Wed. 9th Aug: Ian Carroll on How long will it take? How much will it cost? + John Le Drew and The product owner is an agile anti-pattern + Ian Lister with Cynefin A Gentle Introduction

posted 26 Jul 2017, 01:44 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 26 Jul 2017, 02:57 ]

One of the nice things to have witnessed over the last few years is the growing number of people regularly speaking on lean / agile topics across and based in the north of England. With a slight change to our normal format this months gathering is a showcase of talent with three speakers all from our region. Ian Carroll runs Lean Agile Manchester and we've been trying to coax him along for some time, John Le Drew ran an excellent session at Agile Yorkshire on safety a few months and hosts the Agile Path podcast and Ian Lister is making his debut appearance. Hope everyone is having a great summer and see you in a couple of weeks.

Eventbrite - August 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

Ian Carroll at Agile Yorkshire
Ian Carroll - How long will it take? How much will it cost?

The two questions that have haunted development teams since the beginning of 01/01/1970. In this session we explore the fear associated with deadlines, milestones, and commitments and how to turn this fear into positive focus to embrace the constraint.  We introduce a new estimation technique to help you to manage expectations more effectively.

Bio: Ian Carroll is a consultant, coach, and speaker on all topics related to Lean, Kanban and Agile software development. Using his 25 years of hands-on experience he helps clients transform their organisations using Agile & Lean techniques to lower costs while increasing their ability to respond to changing market demands and outperform competitors. Ian has trained and coached hundreds of software development teams in Agile, Lean and Kanban techniques.

John Le Drew at Agile Yorkshire
John Le Drew - The product owner is an agile anti-pattern

While business knowledge and domain expertise is useful and essential, is this only achievable with a 'single wringable neck'? What would happen if the whole team could be encouraged to take ownership of product direction?
This session looks at how we have often created dysfunctional relationships with our product owners through both the way we collaborate (or don't) with them and the language we use to talk about the role itself.

We will discuss questions like:
 - What is actually the role of the product owner?
 - Why do we discourage 'hero' developers but encourage 'hero' product owners?
 - How do we know what the right thing to do is?
 - Can the whole team engage in product ownership?

Bio: John has spent most of the last 2 decades working in the software industry, with a focus on web technologies. After 10 years as a software engineer John moved into consultancy where he quickly learned the value of team dynamics and how most technical challenges are projecting underlying issues with collaboration. So his focus shifted, while still being very involved technically, his first focus is on facilitating a safe, creative, collaborative environment. John also produces The Agile Path podcast

Ian Lister - Cynefin  A Gentle Introduction "Ever wondered why the world works the way that it does?

This is gentle wander through the foothills of Cynefin the complexity framework, which has recently gathered a lot of momentum in the Agile and lean communities.
Remember Context is King!

Bio: Ian has been in IT since last centenary, its indoor work without heavy lifting so coming from a family of Durham miners he counts himself very lucky.
He has worked in a variety of roles in that time, from Support Analyst to Oracle DBA, from Developer to Development Manager, before settling on being an Agile Coach and Scrum Master as a way of being able to do what he loves doing outside work, as an FA and ECB coach as his day job.
Ian has worked for a variety of organisations such as, HBOS, Bankwest, Close Brothers, NHS Digital and Vodafone to mention a but few.
He spent 7 happy years working for Bankwest in Perth, Western Australia, which is where he started his Agile Journey and learnt to surf before his wife made him come home, he’s over it now though.
Twitter: @idlister Website:

Tue. 11th July: Marcus Robinson and How We Use Value Stream Mapping to Identify Where to Focus to Achieve Maximum Impact and What it Takes to be an Agile Developer with Steve Trapps

posted 21 Jun 2017, 01:35 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 3 Jul 2017, 03:01 ]

We're welcoming Microsoft Evangelist Marcus Robinson talking about value stream mapping for July. Organisations exploring what is actually happening during their product development life cycle isn't easy to spot. If they are the focus is more than likely at the development team level. But, there are often huge lead time gains to be made by looking up and downstream and value stream mapping is an excellent way to do this. Marcus is sharing his experiences doing this with clients. Steve Trapps is also back for July to explore the agile developer skill set and traits. Steve is a past winner of our lightening talks competition and always a popular contributor.

