Agile on the Beach Session : Agile Innovation : Embedding Agile in a diverse mix of Cornish High Growth Businesses

2014-04-24 10.25.54This year I have had the pleasure of speaking at Agile on the Beach 2014, this year as a follow on to last years launch of the Agile Innovation project I have shared some of the results of introducing Agile to high growth businesses, teams and entrepreneurial start ups. 

Watch the full 30 minute session here

Watch the 4 minute video from the session

Agile Innovation Slides PDF

Client Feedback Video

Business_Agility_Diagram_AWThe session talks through the development of a business based Agile model and the approach taken to introduce this to High Growth SMEs as a way of managing growth and change. 

In software development agile is used to manage scope creep and similarly, in high growth businesses their growth is their scope creep.  HG businesses need to manage this scope creep effectively in order to continue to manage its impact on the business and its people

The session includes case studies from established geology, film production and PR businesses, an innovative fashion start up and software business that are using agile more widely at a strategic level of their business.

Agile on the Beach is a two day conference on the Cornish coast with a beach party in between, perfect to evoke creative and technical thinking, enjoy time with the UKs leading thinkers in agile adoption and evolution.

Agile on the Beach is a leading annual conference in Falmouth, Cornwall. Exploring the latest agile and lean thinking in software craftmanship, teams and business. Including ample networking opportunities such as the beach party this conference brings together 300 people to explore, evolve and find out what it means to be truely agile in business, from its culture to product development practices

Software Craftsmanship: For the professionals, there’s plenty of technical innovations on offer. Software developers will be guided through the latest techniques, for two days Cornwall will be the epicentre of global Agile technology.

Teams: The Agile approach is not just about the business of software. It’s about the business of your approach. The conference will ask managers, directors, or indeed anyone leading a team to re-assess the way they work. Learn about high performing and innovative teams and find out what they do differently and how to create and manage your own. Agile on the Beach is the perfect environment to take some time to re-design the approach you take to your team.

Business: The business stream will explore how a business can adopt agile beyond software development and its impact on wider business activities. Including the latest models for product development and agile marketing.

Agile Meetup – 29th September

Agile Developments

Monday, September 29, 2014    6:30 PM

Beach Road, Porthtowan (map)

The Agile movement in Cornwall has grown in the past few years as businesses and developers discover the benefits of bringing agility into their working environments. The advantages are not just limited to software but offer significant steps forward for projects, teams as well as helping organisations improve their operations. This meeting will bring interesting insights into Agile from both small and large business perspectives.We have 3 speakers who will talk for 10-15 minutes each with questions afterwards.
Kate Hughes – Director of Programme Management at Skype – will be sharing some of her experiences of using Agile within Skype and Microsoft. Kate has worked for Microsoft during the past 20 years in a number of divisions and has seen how Agile can really work in a number of different ways.
Belinda Waldock – Oxford Innovation Coach – will be explaining how a number of Cornish businesses have benefited through using Agile with some examples from both with IT and outside the sector.
Toby Parkins – founder of UKNetWeb, Headforwards and Agile on the Beach – will talk about some “real” IT project failures and how Agile can help people make the difference to avoid everything going wrong.

The evening will be in the Boardroom at the Blue Bar and there will be some pizza coming out at some point during the evening.

Click to book

Definition of DONE – a simple approach

Thinking out loud… indexso i thought i would share my thoughts on a model for getting things done !

Throughout agile are ideas of estimation, of best guesses over what Done means, whether building software or writing a blog it seems done remain ever elusive until we get to the point of being done, the feeling of success, or failure that leads us to say, its done, what next?

What is the definition of done, my Dad always says, ‘it’ll be done when its done’, and there’s a lot of sense in that, we just don’t know until we get there, our needs change, resources change, goals change along the way so logically it is impossible to define done until the implied ending is reached, whether that’s because its fulfilling our needs, or we decide to follow another path because we give up reaching a viable solution with our current approach.

Despite this elusive journey, can we break it down and get a good guess of the size and complexity and importance of getting what ever our goal might be ‘done’

Fueled by conversation my mind has contemplated what Done looks like.. in software we have MoSCoW, but it doesn’t quite stick, and doesn’t gel with the essence of done, its a good way to look at how important things are but its pretty factual and i like emotive, because i think the feeling of done is just that, a feeling.

So here’s some ideas for the definition of DONE, and what it might look like if we visually look at breaking the idea down into more detail that we so we can gain a bit of perspective of what Done might look like


D .. What’s desirable
O – what’s optional
N – what’s necessary
E – what’s essential

Desirable – what is the desired outcome, what’s the ‘in a perfect world’ vision for this thing you want to get done
Optional – what options are there in fulfilling your desirable done
Necessary – to do a good job what are the things that are necessary to be ‘good enough’
Essential – what are the core things i must get done in order to solve the problem at hand

or if you want to look at it more logically in terms of breaking down what your solution looks like

D – what are the desirable options – what would the perfect product look like
O – what are just optional things that would be great but really just build on an already functional solution
N – what bits are necessary to ensure success and add value
E – what are the things that make it viable and without them the solution wont work

somewhere along the way of doing is where you will feel the satisfaction of being DONE, and i hope this posts helps to bring some perspective to you on where that might happen!  Post it out your thoughts as you work through DONE and then group them, consider what levels of done are possible, and then do them!!

Lets take this blog post as an example .. what happens if i apply the model

What can I get done in the 1-2 hours I have..

what do i imagine when i use DONE to map my ideas

Desirable – to share my thinking on my blog and get some positive feedback
Optional – pretty pictures, perfect punctuation
Necessary – to write some detailed content and get it out there
Essential – to put my idea out there

or if i view it as a product

Desirable – a good blog post in 2 hours
Optional – looks great
Necessary – readable layout
Essential – great content

I have 2 hours to write this blog, what reasonably can i achieve?

desirable – a good blog post
optional – an example
necessary – a picture
essential – 500 formatted words

If you like this model, do feel free to use it and share ‘Definition of DONE’ with others, I would appreciate it if you would also reference its source as here :o)

Map your own Definition of Done