Video: Cutting to the heart of Agile

This is the video of my talk from Radtac’s Evening Briefing on 12th May 2015 where I spoke on Cutting to the heart of Agile.

Cutting through methods to the heart of Agile: people, work and the nature of collaboration.

In this talk we get beyond the specifics of different methods, the narrow box of IT and cut to the heart of Agile. Through some examples we explore how it enables different approaches to valuing, motivating and investing in people, how it changes the management of work and how it drives the spread of collaboration and cooperation; moving competition outside the organisation where it most healthily belongs.


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My KCE talk on 8th January: Investing in Upstream Flow

I’m speaking on Thursday 8th January at the London Kanban Coaching Exchange on Investing in Upstream Flow: Landscaping a smooth river from idea to execution

It’s great when teams reach delivery maturity with execution at speed and high quality. It’s no surprise that there’s so much emphasis on this because there are still so many people struggling. But it’s important that we don’t just learn how to do the wrong things well.

Organisations need a smoothly functioning upstream system that can take in good ideas from anywhere, triage and decide which get investment. Then safely shepherd and grow them through to adolescence until they are ready to be implemented. This is key to doing the right things well.


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Video: AgileMK – The Agile Organisation and People

This is a talk and interactive session that I ran with Dan Rough at Agile:MK on 1st September 2014.

We speak about The Agile Organisation and its effects – the effects on people, how work is managed and on organisational culture.

We follow up with a practical exercise in small groups – asking participants to list the people and organisational challenges that they have with Agile in their organisations and then to work together to design a time-boxed experiment that they can run to start solving the problem.



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Lean Product Development: Sleepwalking to Electric Sheep

The original book behind Blade Runner, Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was set in 1992.

When it comes to modern change approaches – particularly those that come from IT, like this reference from ThoughtWorks – then I believe in 2014 we’re not only dreaming about electric sheep, we’re designing and building them.

It’s time to wake up and realise that change is first and foremost about people and the work they do. And so we need to fully involve them in shaping that work and changes to it. Technology is essential to delivering change but isn’t a good way to lead that change.


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Demystifying Change: Agile, Lean, TOC, Systems Thinking & 6-Sigma (Part II)

In this short series we’re demystifying the differences between common change methodologies including Traditional Change Management, Agile, Lean, Theory of Constraints, Systems Thinking and 6-Sigma.

In Part I we looked at the big picture and highlighted 16 different aspects. In this article we’ll introduce the six methodologies in more depth, explore their key facets and compare their different objectives.



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Why Agile Isn’t Automatically Creative

In a current discussion on LinkedIn the question is posed: “Do Agile Methods Create Creativity and Innovation?”.

The answer might sound obvious and at one time I’d have said “Yes, of course” without hesitation. But what the questioner was getting at was how a focus on maximising production on short cycles can leave little or no time to stand back and think outside the box (this was their experience of Scrum – as run in their organisation).

I also thought of explicit creativity exercises and their apparent lack in many Agile approaches (though of course they don’t forbid them).

So let’s resist a quick answer and explore the topic in a little more detail.



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Demystifying Change: Agile, Lean, TOC, Systems Thinking & 6-Sigma (Part I)

There’s a world of different change methodologies out there and it’s easy to be overwhelmed and unable to choose. For each one there’s an army of consultants ready to tell you theirs is the best.

The reality is very different: every methodology has its strengths and weakness. They each have different goals and suitability for different environments. The ideal solution is almost always a combination of approaches, but you can’t know which combination unless you understand how they work.

So if you want to raise your understanding and be able to make better choices and keep those consultants on their toes, please read on.



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