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We enable our clients to deliver faster, unlocking their ability to be more effective by creating better agile practices and leadership. 

Cicada Agility was established by Co-Founders Julia Kaissling and Shawna Cullinan. Julia and Shawna came together almost 10 years ago from different angles, one focusing on agile practices, the other focusing on agile leadership. Together we work end to end from the way we prioritize & cascade responsibility to the organization, to how we establish culture & the way that we work in our teams. We collectively help drive accountability and decision-making in organizations.  A core tenet of our approach is taking retrospectives to the next level and using "Hansei" to help organizations change.  

Hansei  (反省, "self-reflection") means to acknowledge one's own mistake and to pledge to improve. The ability to learn from the past is crucial in our ability to evolve, and establishing the safety and willingness to recognize that opportunity for growth is a key component of our approach.

We chose the name "Cicada" because in many cultures, Cicadas represent personal change, renewal, rebirth, and transformation. Cicada's do not have a pupa state, instead, they transform from one fully-functioning state (instar) to another.  Change is constant. While personal change occurs, it is the Cicada's work in team, raising their voice in unity and harmoniously in rhythm that really makes them heard. Just like in organizations, while personal development and self reflection is critical for success, it's the greater team where organizations really feel the "hum" and excitement.


Shawna and Julia both have deep knowledge and first-hand experience in both Start-Ups as well as large Enterprise organizations leading organizational transformation and change.  Our comprehensive body of best practices from experience - has enabled us to create a philosophy and body of work that can help any willing organization grow and change. From leadership to product delivery.

Come work with us and watch your teams grow and flourish.

Lotus in Bloom

Meet the Co-Founders

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Shawna Cullinan

Co-Founder and Delivery Consultant

Shawna has worked in product development organizations for over 25 years.  She uncovers the challenges that prevent teams from getting their products to market and teams from operating to their potential. Her focus is not only on agile systems within product development, but the entire ecosystem within the organization.  A holistic approach to up-leveling and eliminating waste affecting efficiency.

Agile approach is not singular, Shawna looks across all agile, lean and design thinking frameworks to build an extensive toolbox for each unique organization to facilitate collaboration and empower change.


Julia Kaissling

Co-Founder and Executive Coach

Julia is driven by cultivating leadership, and personal development in organizations. She has years of executive coaching experience and organizational design while cultivating a coaching culture within organizations. Her aim is to develop positive and authentic atmospheres and create an engaging environment for all.

Julia has a strong background in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion through practicing and experiencing other view points of the world. She has lived and worked in Japan and Africa and highlights building well-balanced diverse organizations.

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