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Sooner Safer Happier
Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility
by Jonathan Smart
with Zsolt Berend, Myles Ogilvie, and Simon Rohrer

Coming November 10, 2020

Jonathan Smart, business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach, reveals patterns and antipatterns to show how business leaders from every industry can help their organizations deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through high levels of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment.


Start Reading the Exclusive Excerpt
Better Value Sooner Safer Happier

It’s no secret that we are living in the Digital Age. Technology companies make up seven of the world’s ten largest firms by market capitalization. And the key to their success is the key to all modern organizations.

Jonathan Smart, business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach, reveals patterns and antipatterns to show how business leaders from every industry can help their organizations deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through high levels of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment. Through his decades of experience in the technology world, Smart provides business leaders with a blueprint for creating a world-class organization of the future.

Through Agile and Lean ways of working, business leaders can empower teams to improve production, grow together, and create better services for their customers. These better ways of working have overflowed from the IT department to every corner of successful organizations, taking root in every industry from aerospace to accounting, insurance to shipping.

This book is not about software development. It is not a book about the computer industry. This book is about applying agility across the entire organization. It’s a book that will put you at the front of change and ahead of the competition.

“It is a real pleasure to read a book that doesn’t assume 'Agile is the solution, now what is your problem?' This is a realistic approach to adopting (or not adopting) agile in your organization. The theory is sound; the practice is extensive. I strongly recommend this book.”

—Dave Snowden, Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge, Creator of Cynefin

About the Authors

Jonathan Smart is a business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach. Smart leads Deloitte’s Business Agility practice, helping organizations deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through the application of agile, lean, and DevOps principles and practices organization wide. Previously Smart lead Ways of Working globally for Barclays Bank, helping to triple productivity, where he and his team won the Best Internal Agile Team at the Agile Awards in 2016.

Smart is also the founder of the Enterprise Agility Leaders Network, a member of the Programming Committee for the DevOps Enterprise Summit, a member of the Business Agility Institute Advisory Council, a guest speaker at London Business School, and speaks at numerous conferences a year.


Myles Ogilvie has led, supported, and coached change initiatives within large and small enterprises for over twenty-five years. An advocate of no-nonsense problem-solving, he seeks to build transparency, improve collaboration, and enable outcomes that produce Better Value Sooner Safer Happier During 2016, when leading ways of working for a major UK investment bank during a period of intense regulatory and controls scrutiny, Myles applied lean and agile principles to risk management in the product development process. He is now a passionate advocate of patterns that can help foster a safer, leaner, and more innovative controls culture. 

Zsolt Berend is a business agility practitioner, coach, and trainer. He helps global organizations on their journey to achieving Better Value Sooner Safer Happier. He began his early career as a research fellow in astronomy, and then spent twenty years across industry sectors in various roles applying agile and lean practices, mainly in telecom, healthcare, financial services, and consulting. He was the global chair of the Agile Community of Practice at Barclays with more than 2,500 members, and with the Ways of Working Center of Enablement team, won “Best Internal Agile Team” at the Agile Awards 2016. He writes on Medium and is a speaker at conferences and meetups. His passion is data, measurements, insights, and the creation of learning organizations.

Simon Rohrer has been a hands on practitioner across both software engineering and enterprise architecture for over twenty-six years, and has had a passion for agile software development since picking up the eXtreme Programming white book in 1999. He’s passionate about an eclectic and pragmatic approach to modern ways of working, incorporating lean, agile, systems thinking, DevOps and other principles and practices at the right pace and in a human context in enterprises, typically with a legacy of existing technology and a drive to do things better.

“Most organizations would say they have a solid strategy, and some are pursuing new ways of working to achieve that strategy; however, often not in an optimal way. BVSSH is the unlock for organizations, and this book gives the practical guidance to WIN.”

—Courtney Kissler, VP, Global Technology, Nike

BVSSH Videos

“I can’t recommend this book enough. BVSSH is kind of a 'meta framework'—flexible yet explainable, realistic yet capable of step changes in effectiveness. Jon is a master coach and guide. Read, read again, and share.”

