50 Smartest Companies of the Year 2016

Transform business capability into the 21st century with ZenExMachine’s Agile and Digital Products and Services

Together, we can make the complex simple”

The digital economy has transformed the way both small and large businesses operate. Competition, government policy,
industry standards and regulations all requires smarter, faster, leaner ways of working. As such, digital transformation is a major challenge faced by both commercial and government enterprises seeking products and services that are easy to use, easy to access, and delivered in the most effective and efficient way possible to their stakeholders. There is also increased pressure on budgets to “do more with less” and achieve quicker returns on investments. Customer expectations of products and services are also rising – wanting higher quality products, faster service, and a more personal experience from corporates and government alike.

To meet the challenges that modern organizations face, Zen Ex Machina (ZXM) was created in 2011 by its three founders with the aim to help clients solve the complex business problems with solutions of elegant simplicity. With headquarters in both Australia and New Zealand, ZXM facilitates enterprises to move on from traditional development methodologies by helping them to adapt, change and improve starting from utilization of resources, focus on creation of value, to meet the demands of the digital age and become faster, smarter and more agile businesses.

Simplicity; ZXM lives by it
Simplicity is at the heart of ZXM’s core values. It uses 21st century, digital, agile techniques to understand complicated business problems. Beginner’s Mind and minimalism is always at the forefront of the company’s thinking and agile methods are at the core of its practice. With a highly collaborative and disciplined approach to Agile methods like Scrum, Kanban and Lean, ZXM helps businesses transform its practices quickly, with minimal waste, and with high repeatability. As a result, their client’s learning and delivery gets faster and better, and organisational practices get improved continuously.

The ZXM Skill Set
ZXM’s core competencies lie in the use of behavioral change methods, design thinking, continuous improvement, and digital agility.

The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) of Behavioural Change by Prochaska and DiClimente helps ZXM to step organisations through a pragmatic sequence of change creating long-lived behaviours and promoting cultural change.

Design Thinking focuses ZXM consultants to engage in curious, critical and creative dialogues in collaboration with their clients to solve complex problems. By using empathy for the context of a problem, insights are drawn from the context space with rational analysis of the traceability of solutions back to the problem space. In essence, design is used to match people’s needs with what is technologically feasible and viable as a business strategy.

ZXM uses the Deming Cycle (P-D-C-A) as the foundation of its delivery – an iterative approach used to introduce continuous improvement from continuous delivery. Specifically, ZXM uses P-D-C-A in the form of Scrum – one of many agile methods – as the basis for all consulting products and services regardless of whether they are software-based or not – from management consulting reports, to user-experience advice, strategic reviews and agile coaching.

Better, simpler solutions through close collaboration
ZXM employs Agile, Lean and UX methods, such as Lean UX and Design Thinking, as multi-disciplinary tools to bring clarity and transparency to customer problems because while delivery can be agile, products may not be fit to engage if user-experience is not considered. Also, without Lean, the speed to market for a digital business product or service may suffer.
For its government clients, ZXM uses Lean to bring transparency to their value chain, UX Story Mapping to help identify pain-points with existing government services, and Scrum to rapidly develop and deliver digital, lower cost, citizen-centric solutions. For corporate clients, regardless of size, using Lean UX and Scrum helps to collaborate on producing simpler solutions that delight and engage with fast feedback loops. The result is high quality that is faster to market and can meet immediate customer needs with less cost. Close collaboration is the key to ZXM’s approach. The goal is not only to collaboratively help solve problems, but also to learn to apply these tools themselves in a sustainable way. ZXM’s objective is ultimately to teach clients how to improve their digital business products and services for themselves

A natural at being distinct
ZXM is a pioneer in the field of application of behavioral science to assist its clients with agile adoption and digital transformation. Culture is a key perpetual issue for many clients and the Company’s unique blend of frameworks from social and organizational psychology and behavioral change help alleviate the problems of adoption in a way that is sustainable, long-lived and unique amongst its competitors. These frameworks underpin ZXM’s consulting services from Agile Coaching and Training to Digital Agility and Project, Program and Portfolio Management.

The company’s client spectrum includes a wide range of the Government businesses such as Australian Taxation Office, Australian Institute of Sport, Australian Communications and Media Authority, Australian National Maritime Museum, Department of Health and Ageing, Department of Industry and Innovation, Comcare and commercial business like eBay, Origin Energy, Superchoice, The Web Showroom and Cupid Media.

Rapid growth but untouched values
ZXM is present across Australia and New Zealand and works with clients in Sydney, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Canberra and Wellington (NZ). The company’s growth has doubled the past year and has also doubled its consultant base to meet an expanding demand for agility in consulting services and in agile transformation. ZXM is advancing but still seeks to stay true to core values of simplicity, agility, collaboration, sustainability and value. The company looks forward to expand its presence across the Asia Pacific region.

“No one at ZXM is ever happy with just ‘good’ – it has to be ‘better’. This is what we always strive to deliver.”