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The Struggle is Real: Moving from Project to Product

Today’s agricultural revolution is a digital one, and John Deere is focused on unlocking customer value with the Smart Industrial journey. In this keynote, hear from Carollyn Gehrke, TBM Product Manager at John Deere, on using TBM to help accelerate the transformation of an IT cost center to a dynamic digital product investment model.

You’ll hear how her product team is enabling digital product leadership to make informed decisions about product investments, with transparency to product aligned resources and applications. Shifting the conversation from portfolio investments to one about persistent teams and resources for the lifespan of digital products, Carollyn has experience in the TBM journey enabling technology budget owners and empowering the product owners to drive Deere’s digital transformation.


Carollyn Gehrke
Product Manager, Technology Business Management
John Deere

Session Type:

Solutions & Products:

Targetprocess, TBM

Technical Level:

Presented By:

Executive Strategy Forum Sessions

A look back at 10 years of TBM leadership and community building.


  • Eileen Wade, General Manager, TBM Council

Innovating through technology is not new. For decades technology leaders have navigated the landscape of delivering competitive innovations that drive business value. CIOs have been known as “Transformational Leaders” and “Change Agents” – and this remains true today. However, what escalated seemingly overnight was the competing need to reconceptualize both employee and customer engagements that deliver anytime, anywhere experiences with minimal risk and a nimbleness rarely seen before. In this session, discussion leaders will share their own experiences and set up table engagements for attendees to answer various questions, including:

  • Is modernization the driving force behind the “Mega CIO”?
  • Is the “Mega CIO” a fit for all strategies?
  • Are executives with line-of-business backgrounds relegating professionals with technology-focused backgrounds to the executive sidelines?
  • If not the CIO, then who else is as uniquely positioned to understand and lead company and product strategy transformations?

Discussion Leader:

  • Les Ottolenghi, EVP & Chief Information and Technology Officer, Stride

Public cloud strategies are often embraced for the promise of rapid scalability, on-demand agility, and best-in-class security, resiliency, and features. However, public cloud adoption presents significant financial challenges that, when not addressed, inhibit any firm’s ability to exploit the promises of public cloud. In this session, we’ll hear from leaders who are managing their cloud strategy with both TBM and FinOps, and how they are leveraging the maturity and rigor of TBM to align their organization’s capabilities and requirements. We’ll then break into small groups to discuss both challenges and approaches for building and launching a TBM-for-Cloud journey, including:

  • Defining a TBM-for-Cloud function with FinOps
  • Practices for tailoring FinOps to your organization based on goals and capabilities
  • Establishing company financial constructs and controls
  • Benefits of building a FinOps capability with the oversight and governance of TBM

Discussion Leader:

  • Nathan Besh, TBM-for-Cloud Evangelist, TBM Council

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity in 2021 surpassed the level achieved before the global pandemic, with $5.1 trillion worth of M&A transactions being completed across multiple industries. Success is non-negotiable, so corporate boards look to technology leaders to articulate how a deal will lower costs, mitigate risk, and increase revenue. To achieve this, many leaders have found that TBM is their Rosetta stone for navigating the three key phases of M&A: due diligence, integration, and run/optimize. In this discussion hear from executive peers who are leveraging TBM to deliver successful M&A processes with transparency, including the ability to:

  • Better identify areas of synergistic opportunity, risk, activity, and expected outcomes
  • Prioritize critical decisions about people, organizational structure, major system consolidation, and standardization
  • Provide the capabilities that determine how the organization is running, where costs are, and how to prioritize and optimize activities that are realized
  • Establish an improvement loop that creates a repeatable M&A playbook

Discussion Leader:

  • Carolyn Gehrke, TBM Product Manager, John Deere

Delivering business value faster is a primary reason why many organizations are aggressively scaling Agile practices across their enterprise. At the same time these practices can conflict with traditional ways of working including planning, organizational, and funding models. Agile practices risk creating financial blind spots for both product teams who are expected to make decisions faster and with more autonomy than ever before, and their financial peers. In this session, hear from executives who are applying the rigor and guidance of TBM to Agile-at-scale so they can maximize their shift from projects-to-products quickly and transparently. Discussion topics will include:

  • Best practices for gaining company-wide support to make the shift
  • Experiences and challenges maintaining cost transparency alongside Enterprise Agile
  • Identifying and prioritizing opportunities for TBM and Enterprise Agile frameworks (SAFe, Spotify Model, Scrum of Scrums, etc.)
  • Prioritizing Agile-specific financial management solutions for TBM

Discussion Leader:

  • Justin Mann, TBM-for-Agile Evangelist, TBM Council

Agenda subject to change