Another week, another interesting slightly different networking session.
For agencies working on CMS projects, Agile is a bit of a sticking point. Definitions of Agile really do differ from one client to another. It’s also difficult to be ‘truly Agile’ when the whole reason you are working with a client is because they have chosen to build onto a CMS product. Frequently they will have decided an implementation budget, defined a set scope and set a challenging deadline. So it can be difficult to deliver much beyond what is written into commercial contracts with scary penalty clauses.
That said, we do think that for larger transformational projects there’s often a lot of sense in adopting Agile principles like failing fast and learning by doing. This is why we like to keep our toe in to understand how we can help our clients by continually optimising our own delivery process.
Agile in Leeds told us two few things:
- 10-minute lightning talks with a hooter if you overrun keeps things short and interesting (!)
- Agile working is much bigger and more interesting than we thought.
The guys from Infinity Works in Leeds who run Agile in Leeds deliver some huge projects for the likes of Skybet and NHS Digital. Unsurprisingly, they’re all very bright and interesting.
There were around half a dozen talks which were all entertaining. Some (like the image below on Agile Jams) looked at how adopting Agile principles was helping organisations to work internationally. Jamming was a particularly intriguing concept. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Jamming is a collaborative way of looking at challenges with people you wouldn’t normally work with and creating a working prototype very quickly (normally within 48 hours).
At the end of each Jam, ideas are submitted and reviewed by peers across the world. It sounds like a great way of learning and developing new skills.
A lot of the other talks centred on how to get the different personality types you find in any business to participate effectively within an Agile environment. This was particularly interesting to i3 Digital as lots of our projects involve IT, Marketing and Commercial people and personalities on the clients’ side frequently clash. We’ve found this to be even more evident in Agile projects as you can’t ‘keep certain difficult people away’ from projects in quite the same way as a Waterfall delivery with a set scope and limited communication channels.
Using the hierarchies of Monkeys by way of comparison, one of the talks centred on how lasting authority in both apes and humans is centred on an ability to do something differently, not aggressively. This really resonated with us. In a world of ‘Digital Disruption’, it’s perhaps important to remember that the best way of disrupting is to do something that is difficult to replicate. Not just enforce change quickly.
If you have an event you would like us to visit in Leeds, Belfast, Dublin or London please get in touch with Keith@i3digital.com