Tom Churchwell

Senior Consultant

Quality. Steady, value-added work. Learning. Tom considers these values as the “hallmarks of great organizations,” and he is dedicated to showing people how to create and maintain that environment in their company. “Speed and Quality without Compromise” defines how he approaches each engagement. He gets into the trenches with teams and shows them how to deliver value and quality through the iterative process. Bringing in an outside consultant can be challenging for those experiencing change and growth, but Tom’s hands-on approach lends itself to gaining the trust of the teams, executives, and stakeholders. When you love what you do and enjoy making a difference in people’s lives, it’s hard not to be well received, even by the most ardent change resisters. During his 30+ year career, Tom has held roles in both the military and civilian worlds. As a civilian, Tom has been Director of Application Development, Director of IT Business operations, Principal Consultant, and CIO. However, he is far more proud of being a member of the US Army National Guard. Entering in 1979 as a private, he advanced to the rank of Buck Sergeant before an 18-month hiatus. Upon returning, he went to Officers Candidate School before being accepted for Aviation Training. Over the remainder of his military career, Tom flew UH-1 Utility, AH-1 Attack, and OH-58 Scout helicopters until he ended his military service—as a Captain—in 2001. While learning to fly, Tom completed his education, graduating from Regis University with a Bachelor of   Science degree in Computer Information Systems. His aviation background coincided well with his civilian role in aerospace at CTA Inc., where he and a team built F-15, F-16, F-18, AH-1, and Learjet flight simulators. After moving to Michigan, he helped build the Data Center for FocusHope in Detroit.  Shortly thereafter, he became a consultant with DCCI—building Mission Critical Data Centers with Fortune 500 companies throughout Michigan. Then, in 2002, Tom was introduced to XP, Test-Driven Development and Agile practices. He was drawn to the iterative, customer-oriented processes and the power of continuously improving teams. He became committed to helping organizations produce a competitive advantage through early feedback and showing teams how to harness the power of iterative learning as a way to embody and retain new skills. In 2003, Tom joined the ranks of Pillar where he led the development of internal practices for every phase of the application lifecycle—from the Business Case and Justification, through Architecture Design and Development, as well as Testing and Rollout to Production.  Helping lead an Agile Transformation at Budco in 2006, Tom became Director of Application Development and subsequently Director of IT Business Operations, where he was responsible for all phases of IT Estimation, Requirements, Project Execution, and Reporting. In 2008, he became part of an even larger-scale Agile Transformation as an IT Director at Gale Cengage. In 2016, Tom joined LeadingAgile, where he’s quickly become an asset to our organization. He believes that the dynamic marketplace demands that we continually learn and adapt in order to compete. When Tom isn’t leading large-scale Agile Transformations, he is an occasional blogger for the LeadingAgile website and serves on the Board of Directors for FreeStar Financial Credit Union as well as Agile Events, a Michigan based non-profit.