Angela Johnson, CEO and founder of Collaborative Leadership Team, is celebrating eight years in business by opening a training center for the formerly virtual management consulting company.

The company — also known as CoLeadTeam — offers training, coaching and consulting services to companies adopting project management approaches known as Agile and Scrum. Collaborative Leadership Team, which has 11 employees, is unusual because it consists of a team of coaches and trainers and uses Scrum to run the company, she said. Most such consultants are one- or two-person operations. Johnson, who founded the company in 2010, adopted the team concept and name in 2014. “I need to be part of a team if I’m going to teach teamwork,” she said.

She said she and a team member are among fewer than 250 certified Scrum trainers in the world. Clients include Hennepin County Enterprise Development and Nova-Tech Engineering

In August, CoLeadTeam, which had operated virtually, began working in the West End development in St. Louis Park, Johnson said. Its 8,800-square-foot training center is expected to open in October.

The company next month will host its annual Scrum Day MN conference, Johnson said. Clients will describe their experiences with adopting Scrum and Agile. Profits go to local nonprofit organization.

Q: What issues does your team help clients address?

A: It’s not uncommon for us to come in to an information technology or software group and their most common reason is, “We need to deliver faster” A number of digital agencies in town [and] marketing agencies are starting to use this because it can provide a more efficient approach to getting stuff done. We’ve got a number of clients who produce integrated products that have hardware, firmware, electrical engineering and they’ve seen a significant return from changing to this way of doing work. They deliver faster, they’re reducing errors and they’re reducing costs.


Q: What differentiates CoLeadTeam?

A: Being woman-owned is always a perk. But to learn Agile and Scrum from a team who lives and breathes Agile and Scrum is a primary differentiator. We’re one of the only firms locally that’s offering training that has as many referenceable clients as we do (more than 100). There are a lot of people who teach but they don’t coach.


Q: What’s driving demand for Agile training and coaching?

A: The biggest reason companies are looking at moving to this is they need to be able to turn on a dime for a dime. Customers are voting with their wallets and their feet. If organizations can’t respond to their own customer needs in a faster, more efficient way that doesn’t sacrifice quality, they’re done.