Eventbrite - July 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

Marcus Robinson at Agile Yorkshire
Marcus Robinson - How We Use Value Stream Mapping to Identify Where to Focus to Achieve Maximum Impact

Creating a software development Value Stream Map is an exercise to identify delays caused by people, processes and tools. Over the past 12 months I have been running DevOps focused "hackfests" with customers. Prior to each event we meet to create a Value Stream Map of the software development processes. 
In addition to improving understanding of the existing state the exercise enables opportunities for improvement to be identified.   Given the fact engagements only last for a few days they have been vital in pinpointing which DevOps practices we should focus our effort.
The Value Stream Mapping process has not just been useful for the hackfest but has proved to be an extremely valuable process for all involved.
The value stream mapping exercise wasn't just useful in terms of laying out the technologies and processes.  It was also a bit of a trust and familiarisation exercise for the teams and individuals. We found it extremely valuable.
Isolating and realising how much ‘waste’ there was really interesting to me. I knew there was quite a lot but identifying exactly where and how much there was essentially gave us a green light to carry our further work to improve our build system.
During the session I will describe Value Stream Mapping and the process we carry out. I will then present a number of real world case studies and discuss some of the more interesting areas of waste that we have been able to identify.

Bio: An expert in Microsoft cloud technologies who enjoys designing solutions that take full advantage of the latest innovation and follow industry best practice. Currently focused on working with customers and communities who wish to enhance their use of DevOps and OSS technologies on Microsoft Azure.
Twitter: @techdiction Website

Steve Trapps at Agile Yorkshire
Steve Trapps - What it takes to be an Agile Developer

After being a Developer and having worked with some great Developers, Steve will highlight some of the characteristics that he believes a Developer should have when working in an Agile team.

Bio: Steve has over 20 years of IT experience in various roles; ranging from being a Head of Technology, to a Scrum Master for various development teams, Technical Architect on high profile projects to a Developer who is just happy to be coding away. 
During this time Steve has worked for sector leading companies, BSkyB, Nestle UK, Procter & Gamble whilst also working for small to medium enterprises help them to grow their business by supporting their development processes and the teams within.
Twitter: @stevetrapps Website

Wed. 14th June: Managing change in the 21st century: what we know and where we must do better with Mike Burrows. Plus Ivor Tymchak on Tell stories, not data.

posted 30 May 2017, 16:20 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 6 Jun 2017, 04:24 ]

Author, regular conference speaker and founder of the Agendashift network Mike Burrows is back this month to talk about the perennial topic of managing change. As many of us know through experience, any kind of change is a hard won victory. This is especially so in larger organisations with numerous conflicting agendas. Mike insight is always fresh and  worth listening to. This months support slot is filled by Ivor Tymchak fresh from his TechOff victory at the Leeds International Festival. Ivor has been running speaker workshops with Agile Yorkshire for a couple of years now and is back to tell us how he won, pass on some tips and explain the new round of workshops we're organising to help budding presenters take their stories to the next level at conferences and beyond.

Eventbrite - June 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

Mike Burrows at Agile Yorkshire
Managing change in the 21st century: what we know and where we must do better with Mike Burrows

Which is better: “top down”, with the challenge of overcoming resistance to change, or “bottom up”, perhaps never gathering momentum? Perhaps this is false choice? Could there be a third way, an approach to organisational transformation that is simultaneously respectful, ambitious, and sustainable?

