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.

Inclusive Growth

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Automated: [00:00:01] Welcome to the Inclusive Growth Show with Toby Mildon and future proofing your business by …

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7 tips for a great online retrospective

A retrospective is where the whole team gets together to agree a minimum of one improvement to be implemented in …

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How to be a good scrum master during a crisis

Help the business clarify their tactical objectives
Responding to change is a well-rehearsed line, but it’s important that everyone …

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Moving from continuous coping to continuous improvement

Recently I was discussing one such challenge with a fintech organisation. They wanted to implement automated testing but felt paralysed …

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Diversity and Inclusion – It makes business agility sense

Here are three reasons why diversity and inclusion in any organisation is fundamental to achieving business agility:

Creating propositions, …

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10 tips for agile teams going virtual

Show your face
Develop trust and engagement in virtual meetings by turning your camera on. …

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My top five updates in SAFe 5.0

1. Increased Customer Focus
There is an increase in the prominence of the customer in SAFe 5.0, shown by having …

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Live Virtual Classrooms are here

Our journey
Some time ago, we were delivering a handful of courses every year to a global software company. We …

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Driving change in 2020 – Q&A with our CEO

Can you tell readers about your company and what you do?
Agility in Mind helps organisations improve the way people …

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Why I chose to work for Agility in Mind

Why did you choose to apply for a role at Agility in Mind?
I had referenced Agility in Mind FAQ’s …

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Recruitment – we got this

1. Let’s get to know a bit about you
As many organisations do, we have a page dedicated to recruitment.   …

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Ask a Consultant: QAs in Scrum

I thought this question from a recent Professional Scrum Master delegate highlighted some common issues facing Scrum teams. I’ve reproduced the question …

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Agile coaches reading list fall 2019

Suggestions from Ed Scotcher
“Invisible Women” – Caroline Criado Cortez
A book all about the gender data gap. The default human has …

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Checklists Save Lives

For many years when teaching these concepts, we have compared this practice to the Surgical Safety Checklist advocated by the …

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Who should interview a scrum master?

Am I a bad interviewer?
Despite my attempts and desire to be a good and fair interviewer no doubt my …

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I’m a product owner not a feature owner

 
“The Product Owner is responsible for maximizing the value of the product resulting from the work of the Development …

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How to visualise an agile programme

Visualise an agile programme
The approach I am advocating is suited to when you want to look at a single …

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How to start an agile product delivery

When they told the whole story of how they got off track, it seemed totally avoidable. If anything, it was …

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Scrum vs Kanban – there’s no big difference

Are you part of the Scrum vs Kanban debate? Now, as an attendee of these conferences and an enthusiastic participant …

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Do you own your product?

1. Your developers define the order the work is done irrespective of value
a) TRUE
b) FALSE
2. You’re not …

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Dealing with unfinished work in Scrum

Claim some of the points? I generally don’t encourage teams to try and take partial credit for unfinished work. If …

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Self organising teams at The Times

Rather than dictate to the teams the PLT agreed they wanted to develop a culture of ownership.  The hypothesis was: …

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Agile Objectives

Agile objectives are best if they describe the intention of the functionality of the system rather than prescribing a specific …

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5 Tools for Building Trust

Teams that lack trust waste time and energy by engaging on political behaviour that reduces the likelihood of the team …

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Growth mindset: becoming a learning organisation

Since then I have seen Microsoft’s Tony Reeves give a fantastic talk on the subject at an innovation summit where …

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GDPR: What will happen next?

This has already had one noticeable effect: a dramatic increase in emails from companies ranging from the amateur sports club …

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How to Innovate

Innovation is not just about new technology, although it can be. Digital innovation can be about leveraging new or existing …

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Team Formation Tips

Diana Larsen (author of Liftoff: Launching Agile Teams and Projects) suggests that for a group of people to come together …

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Introduction to Change Management

I usually apply change management during “Agile Transformation”. Anywhere something needs to happen differently can benefit from change management.
There …

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Getting to ‘no’ – better products through disagreement

Great product teams have a growth mindset
I would go so far as to say in many cases teams with …

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Culture eats strategy for breakfast. So, what’s your team eating?

“Flatland”, a novella by Edwin Abbott Abbott, describes a world that exists in 2 dimensions. The male inhabitants of this …

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Line Management is not “Agile”

Well, maybe. On the other hand, having someone relatively experienced and influential on your side, to help shape your career …

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Where to start with Agile Programme Management?

