Earlier this week I attended TechUK's seminar on Government as a Platform (GaaP), where Richard Sergeant, Director of Performance & Delivery at the Government Digital Service (GDS), exchanged views and opinions with Mark Thompson, Senior Lecturer in Information Systems at Cambridge Judge Business School and Strategy Director of Methods Group.
Over the past ten days I have attended three network events, each was different in origin and type of attendee, all were interesting for a variety of reasons, and what I want to reflect on is the differing commentary that I observed about Agile and agile….
Time and time again I hear ‘it’s all about velocity!’ I think that brash statement is wrong for a number of reasons but I would like to look into just one for them for now, costs. So let’s look at an analogy that should help to demonstrate my point. In my widget factory I make widgets. My employees manufacture widgets by assembling component parts. If I just measure ‘velocity’ I will be counting how many saleable widgets are coming off the production line. That’s a great metric for sure but wouldn’t I be thought of as naive if I didn’t look at my operating costs and other expenses?
“Why is IT so expensive” is a common refrain when working with clients on large-scale technology change programmes. On the face of it the many millions that are spent can seem excessive, but are they really?
Four years ago today David Cameron made a speech at the Strategic Supplier Summit, in which he committed his government to “make the whole [government procurement] system a lot more welcoming to small and medium-sized firms”.
As an agile practitioner, I always look to deliver features that have “high business value”. In general this means:
I found myself trying to explain to a client the difference between a risk and an uncertainty the other day and it wasn’t for the first time. The problem is that it isn’t that easy to do and many people think they are the same thing.
I know people who know people. By which I mean, I have friends who work for the security services in secret departments such as GCHQ and MI6. They are all fantastically discrete and never admit to their real job, somehow managing to hold their tongues and describe themselves as “Civil Servants” or, when pressed, “Supervisors” or “Project Managers.” They are serious, Guardian reading types who are fervent believers in the public sector but are irritated that webmail is now routinely encrypted as it makes intercepting it more difficult.
One of the developing themes on a current client assignment is connected to the excessive busyness of the IT team and the detrimental impact this is having on their performance and critically their perceived performance in the eyes of their customers in Sales and Marketing.