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 …