The phases of a traditional programme are:

Programme Identification.
Programme Definition.
Programme Execution.
Benefits Realisation.

In the traditional …

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How to help your agile teams find the better way

The hardest teams to coach to success often are those that have a pretty rigid, established view of what ‘agile’ …

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Don’t give up on remote teams!

How it all too often is…
I’ve worked on/coached/observed remote agile teams for over ten years now, from India to …

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Why is Innovation and Entrepreneurship important?

Harry Warner was not ignorant when he offered that advice, he was an expert in his industry, but he failed …

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Three things that make a daily scrum a waste of time

The trouble is that in the real world, there is an awful lot that can get in the way of …

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How to create the perfect size team

The Surgery Team (approx. 6)
In an operating room there are several key players. Each essential to the successful outcome …

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Secret Santa’s agile Christmas reading list

 
 

Agile Christmas reading list: Book 1
One Mission: How Leaders Build A Team Of Teams by Chris Fussell and Charles …

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Scrum is often a waste of money

 

This is not free: taking a whole team away from their work for several hours a month is …

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Good scrum master versus bad scrum master

Good scrum masters have a deep understanding of Scrum and operate from a strong basis of confidence and knowledge. They …

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Seven top delegation tips for business leaders

 
Success, whilst hard won, isn’t guaranteed to stay. Successful businesses often grow quickly, with lines of communication getting more …

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5 ways the PMO can support agile teams

The role of many PMOs can be broken down into 5 key functions:

Governance: ensuring that decisions are taken …

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Definition of done – when is it really, really done?

Although the Scrum Guide does not dictate this, in practise a lot of scrum teams include “product owner sign-off” as …

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High Street Law Firms in the UK

High street law firms aren’t big corporate entities located in the capital but are often comparably smaller outfits with offices …

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Backlog refinement

A team are planning their next sprint.  One of the developers looks anxious:
“What do you mean we are changing …

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Lavington School take on Three Peaks Challenge

Pupils will be joined by staff and parents as they attempt to complete the three highest peaks in England, Wales …

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Top Tips for Negotiating With Stakeholders

Secure Your Home Base First
We know from his ‘Commentary on the Gallic War’ that Julius Cæsar, a highly successful …

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Top 7 books for agile teams – Spring reading 2017

 

Top 7 books for agile teams – Book 1: The Coaching Habit
The promise this book makes …

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6 top tips for creating better leadership teams

Here are six simple, impactful, actions which I often start with when helping leaders, teams and individuals shift their cultures, …

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Do you consider yourself an agile tourist?

We all like to be tourists, safe in the knowledge that we can try something new, returning to the comfort …

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Could BDD have prevented Judgement Day?

Ant has been sent back in time from 2029, by the leaders of the human resistance, to save the …

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Three simple steps to make distributed teams work

Real life is about compromise
Designing an effective IT product delivery capability is a complex problem involving compromise. It will …

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What is Scrum?

When should I use Scrum?
When you want to deliver a product of known quality, have some predictability on upcoming …

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Going up – achieving flow – less is more

By encouraging all customers to ride the escalator in both streams they were able to use the full capacity of …

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Behaviour driven development (BDD) in a day

New features were coming thick and fast, so we thought it was time to build on our development process with …

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Outcome based agile coaching

Quickly closing in on how the product team was working, we agreed that the correct focus was to help make …

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Kanban – when, where and how

When should I use Kanban?
In any situation where you want to manage a flow of work, whether for a …

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Product delivery style impacts your customers

 
Subway and Dominos are two popular fast food joints. They both have a reasonably similar product. They both target …

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

Making a purchase can feel great when you’ve developed a rapport with the salesperson. Regardless of the product; from a …

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Can rituals help agile teams bond?

Years ago I was complimented on “improving the group dynamic” by bringing in a cafetiere for the my agile team …

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Why business leaders need to embrace agility

As a sector, IT was late to the party when it came to adopting the Lean principles that came out …

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Product development with BDD

What is required? – User Stories supported by Scenarios.
At the beginning of an agile product development or while discussing …

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Achieving business agility

Beginning in the software or product domain, there is a belief by some that a software team or organisation can …

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Simplicity

Just get Sam to do it
The simplest way to build software is to find one talented engineer and get …

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Who makes a good Scrum master?

