Insights

Agility in Mind’s thoughts and reflective insights into the world of digital transformation, agile transformation, agile product management, agile coaching and agile training. Return here for our thought leadership agile insights, or sign up to our newsletter for regular updates.

Backlog refinement

How I learned to love agile business analysis
The problem: confusion, uncertainty and delays
We find this a common thread amongst our customer teams, which can be attributed to a …

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Lavington School take on Three Peaks Challenge

Agility in Mind is sponsoring a group of year 10 students (aged between 14-15) from Lavington School in Wiltshire, on their quest to become the youngest team ever to complete the …

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Top Tips for Negotiating With Stakeholders

Product managers are meant to be many things – visionaries, decision makers, leaders and much more. But what about negotiators?

Negotiation is rarely mentioned outside an interview for a …

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Top 7 books for agile teams – Spring reading 2017

There are plenty of good agile books out there, but you can find the top 7 books for agile teams being passed around the Agility in Mind office this spring 2017 …

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6 top tips for creating better leadership teams

A leadership team is still just a team – they can share all the dysfunctions that any other team may have.
The main difference is that those leadership team dynamics, both …

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Do you consider yourself an agile tourist?

Following the Christmas holidays, like many people at this time of year I’ve just booked my summer vacation; a fortnight of relaxation in the Lanzarote sun in August. I can’t …

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Could BDD have prevented Judgement Day?

It is 1995 and Cyberdyne Systems are on the verge of launching their new automated military artificial intelligence software, CloudNet.
“Come with me if you want to live!” cries Ant …

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Three simple steps to make distributed teams work

As we launch our new training course designed to help distributed teams work effectively, we share our experiences on the reality of remote working, offshore development and virtual teams.
Real …

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What is Scrum?

Scrum is a lightweight framework within which people can address complex adaptive problems, while productively and creatively delivering products of the highest possible value. It is defined at http://scrumguides.org/. It is …

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Going up – achieving flow – less is more

BBC News has more of the details about the experiment undertaken by Transport for London (TfL) in attempt to improve the journey of 50 million customers who pass through …

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Behaviour driven development (BDD) in a day

As the log fire burned in the lobby of a country manor house, Agility in Mind were making plans for the year ahead. We decided we wanted to build our …

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Outcome based agile coaching

A few months ago we were invited in to see a client who had decided that their engineering team needed to do Scrum. After a few short conversations with …

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Kanban – when, where and how

What is Kanban?
Kanban is a methodology that helps teams to evolve the most appropriate workflow for the type of work being carried out.
When should I use Kanban?
In …

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Product delivery style impacts your customers

There is a reason that fast food is a successful industry sector. This hasn’t happened by chance – a lot of thought has gone in to the process of …

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Don’t write “Duncan”; call me “Long Black”

Buying something good that meets your needs from someone who cares about what they do can be an enjoyable experience for all involved. What can an independent coffee shop …

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Can rituals help agile teams bond?

Tea ceremonies, burning Viking long ships, or a stuffed toy cat on your monitor while preparing a release. Could the human instinct for group rituals be useful to the …

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Why business leaders need to embrace agility

The complaint we hear most frequently from agile software development teams is that their senior leaders aren’t listening. And, do you know what, they have a point. If you’re …

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Product development with BDD

Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) is a collaboration tool that can help at all stages in the agile product lifecycle.  BDD helps to bridge the communication gap between business and technology …

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Achieving business agility

Organisations, including our clients, see the transformation that has taken place in their software development or product teams and say, “we want to be like that”. The question that …

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Simplicity

Setting up an enterprise-scale agile department with 200 developers working towards the same vision will ensure you are invited to speak at all of the most prestigious conferences, but …

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Who makes a good Scrum master?

If you’re looking for a scrum master, who you need may be different from what you want. What personal attributes should you be looking for in the most suitable …

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From dog food to champagne

We were pleased to eat our own dog food. We are delighted to drink our own champagne. Knowing the principles and practices we encourage our clients to adopt helps …

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Agile fixed price contracts – can they work?

“How can you adapt agile methods to work with our agile fixed price contracts?” is a question that is asked many times during our Introduction to Agile course, usually about half …

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UX driven development

For years now, I have witnessed a scenario which is seemingly common across businesses: developing the wrong software for the ‘right’ reasons. This post is an example of how I …

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Scaling Agile – It has the Wrong Intent

It’s human nature to want more of a good thing. This has fuelled the growth of legitimate and elicit markets over centuries. Agile has been a good, if not great, …

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Choosing Processes and Tools

We have a mind boggling number of choices to make in the tools and techniques we use to turn ideas into delivered software. Every organisation has its particular blend of …

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High Level Estimates

Are the outcomes of high level estimates really worth the effort
A lot of people like getting ‘high-level estimates’, but is the outcome really worth the effort?
We have a …

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Kanban principles for sales management

Kanban may be a more recent phenomenon in the world of agile software development but the principles that it helps to apply have been in sales management for many …

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Assessments and certifications – the right balance

