Bonus Track (E)
Session type: Bonus
Agile Business Sessions and Biographies 2015
2 days with 10 sessions
- Living Agile – The only way a digital agency can truly work with Agile – Peter Sheppard
- Being Agile in Business Belinda Waldock Being Agile
- Quality, what is it, and how do we get there – Paul Massey – Bluefruit
- I’m an Alien – A Business Analyst in an Agile World – Dot Tudor
- Play with Business – StrategicPlay® with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY ™ Ole Jepsen goAgile, Denmark Double Session – interactive workshop
- Making Mad Men more Agile – Leanne Page & Joanne Ralfe M&C Saatchi
- My kanban diary: How I integrated agile within our Charity – Danny Whear ShelterBox
- Further Adventures with Agile Comms
Rachel Picken MPAD
- Managing client expectations of what agile means for their software development project. Steve Adams MSM Software
- The Financial Prioritization of Projects – Antonello Nardini & Elisa Bernardin
Peter Sheppard Siteset Digital
A lot of digital agencies claim to operate using agile, but often this is more like a ‘seat of your pants’ approach than truly embracing the agile. The problem is that the traditional agency setup is not conducive to an agile approach like SCRUM, a culture shift is required. This session examines how Siteset remodelled their company to work as a truly agile agency, examining the challenges that arose, how managing the client fits into this and how it revolutionised the way the agency operates.
In the last few years agile has become the nouveau approach in the technology sector. Everyone seems to know about it, everyone is doing it and yet no one really talks about it in meetings or tenders. What is the reason for that? Well mostly it is because they aren’t actually doing it at all.
Most of the criticism of agile is that it isn’t practical to use it in an agency, that the agency world moves too fast to accommodate the idea of fixed term sprints and dedicated development resources for projects just doesn’t work. This may well be true but how do you know if you haven’t tried? What happens instead is that a lot of agencies seem to fall back on the commonly used methodology SOYP – Seat Of Your Pants!
What arises is a culture of conflict. There is no real team ethic. The only way around that is to escalate issues and then senior management get involved, in which case the only resolution comes down to who has the most influence. That is neither healthy nor helpful because, at the end of the day, the people who suffer are the clients and those doing the work.
The principle of agile is to streamline the approach, removing stresses and unnecessary processes and emphasising delivery as the key measure of success. It seems like the perfect approach, so why don’t agencies embrace this? The answer is because it requires a culture change.
Embracing agile presents a number of challenges for agencies. By their nature, agencies are working on a day to day basis and responding to tactical requirements and immediate change requests, as well as longer term projects. They operate with dedicated skill sets and matrix management; back end developers, front end developers, designers, architects. These things are contrary to the ethos of agile.
But it is possible for agencies to not only use agile, but to implement a step change in the way they do business that benefits staff, clients and MI.
Peter Sheppard has implemented SCRUM in corporate environments, has worked for a leading agency that didn’t use agile and now runs an agency that is built around it. This session will examine the challenges of implementing agile in these environments and how a practical approach, where the agency not only embraces agile but also lives it, can transform the business for the better.”
Peter Sheppard is the Managing Director of Siteset Digital, an agency based in Maidenhead that has spent the last 20 years focussing on delivering content management web solutions. They currently manage the largest known private portfolio of websites for St. James’s Place Wealth Management (FTSE100), with over 1,800 websites across continents and three integrated systems.
He has transformed Siteset’s approach to working with clients, from a small traditional agency into a modern, practical and agile agency that delivers effective solutions with UX at the heart.
Previously he worked for HeathWallace, an NMA top 10 global agency and part of WPP, managing accounts and delivering global award winning projects for clients such as HSBC.
Before moving into the agency environment he worked for Capita, as a Project Manager delivering business transformation and technical projects. There he implemented a cultural change from waterfall / Prince2 to SCRUM for IT projects, overcoming many challenges along the way, markedly and demonstrably improving the throughput of deliverables.
He started his career at Virgin Media (working for Carillion), looking at process optimisation, system upgrades and business transformation within the Facilities function. He ran projects that transformed the contract performance, seeing up lifts in all regions and performance improvements of up to 20%.
Belinda Waldock Being Agile
In this session Belinda will share her reflections on introducing agile to businesses within and beyond the software sector. The session will explore what ‘Being agile in Business’ really means, how it changes the people and the culture of a business, why it works and dealing with resistance.
