Category: Public Speaking

Post relating to public speaking that I have done or events I have been involved with in some way.

Why can’t we all just get along? (again)

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Back in November last year I wrote up a talk I gave at Lean Agile Brighton called Why can’t we all just get along?

I’ve given the talk at a few more conferences and written it up as an article on InfoQ called Bridging Silos and Overcoming Collaboration Antipatterns in Multidisciplinary Organisations. The most recent time I spoke about it was at Seacon in London, and that 20-minute talk is here; enjoy!

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Talking about Learning at Agile on the Bench at Agile Cambridge

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This week, I have been back at the Agile Cambridge conference with Agile on the Bench with my co-host, Cara Bermingham.

Agile on the Bench is a friendly, low-fi, lunchtime, outdoor, agile meetup. A mix of 10min, mostly analogy-based talks about all things agile, people, teams, users and getting things done… outside, on a bench, in a park.

One of our speakers had to pull out last minute thanks to covid, so I went to my blog archives to find something suitable as a fill-in.

So here it is, updated and ready for a re-read.

* Photo of Mark Dalgarno speaking just before me, taken by Cara Bermingham

Embracing Change or Bracing for Change

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

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The Team Onion now has a new home at

**UPDATE** The Agile Team Onion is now the Team Onion, same model slightly new name. Because you don’t need to be an agile team to use it.

I’ve recently been playing with ways of explaining the extended team for large and largeish organisations. I get frustrated 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 just to throw everyone in together as it’s not always that practical and can cause its own communication issues as the team gets really big. I’ve been using the team onion to describe a model of how it might work.

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What learning how to ride motorbikes taught me about being agile

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I just gave a talk at the awesome Agile 25×20 about riding motorbikes and being implicitly agile, here is what it was about and the slides.

This year I finally got my motorbike licence (yay!), it was an interesting experience in learning new skills and it got me thinking about how we learn and form habits and how does this apply to agile.

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Building a (delivery) community a talk at Agile Cambridge

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This week I had the great pleasure of talking about communities at Agile Cambridge, a fantastic 3 day conference set in the grounds of a Cambridge college. My talk was specifically about building a community of practice and how we have built the agile delivery community at Government Digital Service. Communities is a topic close to my heart and I was pleasantly surprised at the number of people that were either trying to build their own, or whose organisations had realised the huge value of them and were tasking people with building one.

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