On visiting an office, audits and virtual training.
On interim roles, trade-offs and looking outside my “woke” filter bubble.
On new starters, public sector sharing and race equality in Cornwall.
On apprenticeships, testing and some large and small achievements.
On growing our team, cost of delay and a book you must read.
On a busy short week, local elections and COVID in India.
On flexing, failing and basic needs.
On introducing agile, single source of truth and responding to more shootings in the US.
On our new website and second-order agile.
On too much work-in-progress, more agility and vaccinations.
On growing our team, using tech for good and the awful news about Sarah Everard.
On conveyor belts, living up to our values and International Women’s Day.
On public cloud troubles, race equality and #JamFirst
On agile experiments and coaching new developers
On roadmap wrestling, real performance development and tech for good.
On UKGovCamp, tough times in a transformation and being a practical ally.
On getting things done for sure, positive project boards and white men in advertising.
On habit-breaking training, learning to code and loads and loads on money and people systems.
On a year in Cornwall Council.
On always changing things, better priorities and remembering.
On the day-to-day work of running systems, hackathons and coaching new coders.
On all the roadmaps and an animated, LED pumpkin
On interim operating models, pressure and free speech.
On organising for a complex product team, cyber attacks and tinkering with Xmas lights.
Mostly back-office systems with a sprinkle of other things
On back-office systems, exciting administration and Black Voices Cornwall.
On bots, onions and virtual good byes
On continuous improvement and being a BAME ally.
On broadcast communications, our new website, turning problems into lessons, roadmaps and cross-government collaboration.
On user needs, Troika Consulting, scaled agile and being a BAME ally.
On innovation allies, always learning, fighting for flow and more shared learning.
On Bob the Builder, balancing the books and assurance without certainty.
On more tweaks to our agile ways of working, getting comfortable with a 20% success rate and shared learning.
On unlocking great ideas, project epilogues, fragmenting systems and wheelchairs by the sea.
On the many faces of progress and virtual privilege walks
On an exciting future for Cornwall, reducing the cost of indecision and talking to white people about race.
On pushing boundaries, technical frustrations and race science.
On drinking your own champaign and mentoring.
On transforming through a crisis, small continuous improvements and the value of communities.
On ending things well, iterating agile, grand plans and the killing of George Floyd.
On learning by doing, situational leadership and mentoring.
On agile roles, documentation, shared infrastructure and mental health.
On virtual Mexican waves, crossing invisible silos, the downside of agile backlogs and the benefits of traditional project management.
On not wasting a crisis, morning routines, kids coding and the National Grid
On home offices, generic capabilities and insensitive language
On “zoombombing” and getting “forward” to normal. Do not post links or codes for online meetings (e.g. Zoom) in public!
On the endless stream of video calls.
On making trade-offs, when information systems do not mean IT, when numbers are not facts and when probability is meaningless.
On business-as-usual when everything is different, enormous satisfaction from tiny successes and helping each other through all this.
On a face-to-face tech event (remember those?), closing projects in an agile way and fixing ink jet printers…or not!
On business cases, fine tuning teams, jazz fusion, the RSA and COVID-19’s impact on the climate
On Cornwall Geeks, agile forecasting and risk management, scrum-of-scrums, product roadmaps and a first weeknote mention for COVID-19!
On spreading too thin, agile infrastructure, part-time teams and diversity in tech
On financial approvals, learning together and package-free shopping
On being caught between storms.
On resident experience, collaboration and trade-offs, privilege and diversity.
My previous update on Backlogs provided an introduction to the term. This post provides a little more detail on how to work with Backlogs.
On making connections, agile training and recycling sticky notes.
People would love it if we could predict the future. We get this all the time in our work: How much is the project going to cost? When will it be finished so that we can go live? We are really busy so how much of Dave’s time do you need next month? We only get the actual answers to these questions after the work is done (occasionally years later) but people need estimates, forecasts and indications to help coordinate people and activities. Agile ways of working do not immediately remove these needs but techniques like Scrum can help avoid some of the common pitfalls.
On UK Gov Camp 2020, Scrum Master training and working with agile teams.
Think about the last time you bought something at a shop or online: Did you care what brand of vehicle delivered the goods? Probably not! In the Cornwall Council IS team, our products exist to help people get things done and they, in turn, are helping other people get on with their lives. Often, as long as these people can do what they need, the details of how our products work do not matter very much to them. User stories are a way of capturing the needs of our users and leaving out the rest of the details. They are very efficient, easy-to-use and have become the typical way for agile teams to define their products in the product backlog.
In this post, we’re taking a closer look at another agile term: Backlog. The dictionary definition is: an accumulation of tasks unperformed or materials not processed In agile working, backlogs are a list of things that a team still has to do. If you are struggling to get started, brainstorming a list of what a team needs to do is a good first step.
I don’t think the people behind Scrum and other agile methods participated in sports very much. They seem to have borrowed a lot of sporting terms but haven’t used them very wisely. The phrase “Sprint” is a good example of this. In athletics, a sprint involves individuals trying to run faster than everyone else over a short distance. This might be how your team feels at the moment, but it probably isn’t a good picture of where we would like to be.
Today is a big deal for me. For the last few years I have had a ball with colleagues at NTT DATA; working on digital and agile transformation whilst learning and sharing with a group of really smart and friendly people. From today, I am going to be working on digital and agile transformation whilst learning and sharing with a group of really smart and friendly people. So what’s changed?
In my last post1 I mentioned that I was going to make a pitch about the UK Government Shared Services Strategy2 at UKGovCamp. In the end I didn’t need to pitch as @lexij got there first with a great title: The Shared Services Strategy - OMG! Let’s fix it. This post is a personal reflection on what was discussed but the raw notes from the session are also available online3. Blog post: Will shared services ever work? ↩ UK Government Shared Services Strategy ↩ Raw notes from the UK Gov Camp shared services session ↩
Last week the UK Government launched a new strategy for shared business services (common things such as finance and human resources). The general reaction seemed to be quite negative, at least in my filter bubble. Most of the criticisms are probably reasonable but that may be because there are so few examples of sharing successfully at this scale in other countries or sectors. I am hoping to join a discussion about all this at UKGovCamp at the weekend and some in Government are keen to hear what campers think. Now that would be really helpful. I can't go but would be really grateful if you could raise this.— Liam Maxwell (@liammax) January 14, 2018 In the meantime here are some potential challenges and responses to consider. Most of these are relevant for sharing business services in any sector.