50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2016

Solving Complex Problems of Businesses: Elabor8


“Strategy is about making choices, trade-offs; it’s about deliberately choosing to be different.” – Michael Porter

In today’s global economic environment, executives need to deliver their strategic objectives faster than ever before and be able to adapt to competitive disruption and the changing needs of the consumer. Smaller enterprises have shown the way through the adoption of agile, lean startup and other innovative methods. Elabor8 was launched in 2009 with the idea of creating an environment where business focused agile consultants could come together to form high performance teams and to work together on solving the complex problems of businesses.

“We focused first and foremost on attracting, developing and retaining the brightest and most passionate people in the industry,” said Paul Velonis, Founder & Managing Director. “Six years into our journey and we are now one of Australia’s fastest growing consultancies having made BRW’s FAST 100 list for the last two years running and growing at above 50% year on year. We are seen as a leader in the industry and actively sought out by both the Online, Startup and Corporate segments for our advisory, transformation and capability uplift services in innovation, agility and delivery,” he added.

The company is positioned in the market as a forward thinking and adaptive consultancy. Elabor8 seeks out the latest approaches and methods that are being pioneered in the startup, online and agile product development communities and it helps adapt these to work in large enterprises to help them better compete in the global marketplace. Its strengths are innovation, agility and a deep understanding of large scale enterprise architecture.

A Modern Product Development & Management Consultancy
Unlike other management consultancies who roll out a group of industry specialized MBA consultants, Elabor8 differentiator is that it inherently understands the way companies need to work in the digital age.

“We have a diverse group of very experienced Principal Consultants whose background mirrors those of the key areas of our clients. We can therefore spread out and provide transformation and uplift to Management/Product/Development/ Architecture/Operations. We also have a deep pool of consultants who can support these leaders and act as their arms and feet leading initiatives at the working level. This allows us to spread out within an organization and multiply our impact to transform in a way that is unmatched by our competitors,” emphasized Paul.

Product & Service Offerings
Elabor8 teaches clients how to be forward thinking and adaptive, by looking at what the most innovative startup companies are doing and helping to adapt these methods for the enterprise.

Innovation & Product Design
Elabor8 shows customers how to employ ethnographic approaches which take the product development team on a journey of discovery, helping them build empathy with their customers, discover insight into the marketplace and bring that back as inspiration to the product development process.

Agile Program and Portfolio Transformation
A key service offering for clients is its approach to agile program and portfolio management which encapsulates strategy & investment funding, governance and program management. The company believes that the effective fulfillment of this function and responsibilities are critical for success and the focus here is to ensure the enterprise is “Doing the right thing” and “Solving the right problems” and this is particularly important when working at scale.

Agile Coaching
Elabor8 offers clients coaching at all levels of the organization. Its coaches have worked with many different teams across many industries. Whether it’s coaching a key member of their teams, their middle management, or even coaching their senior leadership team, it helps guide clients through the mindset shift required to successfully adopt agility.

Agile Delivery & Capability Uplift
For clients who are looking for an immediate Agile Team Uplift, Elabor8 often embeds specialist agile practitioners who help them deliver their projects while also uplifting the team members around them.

Lean Business Architecture
Elabor8 has developed a Lean Business Architecture approach that can coexist with agile delivery approaches and also supports product development based on lean startup and hypothesis driven development.

The company’s Academy offers training for practitioners, by practitioners. Its trainers are genuine stars of the industry who have first-hand experience of how theory is really used in practice.

Targeting Progressive-minded Clientele
Elabor8 targets progressively minded organizations that are looking for ways to improve both their time to market and their organizational capability to be better able to compete in the marketplace. The Elabor8 team works with companies where a large component of their products and services are delivered through Digital channels, and therefore most of the work they do is in companies with large software teams.

The company’s largest clients at present are:

  • National Australia Bank (Preferred supplier for Agile Capability)
  • Australia Post (Preferred supplier for Agile Capability)
  • Monash University (Leading Agile Organizational Transformation)
  • MYOB (Agile Capability)
  • TabCorp (Agile Organizational Transformation)
  • Unisuper (Agile Capability)

Client Feedback
“Elabor8’s approach is focused on knowledge transfer and coaching over a period of time to ensure that project staff evolve and mature in their application of scaled agile methodology to a level of capability that they can sustain on their own moving forward. This has enabled us to significantly increase visibility of our projects, expedite decision making, empower project staff, and understand how to drive a culture of delivering solutions to our end users in a timely and engaging manner that we could not have achieved without their support.” – Jane Holt Executive Director, Office of the Provost & Senior Vice-President at Monash University – MyResearch Program

The Road Ahead
Elabor8’s Agile Transformation program is today grounded in the practices of Agile IT delivery but the company’s focus on both methodology and people is to grow its capabilities and strengths into total organizational agility, linking very strongly to aspects of innovation.

Knowing the Leader

Paul Velonis, Founder & Managing Director – Paul founded Elabor8 with business partners Andrew Blain and Nam Huynh after a long career advising for some of Australia’s most prominent brands while working within some of the most respected global management consultancies. Paul’s forte was building and then leading high performance product delivery teams guided by his core principles of Strategy, Innovation, Collaboration and Performance. He has adapted these same principles to mould the culture and drive the growth of Elabor8.

Paul is an active networker and connector in the Agile, Product and Innovation Communities of both Melbourne & Sydney and is also involved (pro-bono) in big picture projects for the NFP and Charity sector where the initiatives are ambitious and offer to contribute meaningful and lasting change to the sector.