—John Cutler, Product Evangelist, Amplitude

More Praise for Sooner Safer Happier
"This book provides an indispensible guide for leaders who with to run truly agile organizations."
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David Silverman
Co-Author of Team of Teams, CEO of CrossLead
"What [Jon] has achieved and created to help others succeed is nothing short of exceptional."
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 Barry O'Reilly
Business Advisor, Entrepreneur, and Author of Unlearn and Co-Author of Lean Enterprise
"This is a realistic approach to adopting (or not adopting) agile in your organization. The theory is sound; the practice is extensive. I strongly recommend this book."
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Dave Snowden
Chief Scientific Officer, Cognitive Edge, and Creator of Cynefin
"[Jon] and his co-authors' observations and lessons succinctly summarize and teach what decades of books have failed to do."
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Gene Kim
Bestselling Author of The Unicorn Project and The Phoenix Project, Researcher, and Multiple Award-Winning CTO
"There are many books on WHAT was done and WHAT excellent firms do in their quest for success...This gem of guidance is destined to become the manual on HOW to deliver better value, sooner, safer, and happier."
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Micael Harte
Researcher, Advisor, Investor, Director, Ex-COO/CIO Santander, Barclays, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, PNC, Citi, Fonterra
"...a very practical guide on how to embrace agility in an ever increasingly digital, chaotic, and challenging world where the path to delivering outcomes is uncertain."
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Ian Buchanan
Independent Board Director and Advisor, Former CIO/COO Barclays, Societe Generale, Nomura
"This book is not just a great handbook to draw from to assist you on your journey, it is also a great read!"
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Sally Clark
Executive Coach, NED, Strategic Advisor and Avid Agilist
"Sooner Safer Happier covers business agility learnings thoroughly...Compelling."
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Patrick Eltridge
Seek, Westpac, Telstra, RBS, Nationwide
"If you want to improve how your organization works, read this book!"
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Julian Birkinshaw
Professor and Deputy Dean, London Business School
"...a must-read for leaders who have recognized the need to connect the cultural and the technological aspects of digital transformation."
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Mik Kersten
CEO, Tasktop
"A true business-wide perspective on Digital Transformation and the need for the whole business agility."
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Adam Banks
Non Executive Director and Former CTIO of AP Moller Maersk
"This is as close to a field guide as I have seen, and speaks of real and practical experience."
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Dawie Olivier
GM for Enterprise Transformation, Westpac
"This book is a treasure trove for anyone involved or interested in the theory and practice of business agility...A game-changer for our organization and I'm confident for others' too."
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Richard James
Ways of Working Enablement Leader, Nationwide Building Society
"[Sooner Safer Happier] describes a set of patterns and antipatterns—with a great set of skills—to help you understand what is happening to stop teams delivering SSH and why it may be happening.'"
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Jenny Wood
Delivering Customer Value
"...a handbook for overall organizational effectiveness and successful transformation..."
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Werner Loots
EVP Transformation, U.S. Bank
"BVSSh is kind of a 'meta framework'—flexible yet explainable, realistic yet capable of step changes in effectiveness."
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John Cutler
Product Evangelist, Amplitude
"Highly recommended. This book is an absolute must-read for business leaders responsible for leading transformational change."
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Brijesh Ammanath
CIO, Trade & Working Capital, Barclays
"[Sooner Safer Happier] is a must-read book if you want to stay relevant in your market and run a forward thinking organization."
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Christian Metzner
CIO, Volkswagon Financial Services UK
"This is a book that can be picked up by anyone across the business and is one that I will certainly be recommending to all our business and technology partners alike."
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Chris Orson
Head of Digital and Data, HSBC Securities Services
"BVSSH is the unlock for organizations, and this book gives the practical guidance to WIN."
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Courtney Kissler
VP, Global Technology, Nike
"[Sooner Safer Happier] has so many valuable enterprise agility lessons that it could be used for an MBA course."
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Leah Jochim
Experienced Enterprise Leader on Agile Ways of Working
"Truly a great and essential book for every agilist, leader, or change agent!"
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Ahmed Sidkey
PhD, President of the International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile) and Head of Business Agility at Riot Games
"Better Value Sooner Safer Happier. These five words, taken to heart, could very well change everything...The book itself is a masterpiece of both insight and practical advice...I couldn't stop reading."
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Evan Leybourn
Co-Founder and CEO, Business Agility Institute
"This book is an invaluable guide for change agents looking to help organizations to remain relevant and indeed thrive in an increasingly challenging business environment."
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Mark Lines
Co-Creator of Discipline Agile
"This advice comes 'from the trenches' and has been proven to work in practice. You will return over and over to this book for strategies to make your transformation a success."
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Scott Ambler
Vice President and Chief Scientist of Disciplined Agile
"Jonathan Smart's book is a timely call to action for organizations that wish to survive and thrive in the emerging digitally enabled, people-centric landscape."
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Matthew Skelton
Co-Author of Team Topologies
"This book is essential reading for organizations stuck with large 'scaling' frameworks that treat people and teams as interchangeable units."
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Manuel Pais
Co-Author of Team Topologies
Exclusive Preorder Offer 25% Off Hardcover

Code: SSH25
*Plus free shipping. Limited Time offer. Restrictions apply.
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Sooner Safer Happier
Antipatterns and Patterns for Business Agility

Coming November 10, 2020

Jonathan Smart, business agility practitioner, thought leader, and coach, reveals patterns and antipatterns to show how business leaders from every industry can help their organizations deliver better value sooner, safer, and happier through high levels of engagement, inclusion, and empowerment.

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*Includes free standard shipping. Offer valid 10/13/2020-11/6/2020. Limit 1 per customer. Limited to North America, UK, and EU. All sales final.

Books ship November 10, 2020. Please allow up to 2 weeks for delivery.

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