I have been a Senior Agile Consultant at IndigoBlue Consulting since 2006, and have been running or coaching Agile teams since the late 90's where I helped a software house adapt to a new way of working.
I have applied Agile working methods and supported organisations adopt Agile in varied environments; product development companies, large retail organisations, financial services companies, charities and media organisations. Key companies I have worked with to assist them with their adoption of Agile include Carphone Warehouse, Reuters, BT (as Technical Director for an internal start-up business), IFDS (International Financial Data Services), Guardian Online, Home Office, Metropolitan Police, Target Group and the Institute for Physics.
My approach to supporting teams is very hands on. I provide a good overview of what the objectives of Agile delivery are and how to govern agile projects. This is followed up with interactive sessions to define stories, build a backlog, asses the resource requirements and create the plan. With a solid foundation I then coach the teams on Agile techniques and engage specialists to support me in the delivery of detailed engineering practices.
Not only do I assist organisations in the adoption of Agile within software delivery, but I coach organisations to adopt incremental delivery throughout their organisation and have supported them in developing governed incremental change strategies that enhance their business proposition.
In 2010, I was involved in guiding the Institute for Government with their research and recommendations into the use of Agile and Open Source software within Government, presenting the output of a practical application of Agile within the Metropolitan Police to Sir Ian Magee and the Government Task Force.
I have a particular passion for engaging with the commercial side of organisations to ensure that the contractual framework that suppliers of software products and services enter into with their clients is aligned to facilitating the Agile approach and not constraining it.Job Title: Senior Consultant
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.
The time has come for you to consider who you should be nominating for the Agile Awards for 2013!
I read a great blog entry today on The View Inside Me and thought that maybe organisations should have bucket lists too!
While I was working with one of my clients a few years a go, I was given a book to read by the CEO. "The Speed of Trust". I read the book with a healthy dose of scepticism having read many management books in the past. But this book resonated with the core principles of Agile for me.
I must admit I'm not a prolific tweeter, or twit as a recent customer described people who tweet, and recently I've realised why.
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
To answer that you need to define a bug. A bug is something that doesn't provide the desired capability within the system provided.
Now we could get hung up on the difference between a bug and a change, but that distinction is only important for managing the commercial contract. However, that's a subject for another blog post!
The Government has made some progress in adopting Agile, but there is a long way to go. So says an update from the Institute for Government (IfG) on their report - System Error - from a year ago.
The IfG update report - System upgrade? The first year of the Government's ICT strategy - says that whilst the strategy commits the Government to use a more Agile approach, achieving its target of 50% of projects using Agile techniques by April 2013 will be extremely difficult. "Until agile approaches become the norm, we are likely to see further examples of major government IT projects that experience vast cost overruns and produce solutions that are out of date by the time they are delivered."
I set out this morning with a specific plan, a specific goal. The 516 from Bishops Stortford, the 645 from Paddington, at work in Cardiff for 9.
Well, for those who commute regularly, it's been one of those days! So far nothing has gone to plan. I find myself in a different place at a different time.
Ok, so its probably an over-used senior management phrase, but I can't help but think adopting Agile is a bit like starting up and growing your own business.
When someone has a new idea for a business, they usually start small, figure out the rules of business, find out what they need to do to make their business work, identify their market, tailor their product, get the pricing right, identify how to sell their product, win some business, re-invest the learning and profits into the business to help it grow.
I've been thinking about the way Government is approaching the challenge of adopting a more Agile approach to IT.
The current Government ICT Strategy includes the follow specific targets:
The key issue in scaling Agile is ensuring that the correct governance principles are adopted and scaled as the use of Agile evolves. Many organisations use Agile methods successfully on smaller projects, but these start to fail when project size increases or when multiple projects and programmes exist.