Mike Osborne

Mike had the (mis?) fortune to meet Dave McIntosh when he was leading a large complex initiative, within a telecommunications company, to redesign the way software was developed and delivered. Each week a meeting was scheduled for 2 hours to go through the complex issues and changes that would be required across many processes to make this radical change work.

On a number of occasions, after about one hour the meeting would conclude. Mike would sit there with a somewhat stunned expression as this wasn’t how meetings worked in his experience. They had to at least fill the available time if not go over it. Dave was facilitating these meetings and using a meeting process that was the forerunner of Action Meetings. The difference was obvious, the results spoke for themselves. Maybe we couldn’t achieve a major shift in software delivery - but we could change the way meetings worked.

Up till then Mike had been working in a multitude of IT software development roles in small to large organisations in New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom.
Dashboard Reporting - example dashboard

Mike had a strong interest in finding and developing better practices and having been inspired by the book “One Page Management“, the development of “traffic light” reporting and the idea of other visual reporting he developed the first software-driven “dashboard reporting” system.

Mike continued in software development up till the year 2000. He focussed on software quality initiatives and development methodology (especially of the “light” variety) and was the president of Software Quality New Zealand and was later persuaded to present to the group - “Software Testing: A Necessary Evil“.

Post Y2K Mike spent less time with software and more time working on Action Meetings, CATS, dashboard reporting and associated consulting.

A highlight of this period for Mike was facilitating two meetings between an IT supplier and a government department using the Action Meetings process. The relationship had gone sour and the IT supplier was about to lose a $1 million per year account. From a tense start, the meeting process allowed the issues to be identified in a dispassionate manner and the actions to sort things out identified and assigned. End result was a continuation of the account including a significant development component and higher value. Action Meetings did it again!

The last few years have been focussed on management consulting on a range of business, IT and measurement and reporting assignments primarily to public sector organisations.

Mike has also developed a web consultancy business, Web Success, that sets itself apart by working from the customer’s perspective to design, build and implement web technology solutions. He is also a strong advocate for usable software and web sites. He advises on web accessibility as a director of AccEase a company specialising in web site accessibility.

In his spare time he can be found walking around Harcourt Park throwing plastic discs into metal baskets - it’s called Flying Disc Golf.