In order to become a truly agile organisation its people must embrace and apply agile thinking at every level of the business. The primary driver for successful agile adoption within a business is the level of buy in achieved amongst its people. It is not enough to implement agile structures and tools into day to day practices, the organisation (and its stakeholders) must learn to listen to what agile is telling them and act upon it in order to sustain buy in to both to the method and their commitment to the ambitions of the business and the creation of great products.
Belinda shares her experience of introducing agile to an array of businesses for project management through to improving the strategic agility of their business models to evoke growth. The session will report on their journeys of adoption and the impact upon people and interactions within those businesses. She will explore what worked well, what could work better, what barriers they faced and the outcomes achieved.
Belinda Waldock is an Agile Business Coach, professionally qualified ILM Coach and Mentor in Business Management and a Computer Science graduate. Over the past 15 years Belinda has worked with small to medium sized businesses in the UK and over the past 5 years has specialised in Agile and Lean methods for business development and improvement. Belinda works with a broad range of high growth businesses from community social enterprises to specialist software providers to adopt agile practices as highly effective methods for managing projects, empowering teams and creating a positive culture of organisational agility.
Belindas adaptation of the agile methodology enables all business professionals to take advantage of Agile to springboard their growth strategies and manage change. Belinda has adapted and developed agile project management and other tools including Innovation Games, Collaboration Games, Business Model Canvas, Planning Poker and others to be usable by any business.
Belinda is part of the organising committee for Agile on the Beach, Belinda has helped to develop and grow the conference over the past 4 years to be self-sustaining and is a regular speaker sharing her experiences of adopting and using agile beyond the software sector. She also manages Software Cornwall, a small high growth cluster network of software development companies and is a Young Enterprise Advisor and Sandander Business Mentor
Her new book Being Agile in Business is a result of her work with businesses to adopt and use agile beyond its origins in Software development. She has worked with Breweries, Manufacturers, Toy Designers, Social Enterprises, Marketing Agencies, Geologists and many more to use agile to manage change and leverage their growth potential successfully. The book brings together the learning and approaches used into an easy to follow guide to developing an agile mindset and taking an agile approach. Published by Pearson, the book has been confirmed as Business Book of the month with WHSmith Travel for July and available online at http://amzn.to/1Jfv8AK
What’s the difference between an Apple phone and a Nokia phone? Is it how they’re built and what functions they provide? Is it how they’re sold and marketed? Or is it how they feel to use?
Many people associate the quality of a device with having ‘zero-bugs’ and working as it should, but Nokia phones are some of the most reliable devices around. So what’s the secret to that $700 billion difference?
Building upon the theories of Perceived and Conceptual Integrity outlined in Mary Poppendeick’s infamous book, ‘Lean Software Development: An Agile Tooklit’, Paul Massey explains how we should be defining ‘Quality’ in software development, and how we can take steps to achieve it.
Paul has been programming commercially since his teenage years, and is the leader at the top of the Bluefruit tree. He held various roles within the software industry before starting his own business in 2000 – Absolute Software Ltd.
This small embedded software development company enjoyed 50% growth year on year, thanks to Paul’s ‘Quality First’ vision and innovative use of Agile methodologies. In 2014, the company underwent a complete rebrand, changing its trading name to Bluefruit Software, and celebrated its £1mil turnover milestone!
Because of his experience in business, and his passion for growing the local economy, Paul is also chair of the Cornwall Employment Skills board, and a board member of The Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership.
I’m an Alien – A Business Analyst in an Agile World
Dot Tudor – TCC Training, Coaching, Consultancy
Interactive workshop (bring a laptop)
As Agile matures and learns from experience, it is clear that the Agile BA has a significant role to play. This interactive and musical session will explore the relationship between Product Owner and Business Analyst, their responsibilities and the skills needed. ““I’m an Alien … I’m a Business Analyst in an Agile world!”
“As a Business Analyst, I have the skills to analyse processes and value chains, to see the strategic need for change and to guide the organisation from present to future ways of working. But the Agile teams undervalue my skills. I am expected just to produce requirements instantly. I don’t have the time to do my job in Agile.”
“I am a Business Analyst but I am expected to be a proxy for the business Product Owner; I have neither the perspective nor the buy-in from the business to do this. I feel like an Alien in the Agile project. Do I even have a role in Agile?”
