Agile Business Change Blog


Which way does the gate go?

Imagine the scenario.  You are working for an organisation or PMO that takes  a relatively 'waterfall' view of the world, with phases and gates.  You spend a large part of your effort trying to get out of the current phase by satisfying the exit criteria to get through the gate.

Q: What can I personally do to become more Agile in this envrionment?

Quite often I hear clients referring to themselves along the lines of "we are not a call centre" yet at the same time the telephone remains a vital way by which clients acquire and then use their services. Toby Roberts the IT Director at The British Horse Society brought this very interesting article to my attention, it is worth a read and full of interesting and reusable information.


Why did the salesman cross the road?

This is, I should warn you in advance, an utterly pointless blog. It is also very boring. However, it has a joke at the end of it. It concerns the last part of my journey to work. I walk from Green Park Station to our office on Jermyn Street. I usually walk down the south side of Piccadilly and turn right just past the Ritz. I then make left turn and cross St James’s Street. It would be more efficient, if there was no traffic, to simply carry on down Piccadilly, but as St James’s Street is busy with traffic I end up slightly lower down and cross at the zebra crossing.

Following on from Stan's post on relative estimation I feel the need to comment on why we don't estimate in days or hours, and why relative estimation is better and lower maintenance for planning and tracking projects.

There are three key reasons we don't use absolute estimates:

  • Developers don't like committing to man day estimates
  • Contingency gets added in at many different stages bloating the estimates
  • Project managers assume the estimates are fixed

Why can't we get to the 'Point(s)'?

Whenever I work with a new technical team, one of the biggest challenges I usually encounter is establishing the use of relative estimation. People are simply uncomfortable with using points for relative estimation and want to constantly convert them back to days and then throw their hands up in the air and say ‘what’s the point?’ in more than one way.

The British Horse Society has launched a brand new digital destination, via its new website developed on Sitecore via digital partners e3.  The site overhaul is part of an on-going technology modernisation programme for the British Horse Society, architected and programme managed by IndigoBlue that will improve the overall membership experience and provide a strong platform for future developments. Further benefits planned for 2013 include the development of a fully personalised membership area and closer integration with the new CRM and membership system developed on Silverbear's Microsoft Dynamics CRM platform.


Let’s Cherish the Unpredictable

Having been a fan of Nicholas Taleb’s previous books, The Black Swan and The Power of Randomness, I was interested to read an article in this morning’s Metro regarding his latest offering, Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder .


Check your back up arrangements

I recently came across an incident where a UPS (uninterruptable power supply) caught fire owing to a fault with the battery, the supplier replaced it without cost and outside of warranty all to aware of the implications of this piece of kit which is intended to support business continuity in fact bringing most of the service down!


Agile Business Change

Agile is now established within the IT industry as a means for delivering more business value faster. However, there is a problem. IT created the concept of Agile (with a capital “A”) and many people therefore see it as an IT delivery process and assume that it does not affect other parts of business change. At the same time, on the IT delivery side, there is frustration because so much more could be achieved “if only the business were more Agile”.

Yesterday I read with interest an article on the BobsGuide Website that reflected on the increasing reliance of businesses on IT systems, not being matched by a thorough enough IT audit, to check that the systems are being optimised. Of the companies surveyed by Proviti a significant proportion had no process in place by which to conduct an IT Audit and those that do are not effective at the next steps required to redress problems and close gaps.

About IndigoBlue

Since incorporation in 2002, we have built an unrivaled reputation, successfully delivering a number of the UK's largest Agile change programmes.

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