On most of my recent calls, someone has asked me about my home video set up because it looks good. I’m writing this quick post so when it next happens, I can point them here.Continue reading
Icebreakers seem to have lots of people squirming in their seats, me included. There are many benefits to running them well and downsides when they are not. This post covers why do them and shares some that have gone well for me in the past.Continue reading
Communities of practice have a significant impact on organisations for all the reasons which I have spoken about in my book and many times on stage. I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to explore the correlation between communities of practice and natural human communities with evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar. This led to a paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, co-authored with Dunbar.
What it shows us is that the business world has a lot that it can learn from evolutionary psychology and natural social communities.Continue reading
We have some of the best conversations when they are unstructured and happen by chance. That moment when you bump into someone when you are out and about, and they happen to mention something that really helps you. Or you sit down to lunch with a work colleague, and it sparks a great new idea.Continue reading
This post is about something important, which is why it’s taken some time to put together.
Earlier this year I was fortunate to work with Doteveryone. We created a new agile event that frames team conversation about the potential wider consequences of what they are building.Continue reading
A little while back I wrote a post on skills and capability mapping with communities of practice, I have been developing this work further into an organisational-wide approach, under the name of Capability Profile Mapping.Continue reading
Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievementHelen Timperley and John Hattie
Many of us facilitate workshops or agile habits regularly and we know if a workshop has gone well if the outcomes are useful. There are also lots of elements of facilitation that we don’t often get feedback on. So here is a tool I use to help think about and frame facilitation feedback.Continue reading
If you regularly read my blog, then you will know that communities of practice are my specialist subject and core to a lot of the work that I do. I help lots of organisations who are building their specialist skills in digital and agile delivery and those communities form an essential foundation for just that.Continue reading
In a recent talk that I gave at Agile testing days and Lean Agile Scotland called “Whole Team Responsibility”, I mentioned the team manual as a way of growing empathy in teams. Here is a quick write up with a little more detail and how to use it.Continue reading
I have a habit of bringing people and communities together, this means I can’t seem to help myself setting up or getting involved in running meetups (my current count is at six*). Faced with not enough time to devote to my existing meetup, I naturally decided to start a new one. This time a remote one.Continue reading
Many people use the term “Agile ceremonies” as a collective term for activities like standups, retrospectives, reviews and planning.
I’ve always felt uncomfortable with the word “ceremony” in this context. It’s never sat well with me and I don’t like using it with people who are new to agile ways of working.Continue reading
Many organisations work with dispersed teams or stakeholders, so there must be an easy way to do an engaging remote show and tell, surely… right? I couldn’t find one, this post is the result of my research to find my own and a guide for others.Continue reading
That might sound like a bit of an odd title on my blog but bear with me. I have spent the last year making some changes in myself, and I’ve used everything I know about how people work, approaches to change and experimentation in order to do that. This post talks about how I went about it and what has happened so far.Continue reading
I first wrote about skills mapping in my book Building successful communities of practice. This post digs a little deeper into identifying skills and capabilities with communities of practice.
Skills and capability maps help organisations identify gaps and where to invest in skills development. So it makes sense that many want to create them.Continue reading
I’m a big believer that language and the words you use say a lot about a culture, and that we can take steps to change culture through changing those words.Continue reading
I recently put a workshop together to take a new team through to help describe some important agile concepts including the benefits of working collaboratively and swarming on tasks; the value of communication; how to self-organise; how limiting work in progress achieves more value and what we mean by T-shaped teams.
The workshop itself was a lot of fun and left us with a bunch of balloons and sweets to share with our colleagues(which can’t be a bad thing), as well as a good grasp of the concepts above.Continue reading
This is a quick blog post with some tips for effective stand-ups that a friend asked me to write so he could share it with someone else. So here it is Mark.
These 4Ps came to life when I was working with Amy Wagner creating and delivering some training in Brussels. The training was intended to help a team get better at the way they worked together and stand-ups were an area that needed attention. This isn’t uncommon for digital teams, they may be having regular stand-ups, but the real value can sometimes get lost.Continue reading
About a month ago I put together a list of needs for conference speakers. I’d been thinking about it because I’ve been speaking at a fair few conferences recently and seen various approaches by different organisers. I’ve also seen important information missed that other speakers and I could have benefitted from upfront.Continue reading
I do a fair bit of training with organisations that want to become more agile. The conversation often starts with “can you give agile training to our staff?”. This is a starting point for a conversation but needs a bit more digging before I can understand what the real need is and what outcome we should be aiming for.Continue reading
**Post updated Sept 2023**
I have recently taken up knitting (as anyone who follows me on Instagram will know), and as well as helping me build an increasing collection of brightly coloured hats, it’s helped remind me about the process of learning and how this relates to people learning in general. This post covers five concepts and tips to remember about learning.Continue reading
If you read my blog, then you’ll know that I have an interest in diversity and I also run a meetup called Agile on the Bench. At the Feb meetup I joined forces with Lakshan Saldin to give a 10 min talk about how diversity, groupthink and echo chambers affect our teams.Continue reading
I’ve been using Trello for a few years, both for personal projects and with teams. I love how simple it is to use, which makes it easy to use in the way that works for you. The downside of this is that some teams struggle with knowing where to start, this post is about showing you how the team I’m with at Defra currently uses it.Continue reading