Agile Tour London

Here’s a bit of a delayed blog post about my not-so-recent visit to The Agile Tour London on 23rd October 2015. There isn’t going to be another one in London until late next year so it’s great to be able to share what went on whilst it’s still relevant!

It was an interesting event; I had moments of “oh wow this is brilliant” followed by “what am I doing here?!”, learned some new tricks and refreshed some old practices.

In a nutshell I would consider it a success. A couple of topics covered that I particularly enjoyed and which had a definite impact were:

  1. The frequency of releases to customers: 

We all talk about how it is a good thing to get early feedback from customers and get new features out there soon as possible, starting with a minimal viable product. But in that passion to deliver fast, what we sometimes fail to understand is how often customers actually want or need updates. It can sometimes be more disruptive than constructive to be releasing too frequently, especially if it means a new feature release actually disrupts a customer’s day-to-day job.

  1. How fast we really are going compared to the rest of the world:

One of the main objectives of Agile is to achieve continuous improvement. There are a number of key metrics to help measure success such as velocity, cycle times…the list goes on. It does help to see if a team is improving and moving forwards, but if you have multiple teams how do you know how the teams compare? To take it a step further, do you know if your teams are doing as good as the rest of the industry?  Where do you stand?

As this was an interactive session there were a lot of ideas flowing around the room. One that I liked (mainly because it was mine) was that of an App which could record measures and compare and score teams across companies. Another one was cross-company agile workshops. At the time we were discussing this idea, the risk of these workshops causing a big overhead became apparent but having thought about it, there could be actual work done if they were correctly planned and structured.

Those of you who are interested and are “clever” enough to search the internet will now find some funny looking pictures of me from the conference.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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