scorecard

Could dual-track be tri-track or quad-track for your team?

One of the reasons I think that pace is a problem in multidisciplinary teams is that we’ve become used to not planning or reporting on work beyond a horizon of 2-3 sprints [1]. This is for the good reason that we want to avoid predicting – or, worse, dictating – the outcome of sprints further into the future. It also means that we tend to …

runners

Why product people should care about pace

The siren call of the BIG IMPORTANT THING It’s easy for a multidisciplinary team – and everyone around them – to become myopically fixated on one BIG IMPORTANT THING and forget everything else. In my experience this looks like the team working hard, delivering the BIG IMPORTANT THING and making everyone happy. Shortly after the celebration party, the team discovers that determining what happens next …

story telling

It is better to love the story than to hate the document

What defines a user story? The typical answer to this is syntax. As long as you have written something that is formatted “As a… I want a… in order that” (or “Given… When… Then” if you use BDD) then it’s a user story. I’d like to suggest that syntax isn’t a good definition. The clue is in the name: stories. We tell stories because we …

zen stones on beach

the zen of agile

I have two strong views about agile. The first view is that agile is something that you are, not something that you do. It’s a practice not a process. If that sounds a bit Zen, then that’s because that’s what agile is. Being world class at agile means a lifetime of practice and reflection and discipline. The agile manifesto is koan-like in apparent simplicity that …

butterfly

What is “digital transformation”?

The best definition I’ve seen is in the recent (and recommended) “Digital Transformation at Scale” book, which says: A successful digital transformation makes it possible not only to deliver products and services that are simpler, cheaper and better, but for the organisation as a whole to operate effectively in the online era.” I like this definition because it makes two clear distinctions: It doesn’t say …

roulette wheel

Five ways to get the most from discovery work

Discovery is the first phase in the government service standard. “Discovery” is also used to refer to exploratory, speculative work undertaken regularly and regardless of lifecycle (alpha/beta/live) phase. Using this second definition, Jeff Patton suggests that development and discovery work are two, equally important, tracks in the work of a multidisciplinary team. What’s the best way to help  your team succeed in undertaking regular discovery …

pool table

Five things I learned when I was a council youth worker (and how this helped me survive in digital government)

Around the turn of the millennium, I ended up working in some random jobs to try and make enough money and gain enough experience to get onto a journalism course. This included a spell as a part-time, sometimes paid, sometimes volunteer council youth worker. I won’t name the exact location for obvious reasons, but I worked/volunteered at a youth project based in an area that the …