“I’m a Developer. Why do we need business analysts? I can just talk to the business and find out what they want. I’m not even sure what these Business Analysts do!”
“I’m a Product Owner. I am being expected to analyse and represent my business area in projects, in ways I have no real skills for. Nor do I have the time to develop these skills – I have a product to sell.”
These are the comments of real Business Analysts, Product Owners and Developers in Agile teams. Sound familiar? If so, come along to this presentation and find some answers. As Agile matures and learns from experience, it is clear that the Agile BA has a significant role to play.
Dot is an experienced Agile coach and enjoys helping organisations evolve and improve their ways of working. She has been involved with a wide variety of Agile approaches, since they first began to emerge in the early 1990s, working with the DSDM Consortium, Agile Alliance, Agile Leadership Network and. She is also one of the founders of the BCS International Diploma in Business Analysis, which has pioneered best practice in the business analysis profession for many years. Her company, TCC, is a leading organisation in training and coaching in the Agile and Business Analysis areas. Dot works across all industry sectors, with a wide range of customers from small computer games companies to multinational banks, insurance companies and government organisations. She is a recognised conference speaker both nationally and internationally and a published author. She is a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Chartered IT Professional, as well as a Certified Scrum Professional, DSDM Advanced Practitioner and Certified SAFe Program Consultant. Dot’s passion is to blend Agility with established industry best practices. She has spent the past two year working to produce a handbook of guidance for Business Analysts in an Agile World.
Ole Jepsen goAgile, Denmark Double Session – interactive workshop
In this session, we will use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY ™ to help us answer the following question: ”How do we help business discover what they want?”
Business doesn’t know what they want!” some say. Yet rather than keep saying that, how about if we find ways to work together and discover what product to build to delight the customers? In this session, we will use LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY ™ to help us answer the following question: ”How do we help business discover what they want?” “”Business doesn’t know what they want!” How many times have you said or heard that? Let’s face it – it is impossible to develop the right products and create business value when the people who are supposed to know what to build – do not know what to build. In Agile, we’re okay with business finding out as we go – but if they still do not know what they want, then we’re lost. OR ARE WE??? I say: Let’s find ways to work together and discover what product to build to delight the customers.
We will use the powerful discovery tool: StrategicPlay® with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY ™ where discovery questions are answered with LEGO® models rather than with words – and where various perspectives are blended by merging the various models, each representing one angle or perspective of the answer. StrategicPlay® with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY ™ is like sticky notes and whiteboards on stereoids. People suggest things that they didn’t even know they knew – ideas that suddenly come to mind when they’re thinking about a certain challenge while they’re hands are playing with LEGO® bricks.
Ole Jepsen is an Agile transformation coach at Denmark-based goAgile, working with organizations looking to lead change. Using his expertise in Agile methodologies, Ole shows how gaining varying perspectives and sharing experiences brings about the best ideas that can be used throughout the organisation. Ole is a founder of the Agile Leadership Network (ALN), Danish Agile User Group and Agile Coach Camp Denmark. and he is active in the international agile community, speaking at conferences and consulting worldwide. In addition to numerous Agile certifications, Ole is also a Certified StrategicPlay® Facilitator with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™
Making Mad Men more Agile
Leanne Page & Joanne Ralfe M&C Saatchi
Interactive workshop (no computer)
The Mad Men era in advertising agencies is truly on the way out and collaborative agency models are spreading faster than the traditional top down approach. Agile principles can be used to great effect in advertising agencies and not only for digital projects but also to increase productivity and foster collaboration, creativity and innovation.
In our interactive session we will explore how we can create successful creative environments by adopting agile principles in an advertising context.
Culture is a topic that has been talked about and fought over for eons in our governments, our classrooms and our books. It’s in our language, what we eat, how we dress and how we work, a part of our lives that is the either the fall or the driving force that generates fortunes across the globe.
M&C Saatchi is a global institution for big brands and known for it’s attitude, heritage and its philosophy on how it approaches the way we advertise and create great work. This is what people see on the outside. So, what is happening on the inside?
As we move into the digital age, the realisation of change was paramount across our industry and sent a shockwave throughout the agency. This created the catalyst for the business to make a transition from waterfall to agile not only for its day to day methods but also for its principles – changing the way we interact with each other.
In an effort for all people to feel invested in this shift, we first asked ourselves, what kind environment we would like to work in? What would this new world look like? What products do we see ourselves producing? How fulfilled and satisfied are we and how happy are we?
