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What learning to knit reminded me about learning

Reading Time: 6 minutes

**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.

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Tips for using Trello effectively

Reading Time: 3 minutes

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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The Diversity Charter, because diversity makes events better

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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 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 teamonion.works

**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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Considerations for more diverse conferences

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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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Agile On The Bench, Successes And Learnings

Reading Time: 7 minutes

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, getting input from busy people

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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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2015 a year for learning (and MOOCs)

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2015 is going to be all about learning and learning to learn. There has been a shift in the way that organisations are run, as the speed of technology and innovation increase, being able to learn and adapt is more and more important in order to keep up. This is why so many organisations are moving to more agile ways of working, which embraces learning and allows for change.

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