Organisation
The scrum master is an organiser. They don’t have to run ceremonies like planning sessions or daily stand-ups, but …

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From dog food to champagne

We wrote about our experience in developing our own website back in October 2012 – time flies. We ate the …

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Agile fixed price contracts – can they work?

Fixed price, fixed scope contracts seem like a great idea if you have an idea for a new product and …

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UX driven development

The scenario
The head of product is senior in the organisation. They do a good job, guiding a large and …

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Scaling Agile – It has the Wrong Intent

The agile movement came out of a desire to improve the way software was developed. The agile manifesto is clear …

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Choosing Processes and Tools

Agility in Mind recently launched a new version of our Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) workshop. I worked with Ed to …

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High Level Estimates

On a recent visit, I was asked to help them plan a new release. They had a bunch of user …

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Kanban principles for sales management

Good sales management is all about identifying new opportunities for work early on, achieving dialogue with clients and progressing the …

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Assessments and certifications – the right balance

I’m currently working towards my Scrum.org Professional Scrum Trainer certification and part of the process involves achieving 95% in the …

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Agility and Dev Ops

Dev Ops teams use a lot of tools. It’s part of the trade, so it’s natural that there is …

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Premiere Screening in Leicester Square

The culmination of three years of hard work by a group of media students from Greenwich University was the screening …

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Video: Standing up for ourselves

 

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Agile Compass

My experience and understanding has shown that the best way to deal with these situations is to adopt a principle …

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When opportunity knocks

I used to let it frustrate me and then I came to accept it. Now, I am becoming increasingly intolerant …

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Minimum – the least understood word in IT?

 
I was having a friendly grumble on twitter with @dunc_smith about things that people don’t understand when it comes to …

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Commercial case for incremental delivery

In a traditional approach to product delivery a specification is written and a development team formed.  They work on the …

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Environmental Change

I am currently trying to grow some tomatoes. It’s not really working out. They are struggling on, but whatever I …

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What is a Value Driver?

 
I have been doing some work for a team that is struggling to deliver. They are established, have a …

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Honesty is the best policy

 
It can be difficult to face up to the truth.
Sometimes the way that truth is told comes across …

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Shared Vision

 
Quite often, it can take a long time before you get to ask those other questions, because you get …

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Exit criteria saves lives

Back in 1935 the Boeing Corporation developed a new fighting machine that became known as the Flying Fortress.  In a …

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

Really, this is a daft question – because agility is about flexibility and responsiveness in pursuit of delivery. It is …

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What’s happening upstream?

 
More often than not, the development teams that I meet are really pretty good. In fact I can’t ever …

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The map is not the territory

 
There is sizable minority of people who now believe that agile methods fail.  Not having performed an extensive survey …

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The Power of Conversation

 
At the end of all of our training courses we always get a request for the slide deck to …

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Kanban at the BBC: “Stuck in the Middle”

 
 
 

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Learning to drive and agile adoption

 
Before you can drive on your own, you have to have someone with 3 or more years experience with …

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Kanban at New Broadcasting House

 
The BBC’s New Broadcasting House, overlooking the impressive BBC Newsroom, was the venue of the Kanban Meetup on 15th November …

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Agility in Action at the BITS Foundation

It was a pleasure to be part of the BITS Foundation forum hosted by Takeda in central London, last week.
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Blog Strategy

When we were gathering requirements for our new website, we naturally prioritised our blog pretty high on the list. It …

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The broken link between Managers and Teams

Companies want to make fantastic products. Their leadership teams and managers want to impress their customers with great experiences, products …

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Achievement Awards – BBC Business Analysis

The BBC Academy has a deserved reputation for the quality and range of its training and development programmes, which benefit …

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We ate the dog food and we liked it

There was clear need for a change to our web presence.  The business has developed nicely, along with a strong …

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Test Driven Meetings

 

People turn up late because another meeting overran
We all sit and wait for all the attendees to …

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Agile Banking? Whatever next …

The increase in price to call these guys is, in the grand scheme of things, not that big. The number has gone …

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Agile Governance

Interestingly, and as some observers have already pointed out, the report makes significant reference to private sector agile adopters. As …

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Is BA just a team assistant?

 
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit with a group of BAs and ask them what is was that …

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What’s sacrificed by Government in name of agility?

For existing organisations with a strong brand and reputation to protect, there is more at stake than the initial investment …

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Can Government IT be truly Agile?

 
The government has committed itself to using agile methodology for software development in 50 percent of IT projects by …

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