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Health Check

What to expect: An intensive review of people, processes, code, and product.

Results: Opinionated, detailed report with extensive recommendations; follow-up support.

Suitable for: Rapid assessment and advice, or pre-investment due diligence.

Price: £15,000

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Whether you'd like an objective, hard-hitting opinion on your own technology function, or you're investing in or acquiring a company and want to understand its technological advantages, challenges, and context, I can help you. I cover every aspect of the tech organisation, from code and architecture to product design, from recruitment and budget to technology leadership. And I focus on the key areas you identify for investigation, producing extensive, opinionated recommendations on each. I've conducted health checks for investors like Commerz Ventures, Octopus Ventures, and Smedvig Capital, and for over 50 companies located all around the world, from California to Scotland and Russia to Australia.


What's included

During the setup phase, I agree with you, the executive sponsor or investor, on key focus areas to be covered in addition to my standard topics below:

  • Organisation, Team and Management
  • Engineering Information Systems
  • Engineering Documentation
  • Product Direction
  • Development Process
  • Code and Architecture
  • Data and Analytics
  • Operations
  • Risk Management

Get in touch if you'd like me to send you a sample report (for an imaginary company!) that shows how I evaluate and describe each topic and provide hard-hitting, pragmatic recommendations throughout.


The participants

On my side, I lead the investigation and am always available to you for questions and clarifications at any stage of the process. You can read all about my over 20 years of experience and the over 130 companies I've consulted with elsewhere on this website. I often involve an experienced technical leader to work alongside me and to carry out some of the more detailed technical investigations—but I am responsible for everything I report on and all the recommendations and opinions I provide.

On the company side, in addition to the executive or investor sponsor, I typically meet with technical leaders, product managers, team leads, data scientists, operations staff, and at least one internal customer such as the head of marketing or customer service. I need no more than 30-60 minutes with each of these people to form a complete view of the systems and effectiveness of the technology team.


How it works

After you pay a single, flat fee covering all of my work (including report writing and followup), the health check process starts with an email introduction to the technology team and a discussion with you about the key areas of focus. I provide a detailed description of the process and work with technology leaders to identify a day for our virtual visit along with people to meet, systems to access, documents to review (often already in a data room or similar document store), and answers to key preparatory questions. Although there are many setup steps, each should be very brief to complete, and teams usually find they need no more than an hour or two to get fully ready.

Next, my assistant and I spend an intensive day working with and interviewing the team. These interviews are normally conducted over video calls for efficiency, and are arranged to match the time zones and schedule of the team. We also perform checks on architecture, design, code, and project management systems, sampling key elements and focussing on the areas of greatest concern to you.

Finally, we compose a report of about 20 pages covering all our findings in the areas listed above. The report includes opinionated recommendations on all aspects of the health check, drawing on my extensive experience with technology teams at all stages of development. I submit this report to you and you may share it or not as you wish—though I usually recommend that technical leaders get the chance to see the recommendations and evaluations in it. If you or the technical leadership or both have questions and clarifications to discuss, I'm happy to book a further discussion at your convenience (and of course for no additional charge).


The timing

I suggest allowing about a week for preparation, though as noted above, gathering documents and answering questions should take no more than an hour or two of actual work. Interviews with team members normally take no more than a day in total, with each interview lasting 30-60 minutes. The detailed report should be completed about a week after the interview day. Follow-up calls and queries are welcome in the month after report delivery.


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Health Check

What to expect: An intensive review of people, processes, code, and product.

Results: Opinionated, detailed report with extensive recommendations; follow-up support.

Suitable for: Rapid assessment and advice, or pre-investment due diligence.

Price: £15,000

Buy Now