I (Sriram Narayan) am an independent consultant. I was formerly VP, Transformation Advisory at ThoughtWorks and prior to that, I have been in product, tech, and innovation leadership positions.

My book, Agile IT (R&D) Org Design, was featured in a must-read list in a publication backed by the Harvard Business Review. John Marcante, CIO of Vanguard, the investments major, recommended the book to the list.

The book was also featured by Digital Leaders with a recommendation from Nick Williams, then-Managing Director, Consumer Digital, Lloyds Banking Group.

My experience report on digital product teams (moving away from projects a.k.a "Project to product"), published by Martin Fowler of ThoughtWorks, has become a de-facto industry reference.

I help tech, business, and non-profit CxOs worldwide improve performance through changes to their operating model, orgdesign, or ways of working, and thereby, help them deal better with some of the challenges of the digital age.

Here is a list of areas in which I help clients through deep or quick engagements. 

My Background

In my 25 year career thus far, I have been in several leadership, advisory, and IC roles spanning digital, product, and tech. Sixteen of those years were at ThoughtWorks in roles such as VP-Transformation Advisory, Product Principal, Director of Innovation, Head of Technology, and Leadership Coach. I am able to avoid providing impractical, generic, or superficial advice thanks to prior hands-on experience with product development and systems integration as shared below.

I am among the top consultants worldwide in leading and supporting project to product transitions. I also have lots of experience with agile operating models and in improving ways of working in PMO, demand & capacity management, delivery management, product management, and executive decision making. 

My first book, Agile IT Org Design, published by Addison-Wesley (a unit of Pearson) in 2015, describes how to improve organizational agility in the digital enterprise. It was later translated to Korean and Chinese. It continues to be relevant for those in the pursuit of greater organizational and business agility.

Later, I began helping clients move their digital product development organizations away from a project-centric funding and execution model to a more customer and product-centric model. My writings on the topic have become a de-facto industry reference. See this, for example.

Earlier in my career, I worked as  an application developer and software architect for ten years including five years of applying  Extreme Programming methods such as test-driven development, continuous integration, and pair programming. As a product principal on GoCD, a continuous delivery pipeline tool, I conceptualized, designed, and served as a market-facing product leader for capabilities such as its command repository and its support for polling package repositories.

Endorsements & Testimonials

From my Clients

Since early 2022, Sriram has been advising my leadership team on transformation across number of fronts including our transition to a products and platform model, funding value streams, introducing OKRs for modernization and platform initiatives, driving role clarity between closely related management roles, streamlining work intake, strengthening enterprise architecture governance, reviewing delivery planning, and tracking processes, and surfacing software delivery analytics. I have always found him to be professional, competent, and mindful of team dynamics. His being remote (in Bangalore) hasn’t come in the way of his effectiveness. I have no hesitation in recommending Sriram as a solid all-round consultant to technology leaders. Sriram’s strength is his deep understanding of software delivery at scale and how people, process and technology impact the flow of delivery.  Amit Shah, CTO @ Peapod Digital Labs, an Ahold Delhaize USA company providing online grocery retail technology

In a public conference talk at Agile India 2022 about the use of KPI Trees at Travelopia, Sree Balakrishnan, Global Tech Director, Innovation & Products, was kind enough to say, "I'm eternally thankful to Sriram's advice in the last one year".

For my book, Agile IT Org Design

Enterprisers Project—a joint initiative of Harvard Business Review and RedHat—featured it as a must-read on the recommendation of John Marcante, CIO of Vanguard—the investment behemoth.

The book was also featured by Digital Leaders with a recommendation from Nick Williams, then-Managing Director, Consumer Digital, Lloyds Banking Group.

Sriram’s “Agile IT Org Design” should have been titled “great answers for your unanswered questions”. I can’t stop citing it. Ricard Vilà, Chief Digital Officer, LATAM Airlines

"adds an important team execution business context for architects"Eben Hewitt, Chief Technology Officer, Sabre Hospitality

"If you follow the advice in this book, your organisation will be the better for it. "—Dave Farley, co-author of the original book on Continuous Delivery 

"we were inspired in part by *your* book "Matthew Skelton, author of the book, Team Topologies

"My book and the knowledge around creating adaptable and agile operating models would not have happened if it wasn’t for Srirams book Agile IT Organization Design. There is a reason that the Team Topologies authors cite it as an inspiration for the team topologies patterns." Scott Millet, CIO, Iglu.com

Here's  a fuller list of pre-publication endorsements and selected reviews by readers.

For my experience report on transitioning from project to product (digital product teams)

Atlassian Jira endorses the approach I describe (see tweet)

Featured on HackerNews, run by Paul Graham's YCombinator

"An outstanding, detailed comparison"—John Grosshandler, VMWare (see tweet)

"One of the best articles I've read on large scale product/tech team organization."—Doug Turnbull, Shopify (see tweet)

"You triggered the journey I've been on for many years with your excellent Product Over Projects post."Trond Hjorteland, Scienta (see comment)

"Essential Reading"—Arian Jones,  Tasktop (see tweet)

"Excellent"— Marty Cagan, Silicon Valley Product Group (in his later article on the same topic)

From ThoughtWorks (Last Employer)

Sriram is one of those rare systems thinkers, able to step back and understand how the different parts of human systems interrelate to each other, and to propose systemic ways to improve them. Of course, this is what Sriram's book Agile IT Organization Design is all about: how structural, political, operational, and cultural facets of organization design influence overall IT agility, and how we can all promote better collaboration across diverse functions. Not only that; Sriram's humble and a pleasure to work with. I've enjoyed and learned from my every interaction with Sriram over the last decade or more, and have seen many of our clients do the same. I look forward to continuing to learn from him over the next decade+! 

Chris Murphy, CEO - ThoughtWorks North America

Sriram is one of the prominent global organisational thinkers in the world of responsive lean transformation change. At ThoughtWorks, he not only helped by literally writing the book on Agile Org Design but also helped both support & lead the evolving continual change in business ecosystems. Sriram’s experience of different business & technology teams and what creates success is exemplary especially at senior executive / leadership levels. I thank him for all the engagements & learning! 

Dilraj Aujla, Head of International Business at ThoughtWorks U.K.