to work with industry leaders to influence frameworks such as Scaled Agile Framework for Enterprise to consider more BPM/EA (such as risk and compliance), and I hope to have influenced frameworks and IT governance organizations to consider more agility (such as TOGAF — The Open Group Architecture Framework and ISACA — the Information Systems Audit and Control Association).
In 10-15 years, I hope to share these stories and experiences with the next generation — perhaps with a part-time teaching position with a university, while continuing to advise.
7. What’s the most treasured belonging/item in your own home?
My MacBook. Second place is my Trek carbon-fiber electric mountain bike.
8. What was the last rule you broke?
I’m from Florida, and had a dog door built into my house (so the dog could go out whenever he wanted). Now I’m in an apartment in Boston, in 8 degree weather… so instead of taking my dog to the outside designated area, we made a detour to the basement garage.
9. What’s one thing other people may not know about you (for example any hidden talents)?
I have always wanted to be a pilot, and will get my pilot’s license some day. I recently (during COVID lockdown) started playing flight simulation and space exploration games. I had never played video games until then, and got hooked on it — investing in some heavy-duty flight equipment.
10. You’ve got a week off, where are you going?
Key West, Florida
Where to find the maker
- Website: Lean Scaled Architects http://leanscaledarchitects.com
- Job Title: Principal
- Location: Boston & Provincetown, MA
- LinkedIn and other profiles: http://linkedin.com/in/idengren and LSA’s YouTube channel
Roland Woldt is a well-rounded executive with 25+ years of Business Transformation consulting and software development/system implementation experience, in addition to leadership positions within the German Armed Forces (11 years).
He has worked as Team Lead, Engagement/Program Manager, and Enterprise/Solution Architect for many projects. Within these projects, he was responsible for the full project life cycle, from shaping a solution and selling it, to setting up a methodological approach through design, implementation, and testing, up to the rollout of solutions.
In addition to this, Roland has managed consulting offerings during their lifecycle from the definition, delivery to update, and had revenue responsibility for them.
Roland is the VP of Global Consulting at iGrafx, and has worked as the Head of Software AG’s Global Process Mining CoE, as Director in KPMG’s Advisory, and had other leadership positions at Software AG/IDS Scheer and Accenture. Before that, he served as an active-duty and reserve officer in the German Armed Forces.