Studying for an exam involves work that you wouldn’t normally choose to do, but recently I have found that there can be significant benefits to breaking out from your …

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Agility and Dev Ops

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some great Dev Ops teams. During the work with them I’ve noticed myself repeatedly helping people appreciate that Lean and …

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Premiere Screening in Leicester Square

It was Agility in Mind’s total delight to attend the screening of The Marvellous Adaptation at Capital Radio studios in Leicester Square. We are very thankful to Global Radio …

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Video: Standing up for ourselves

This is a video of a talk Ed gave at Pearson in November 2013. Using real-life examples of how he has seen teams struggle to deliver against un-realistic expectations, he …

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Agile Compass

Your Agile Compass
When working in an Agile manner, there are continual challenges and uncertainty that arise from the complexity of what you are doing. As a result of this …

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When opportunity knocks

Waiting for opportunity to knock achieves little other than a trail of frustration and excuses. Taking action is the only way to make a difference.
The truth about opportunity …

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Minimum – the least understood word in IT?

If you were going to eat an elephant, if it was politically correct, ecologically sound and gastronomically edifying, you could only eat it a bite a time.  So why, …

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Commercial case for incremental delivery

Many people now understand the benefits that incremental and iterative delivery offer organisations: faster feedback, prioritised delivery, greater value and improved collaboration.  But what about the hard commercial facts?  How …

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Environmental Change

Getting teams to work well is a bit of a science. Instead of overcomplicating it, perhaps we need to shift our thoughts from metrics and performance to focus on the …

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What is a Value Driver?

Value Drivers are a simple tool that anyone can use, make a massive difference to your product and help you get delivering – so why do so many people …

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Honesty is the best policy

Delivering IT projects, particularly software product, can be a challenge at times, no matter what methods are used.  Making the status of a project visible with simple tools such …

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Shared Vision

There is one unavoidable question you have to ask as a coach when going in to see a new team: “What’s your project all about?”.
If you are lucky, …

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Exit criteria saves lives

What is it about the airline industry that makes it such a safe place to be and what did the health industry learn from it that had a dramatic …

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Doing Scrum ‘right’? You’re probably doing it wrong

I was helping a friend prepare for an interview – one of the questions she had to answer was about showing how she could get Scrum done right. How, …

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What’s happening upstream?

For years now, I have been working with development teams that are used to continually improving the way they work. They are used to retrospectives and reviews, daily stand-ups …

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The map is not the territory

We’ve all seen the headlines or heard the news that software projects and major IT fails. When this happens we look for a place to lay the blame – …

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The Power of Conversation

I have worked in a lot of places where people spend vast sums on slide decks that they read to people in ‘training courses’. They end up with a …

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Kanban at the BBC: “Stuck in the Middle”

In this video filmed at the BBC Academy in November 2012, Ed talks about how development teams are often the victim of bad management and planning, but how there is …

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Learning to drive and agile adoption

Recently, a friend of mine has been learning to drive.
The process is simple. You apply for a provisional licence by filling out a form and you can then …

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Kanban at New Broadcasting House

Developers stuck in the middle, making the migration from Scrum to Kanban and using metrics to improve predictability were the centre of discussion at BBC’s New Broadcasting House, for …

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Agility in Action at the BITS Foundation

Business and IT aligned together to achieve business goals is a long-standing issue.  It is achieved, of course, by people collaborating rather than through contracts, placing the emphasis upon interactions, …

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Blog Strategy

It turns out that having a blog is easy – but having a good, readable and co-ordinated one is a bit of a hassle. We need to have a good …

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The broken link between Managers and Teams

Managers and teams are increasingly not seeing eye-to-eye and I think I might know why.
I am fortunate enough to be able to work with individuals at both leadership and …

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Achievement Awards – BBC Business Analysis

The value of awards can often be compromised by the process of attainment, particularly where there becomes a disconnect between presentation and practical reality.
For the BBC, however, their Business …

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We ate the dog food and we liked it

Whether it’s eating your own dog food, drinking your own champagne or bathing in your own goats’ milk, it’s not something that consultants always like to do, particularly when …

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Test Driven Meetings

I can’t help but think that I am spending to much time in meetings when I am with clients lately. That’s not to say I am going to too many …

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Agile Banking? Whatever next …

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of banks. I feel that most of them are greedy, self-centered and I can’t help but think that many of them are somehow …

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Agile Governance

Someone asked recently, “ What do you think about the NAO report on Agile Governance ” and my initial reaction was, “how much did it cost to produce and how …

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Is BA just a team assistant?

In many places that we work there is a peculiar gap between the Business (specifically Product Owners, Portfolio Manager, Product Managers and the like) and teams. Yet there is one …

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What’s sacrificed by Government in name of agility?

One of the benefits of an agile approach is being able to get a product to market quickly and get feedback.
Many of the big names in social media took …

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Can Government IT be truly Agile?

Enforcing agile across government – as demanded in the government’s IT strategy – simply won’t work. In fact, the tendency to enforce represents the major obstacle to agile adoption – …

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