Today we’ve decided to take action.  Having roped in a partner in crime, who’s also frustrated with lots of talking and not much movement we’ve made a pact – by 10.30-11 every morning, we’ll be off our computers and cruising the floor causing trouble.

We’re planning to try and focus on one area at a time, rather than scatter-gunning chaos amongst our colleagues, who are already looking slightly weary with the whole process.  Our first stop is features.  If we can get good quality features organised, we hope that’ll flow downhill into good working practices in the team.


Our group has chosen a 3-tier approach to understanding our work: Features, Epics and Stories.  Multiple tasks are required to complete a story, multiple stories make up an epic and multiple epics make up a feature.  Because we are still fed projects into our pipeline, multiple features will make up a project – but we hope to move away from this in the coming months, encouraging the business to come to us with smaller, more valuable packages of work that can be completed quickly.


In the middle of the night, when no one was looking, we posted this on a prominent wall in the office:

benefits_graphThe idea is that by making this large visual statement, we show people that we’re serious about delivering benefits – it’s important to us as a group.  We’re looking to drive the behaviour within each team, to track $$s benefits, to challenge them to understand a financial value they’re adding to the company (it’s easy to pass work off as “improving customer experience” or “needed as technology foundation work, before we could deliver X business value”).

I’m hoping we might also see similar graphs crop up within each of our 8 teams, or at least start a few conversations.

There’s a bit more work to do to add the target benefits that we’ve signed up to (based on business case assumptions of our in flight projects, or commitments attached to pieces of work in the program); but following that, we should have a good start.


A while back I came across this idea of the ninety day plan – the idea that the first 90 days in any new position is critical to setting the tone for the future.  Michael Watkins wrote his book targeted at new leaders, but I also like that we could take this perspective for a new group of people starting this agile journey.

We have a very short window in which we can embed this new change.  Everyone’s in for a shake up anyway, let’s make sure we can see a big change in the way we work and with a little luck, if we’re setting the right examples, these things will become the norm over the next couple of months as we all settle in.

Well, that’s the theory anyway.

I’ve made a plan – every 1-3 days, try something new, take a risk and produce some kind of large, visible (visual?) symbol that things are different to the way they used to be.  I’m hoping that taking this tact will stop us falling into an apathy of simply doing the same job we’ve always done, but with cards on a wall.