Archive for October, 2009

Agile Bulletin!

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

So…. something a little lighter for this week.

The good news is that 2 of my team have now joined me in passing the Agile Project Leader Exam, following last week’s Agile Business Conference.

Building a foundation of knowledge, trust and understanding is key to any team and with their efforts they thoroughly deserve to have achieved their success.

This must make us the most qualified recruitment team in the Agile world.

Why not give us a call! 

The Agile Business Conference 2009

Friday, October 16th, 2009


Following the last few years of the Agile Business Conference, it was always going to be intriguing to see how this event was going to be different from previous years. Certainly Day 1 lived up to my hopes and expectations.  In years gone by I’d heard company after company pitch their bit, but………along came the end users and wow, a different take on Agile with a real world story to tell.

No more quoting from “The Good Book ! good-book.jpg


Between Nik Silver, Iain McKenna, Shaun Smith, Keith Sterling, Siamak Shams and Dave Putman the audience was speechless over the tales of success, failure and hope within their Agile stories. Not only did they talk honestly and freely about their experiences, but they talked at a level that all could understand and enjoy. Sometimes you find that speakers at these show’s are there taking an elitist stance of what they’ve done, not here!

Here it was good old fashioned honesty!

The organisers had made their mark in a difficult economic climate to surprise me with the quality on show for the two days.My personal amusement centred around:    pomodoro-technique.jpg

Even the questions were interesting and positively challenging to the speakers and panel. 

2 days well spent and thank you to the for organising the event.


Lean 2009 – What happened?

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Put simply, the RSA (The Strand) was a perfect setting for probably one of the most efficiently organised and content appropriate conferences I’ve been to in the last few years. Rather than identify who I saw and single the speakers out one by one, here’s an overview of what I heard.  

Thinking about this the day after, I personally saw the three days as a learning exercise about Lean and as a management training exercise to help me.  


Certainly the speakers were passionate and interesting in their presentations, all with a variety of takes, persuasions and ideas of incorporating Lean Methods. The emphasis on flow, systems and waste were a common theme, though all translated in different ways. The reliance on using the Toyota example as the big success was somewhat concerning, as it would have been good to hear about other and maybe smaller examples from the recent past in addition. 

Mind you the Lean Wave is only a ripple currently and this is new and evolving in theSector, maybe the natural progression away from Agile? 


Several of the phrases and comments I wrote down are still prominent in my mind: 

– Leaders don’t manage or direct.

– Focus on process, not people.

– Kanban boards visualise what’s going on.

– Management is not a dysfunctional role to be ignored.

– Management has to be as committed as the teams.

– Got to build trust.

– Management or Stewardship? of the process

– Lean = Business Driven Enterprise Agility.

– Are we entering a regime of “Test Driven Analysis”?

– If you incentivise workers, you’ll get less!

– Unpredictable not predictable, Unpredictable is preventable.

– Have you ever seen a 5yr business plan delivered that ends in failure at the end of the plan?

– Waste is man-made.

– Target’s make performance worse.

– Toyota is the starting point, not the Holy Grail. 

There are a lot of things to ponder in the above list and you’ll definitely have your own take and interpretation of the phraseology. Many of these conferences and presenters are accused of saying the same thing, not the Lean folk – They have their own ideas and views…… 

This idea is straight forward in my view………. 

“Eliminate waste, have a system /process that works, don’t rely on people or tools and keep it visual with lot’s of common sense” 

Certainly the large companies, industries, public sector could do a lot worse than study the Lean Concept.  

So in a year’s time will Lean be dominating the world? probably not – maybe in two years !