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Embracing Change or Bracing for Change

I was recently invited to talk at the Turing Festival on the Product / People day. Here is that talk that I gave:

Firstly it’s worth me explaining why the title Embracing Change or Bracing for Change. I often give Agile training for people and teams new to Agile, one thing that I tend to cover is the Agile Manifesto and its principles. I talk about agile teams embracing change and ask people if they embrace change. All too often the answer is along the lines of “change is thrown at us all the time and we deal with it”, I’ve come to explain this as bracing for change rather than going out and seeking it (embracing change).

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The Agile Team Onion: A model for Agile teams in large organisations (a free ebook)

The Agile team onion: A short (free) ebook

After my talk and post in May, I have now turned the Agile Team Onion into a free ebook.

The Agile Team Onion model is a way of helping collaboration between Agile teams and the rest of your organisation, to lead to successful delivery.

It’s a short book (around 3000 words) and it delves a little deeper into the benefit of working in small teams and some of the challenges of working in large organisations. It also describes how you can use the Agile Team Onion model.

You can download a copy at tacit.pub/agileteamonion

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Agile on the Bench – 15 meetups on

I’ve been running a friendly, low-tech, lunchtime Agile meet up in a park since Nov 2014, if you want to know more about it, have a look over here.

One of the things that we’ve done since the start is to give our lovely attendees badges. And not the same badge, it’s a different design every time.

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Diversity charter stickers

The Diversity Charter, because diversity makes events better

I realise that I haven’t blogged about one of my latest projects, the diversity charter (although I’ve tweeted about it quite a bit).

This came about after this blog post about considerations for event organisers and frustrations at seeing the same people at conferences. I created it to make people think about how the impact that they can have in making events more diverse, whether they are event organisers, speakers, people that attend events or venues.

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The Agile Team Onion. How many pizzas does it really take to feed your team?

I’ve recently been playing with ways of explaining the extended Agile team for large and largeish organisations. I get frustration when I see Agile teams that are essentially siloed off from the wider business (for many reasons). This causes dependency and communication issues and means they just aren’t able to deliver anything very quickly. I don’t think the answer is to just throw everyone in together as it’s not always that practical and can cause communication issues as the team gets really big. I’ve been using the Agile team onion to describe a model of how it might work.

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Considerations for more diverse conferences

I have been thinking about barriers to diversity at conferences a lot recently. This is sparked by a few things, including my own recent conference submissions, an experiment that I carried out recently that let people encourage their friends to speak and conversations on the topic. Here is the round up of some of that thinking and things for conferences to consider to reduce those barriers.

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Building Successful Communities of Practice

As you may know from previous posts, I’ve been busy writing a book called “Building Successful Communities of Practice: Discover How Connecting People Makes Better Organisations”.

The book is now ready and you can now buy it both on kindle and as a paperback (print on demand) book.

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Diversity in public speaking: help your friends find their voice

I am currently involved in running meetups in London (Agile on the Bench) and Leeds (Agile in Leeds) and c0-ran a conference last year. A couple of the challenges that I have are around finding new and interesting speakers as well as maintaining diversity in the speakers and the audience. A challenge that many organisers face.

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Explaining the role of a Delivery Manager

I have found myself explaining the role of delivery manager a lot over the last few weeks, so I thought I would share that description here.

The term delivery manager is an agile role used in government and other organisations, mainly within (but not limited to) digital or IT departments. It describes the person on the agile team whose main concern is enabling a team of skilled people to deliver value. They create the right environment for the team. They facilitate the team and remove obstacles and blockers that might get in their way. They work closely with the product manager (sometimes known as product owner), but while the product manager is concerned with the vision the delivery manager is concerned with making it happen. The perfect visionary and doer pairing.

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Writing a book in an agile way

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been writing a book called ‘Building successful communities of practice: Discover how learning together makes better organisations’, which is due to be published in early 2016. I wanted to share more about how I have gone about writing it using agile tools and techniques.

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Community of practice maturity model download

I have been very busy recently writing a book (currently) called Building successful communities of practice: Discover how learning together makes better organisations. It’s been in progress since September and I’m planning on publishing it early next year.

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Agile On The Bench, Successes And Learnings

Recently I blogged about the Agile on the Bench conference, a minimum viable conference in a campsite that I ran with David Lowe. It happened last Saturday, 25th July and it was an awesome day. The speakers and audience were fantastic and, much like our lunchtime events, the sun came out, despite the heavy rain the day before. In my last post I talked about what we were trying to achieve and here I’ll talk about the successes, what we learnt, where we could improve and share the conference budget.

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The deconstructed workshop

The Deconstructed workshop, getting input from busy people

Getting busy people in a room together to workshop is hard and a challenge I came across last week. I’m currently working at the wonderful ustwo as an Agile coach (who are currently hiring for Agile coach/PMs in case you were wondering). One thing that I was asked to help out with is a refresh of the guidelines around how to kick off a new project. As we had so much knowledge in the team, I wanted to make sure that everyone had a chance to help build any proposed solution, but the biggest challenge that we had was that the team is so busy with their respective projects, getting them all in a room together at the same time for a workshop session was going to be near impossible.

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