Ultimately, what do we want to buy in to when we join and work inside an organisation?
This is one of the key questions we will be exploring in our interactive workshop and look to create a world with the participant’s first hand to demonstrate that different worlds can be created by all of us, using the agile principles.
LEANNE: Project manager and lecturer Leanne Page has 8 years experience in commercial, government and international projects. Leanne brings operational expertise that spans a broad range of functional and technology areas in such verticals as digital, energy, finance, events and communication. Her role as a lecturer in Project Management for Fitzwilliam Institute at Kings College London is a highlight and fundamental in her quest for expanding peoples awareness in different ways of working.”I love the impact that can be made on an individual and teams in furthering their career and helping to clear which may be standing in their way” Leanne is a firm believer of learning through experience and learns well this way herself, ‘good or bad staying true to who we are through our journey is the key to making agile work’.
JOANNE : After a stint as a TV production coordinator in South Africa Joanne has been working in advertising agencies in London for the last 5 years working her way up from resource manager to Senior Operations Manager at M&C Saatchi.
Joanne has extensive experience of production processes in creative environments and deals on a daily basis with a wide range of challenges from urgent resourcing requests to team management and motivation. Joanne has embraced agile principles and value in her last few roles, implemented practices not without difficulties which have yielded great results in and around her department.
Joanne is a firm believer that happiness at work and a great work life balance will make a workplace not only a destination but a more productive and therefore profitable organisation.
Danny Whear ShelterBox
Overstretched? Under-resourced? Need to manage other teams/clients expectations? So far so very third sector. But it’s not just charities facing these problems. On the 17th January 2015 I wrote the first words in my agile diary. The aim was simple: to try and adopt some of the methods and ideas I had read so much about in my design team within a charity. A raft of humorous anecdotes, tips learned the hard way and a bucket load of passion and enthusiasm lie in my short presentation.
Saturday 17 January 2015:
Today, armed with a boot-full of reclaimed whiteboards, yellow paint (more on that later) and a thermos of coffee, I snuck back into our offices to perform a changing rooms-esque transformation’. My extensive late-night google-ing has filled my mind with tales of workplace solidarity as teams have seamlessly adapted agile. Yellow I’ve learned is apparently suited to small work spaces and can foster creativity. Yellow it is then.
As I begin painting away the cheeriness of my canary yellow soon begins to give way to doubts over director buy-in, my team members buy-in, the perceived cost implications of this ‘new fangled idea’. It must be time for a coffee break.
Throughout this short presentation I’ll share with you my personal experiences of beginning to adopt some ideas stolen from agile and kaizen. How I quickly learned that pontificating about Toyota wasn’t the quickest way to ‘sell’ the idea into my fundraising buddies. I share the daunting ‘first team meeting’ story from our new, blindingly yellow room. When we moved our first post it note out of development. How we ‘celebrated’. The post it notes. Lets not forget the post it notes. When we added swimlanes. How we used agile to help on our new website project. Our first retrospective, our first user story and the day the CEO asked me about wider implementation.
It’s not been plain sailing, the best things often aren’t. But I’m here to share with you some stories, some lessons learned and hopefully sow a seed of confidence that even in the most unlikely of organisations an agile approach can flourish.
Charity, commercial sector, private or public there’s perhaps something for everyone so if you’re new to this confusing world of scrum masters, kaizen and kanban, retrospects and t-shirt post it notes then join me for a jargon free, visual diary of the past 6 months in my very, yellow room.
Danny Whear is the communication and brand manager and has a background in design and communications within the charity sector and commercial world.
Danny adores DIY culture and is self-confessed ‘self-taught’ nerd. Learning from doing, learning from sharing and taking inspiration from a wide array of sources.
Rachel Picken MPAD @wearempad
At 2014’s Agile on the Beach, Rachel presented her experiences and research on Agile in the PR industry – where she explored different approaches to planning PR and communications campaigns. Her staggering conclusion – some people plan, some people don’t!This year, she will share how an Agile approach to business and campaign development has delivered business growth, cemented client relationships and made creative campaigns more fun to deliver whilst creating impact that’s measurable. One post-it note at a time!
