Category: Agile and Lean

Posts about Agile and Lean thoughts, tools, events and methods.

Team Taxonomies for digital, data and technology organisations

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I have been working with digital, data, and technology organisations for a long time, many of which are in UK government departments. One thing that I have seen people get tripped up on is how they describe teams. 

Ambiguity about what a team is can create tensions, rework, and confusion and ultimately get in the way of the work.

To help, I’ve been developing a team taxonomy so that some of my clients and their teams can have better conversations about differences and similarities and hint at the expectations of interactions. This post shares these taxonomies in case they are useful to others, too.

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My weekly newsletter: Posts from Awesome Folks (and some love for blogs)

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I recently started a newsletter digest of blog posts and articles I like. I started doing it to read more blog posts again; committing to sending something out helps keep me on track and is similar to something I regularly did back when I was at GDS (archived by Tom Banister here). People have started subscribing and telling me how much they appreciate it too, which is an added bonus.

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Facilitation feedback tool

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Feedback is one of the most powerful influences on learning and achievement

Helen 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.

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The team collaboration party game

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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.

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The 4 Ps of effective standups

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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.

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Tips for using Trello effectively

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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.

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Embracing Change or Bracing for Change

Reading Time: 7 minutes

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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