Branching out


You know me as a long-time agile coach and trainer — something I’ve been doing now for a good few years. During that time I have often been asked whether I could spin up a software development team to create a new product or explore an idea for one of my clients or someone they know. And I have always declined, either because I was too busy or because it didn’t fit with the direction I wanted to take at the time.

But in recent months I’ve developed a renewed longing for those far off days when I used to lead development teams and architect software solutions for a wide variety of companies in numerous sectors.

So I’ve decided to broaden my offering, and I’ve begun to take on software development and R&D projects again. I won’t stop doing the coaching and training completely, but henceforward I intend to use all of my spare capacity to grow a team doing bespoke software development and R&D projects.plant-164500_1280

My team’s USP, if it needs one, is that every project we take on is done using modern XP values, principles and practices. This also extends to the commercial aspects of our engagements, so that our clients always have weekly opportunities to re-think, re-plan, pivot, or even cancel. You know me, so you also know that this isn’t the usual Agile-with-a-capital-A bulls**t. I led my first XP team starting back in 1999, and I like to think I’ve avoided falling into the traps of commercial “Agile” nonsense in my coaching and training work. So now it’s time to put all of my XPerience to work, and to get back to doing the thing I enjoy most of all: building working software to solve people’s problems.

So if you have a software application that needs developed or an idea that needs investigation and elaboration, please get in touch and employ the services of the best XP team in the north west!

Agile: it’s not just about the development team

Last week Andy Longshaw and I ran our “Agile: It’s not just about the development team”¬†workshop¬†again, this time at XP2016. You can read Andy’s report, and see the posters created by the participants, here. This time we had 90 minutes, which felt a lot less rushed than the 60 minutes we had at AgileManchester last year (read Andy’s report of that run here).

Workshop in progress

Workshop in progress

We have run this workshop four times now, twice at conferences and twice as in-house training. Each time generates great discussion around how the non-software parts of the business need to change their strategies in order to support, cope with and capitalise on a highly agile development team.