Rachel Picken is MD of communications agency MPAD. An Accredited Practitioner with the Chartered Institute of PR, she has 9 years’ experience in public relations and started her career as a newspaper journalist.She works with organisations at all levels, from strategic communications support at board level to mentoring and training to entry level staff. Her specialism is in charity and voluntary sector organisations, and in delivering measurable campaigns that create an impact. MPAD is a proud supporter of Agile on the Beach.
Steve Adams MSM Software
‘Agile’ is an incredibly powerful software development methodology, however the word ‘agile’ has become one of those IT buzzwords that people use but do not fully understand. So how do you manage expectations for clients who are new to agile or do not fully understand the agile methodology? And, does agile work for every project? This session considers how to define an agile project methodology that fits client needs and will deliver project success.
This session illuminates how to bring clients with you on defining an agile project methodology that fits their needs, acknowledging that this could range from pure agile to a waterfall that adopts agile practices pragmatically to get the best outcome.
Drawing on Steve’s extensive project management experience, this session will cover:
– Measuring and managing client understanding and expectations
– Adopting the right development methodology
– Managing client interactions throughout the project
– Ensuring success
Steve is a highly experienced and talented project manager with extensive experience of managing complex software development projects. Steve is Project Management Lead for MSM Software, a bespoke software development company with offices in London, Bristol and head office in Exeter.
Antonello Nardini & Elisa Bernardini – DDagilepm, Italy
One of the reasons why traditional planning fails, is because the work planned is not prioritized according to the value. The talk highlights the importance of the prioritization, focused on the business value, during the planning process, and to provide a set of guidelines to obtain the financial importance of the features developed within the project. The aim is to illustrate through examples, how the PO and the team can be helped to make smart decisions about the priorities of the themes
One of the reasons why traditional planning fails when we manage innovative projects, is because the work reported in the plan is not prioritized by the value to the user and the customer. Many traditional plans are created with the assumption that all identified activities will be completed. Since the project customers do not care about the sequence in which the work is done, the activities are prioritized and sequenced just for the convenience of the development team. Then, with the end of the project approaching, the team scrambles to meet the schedule by dropping features. Since the work on features has not followed a priority order, some of the features dropped could be of greater value than those are delivered. Moreover, sometimes the delivery of the project is postponed to try to accomplish a feature in delay that has not a real value. Failing in assigning priorities, giving importance to an element of the project that has no value for the customer or postponing the completion of the project to wait for the development of a feature without priority, can lead to the failure of the entire project.
There are 4 primary factors to be considered when prioritizing:
1. The financial value of having features
2. The cost of developing the new features
3. The amount of risk removed by developing the features
4. The amount of new knowledge created by developing the features
Since the projects are undertaken to generate revenue and/or to cut expenses, the first factor is of great importance. If we can estimate the amount of money that will be made or saved by each feature, we can use that to help to prioritize.
Predict the value of a feature is the direct responsibility of the Product Owner (PO), however this task is usually shared with all the project team and in some cases, also it shared with the Department of Marketing and Purchasing. The determination of the value is a difficult activity and often the information provided to the PO are meaningless and they cannot clearly identify the business value of the various themes that make up the project.
The purpose of the talk is to highlight the importance of the prioritization in the planning process with a focus on the business value, providing with a set of guidelines to obtain the financial value of the various features that are developed within the project.
The talk will show which are the various types of return a theme (composed by one or more features) may have: New Revenue, Incremental Revenue, Retained Revenue and Operational Efficiencies, and where these numbers come from. Since we cannot simply summing the total row of the values reported in a typical Theme Return Worksheet for our scope, the talk will illustrate how to utilize one or more standard financial measures to compare multiple themes. For this reason the Net Present value, the Internal Rate of return, the Payback Period and the Discounted Payback Period will be presented.
The final result is to illustrate, even through practical examples, how help the PO and the team to make smart decisions about the relative priorities of the themes.
Antonello Nardini is a certified PMP project manager who has worked in traditional project management offices for 15 years.
I got in touch with the Agile world some years ago, and even though it was initially conceived for software development, I was sure that it could be useful for small and medium companies to release the burden of traditional project management. I began to read books and attend workshops until I had the chance to use agile in some companies not producing software. After some initial difficulties, I’ve achieved great results that convinced me to continue with the agile transformation.
I am currently working, together with project manager Elisa Bernardini, to disseminate the Agile project management in Italy, organizing workshops for the small and medium companies. We would like to share our experiences demonstrating that agile is more than a methodology to manage software development, is a state of mind.