Bio: Mike Burrows is author of Kanban from the Inside and founder of Agendashift, the home of an integrated set of online, workshop-based and coaching tools for a growing community of Lean-Agile transformation practitioners. Prior to these roles, he has been a CTO for a late-stage startup and Executive Director and global development manager for a top tier investment bank. Part I of his new book Agendashift: clean conversations, coherent collaboration, continuous transformation was published May 11th, 2017.
Twitter: @asplake Website:

Ivor Tymchak winner of the Leeds Techoff at Agile Yorkshire
Ivor Tymchak on Tell stories, not data.

Often, data is found that is so significant that the discoverers forget in their excitement to add a simple story to it before they try to explain it to the world. How the data is received by the public depends upon the story accompanying it.
In this talk, I'll tell you a story about a hugely important discovery, how data confirmed its efficacy but because it was lacking a good story it wasn't taken seriously for years resulting in the loss of countless lives. I'll also explain how I applied this story principle to the Tech-Off contest and came out the champion.

Ivor Tymchak at Agile Yorkshire
Bio: I'm an outsider. I ask a lot of questions about systems, ideas and beliefs and I analyse any answers given. Often, the answers don't make sense so I ask more questions. Because my background is one of a creative practitioner - film-maker, artist, musician, business owner, Bettakultcha organiser, presentation skills trainer - I've been allowed to ask these questions without arousing too much suspicion. I've learned a lot by doing this and I've got a lot to tell you - some of the stories you won't believe! I won't lie to you, though.
Twitter: @ivortymchak Website:

Tues. May 9th Tony Heap:Story Splitting for Beginners and Experts Alike and Stew Abel: Using AWS PaaS for an MVP

posted 7 May 2017, 23:33 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 7 May 2017, 23:35 ]

Fresh from the hugely successful one day Crazy Agile Thing conference over Leeds Digital festival week we've two excellent speakers pluck from our own community this month. Tony Heap has always been very popular with his past session being amongst our most watch videos and Stew Able, long time supporter of AY is debuting as a speaker.

Eventbrite - May 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

Tony Heap at Agile Yorkshire
Tony Heap:Story Splitting for Beginners and Experts Alike

User story splitting is an established practice on agile delivery teams. But in my experience, it’s really difficult to do well.
In this presentation I’ve pulled together everything I’ve learned about story splitting. I'll talk about why, when and how to split stories. I'll present different story splitting techniques and, most importantly, I'll show you what order to use them in. I'll also explain why I think it's dangerous to play with spikes!
If you're new to story splitting, this presentation is for you. If you think you already know how to split user stories, think again!

Bio: Tony Heap is a freelance agile coach / trainer / scrum master / business analyst designer based in Yorkshire. He has worked for all sorts of clients including HMRC, YBS Group, ASDA, Morrisons, NHS, DoH, RWE nPower, Arcadia, BT, BarclayCard and Egg, in some cases partnering with consultancies such as Equal Experts, BJSS and Answer Consulting. In his spare time he likes to share his experiences and ideas on his blog He is particularly interested in agile approaches and how they apply to business analysis. He is a requirements denier.

Stew Able at Agile Yorkshire
Stew Abel: Using AWS PaaS for an MVP

Need to start a new project? Do you need to keep your hosting costs low and development time short? Does throwing everything at AWS PaaS products help? Stewart decided to try just this to find out . Here he discusses his experience, and lessons learned.
Bio: Stew is a software development consultant, helping unlock potential in teams, and ensuring the right thing is built in a sustainable way.

Wednesday April 12th: John Le Drew with Swearing, Nudity and Other Vulnerable Positions plus Chris Cheadle & Sean Craig on Firebreak Tall Tales - A Break From Routine

posted 23 Mar 2017, 19:34 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 3 Apr 2017, 02:00 ]

This month John Le Drew, host of the Agile Path podcast is previewing his talk about safety and it looks great. Also AY regulars Sean Craig and Chris Cheadle will be presenting an experience report on an innovation experiment they ran within the NHS. They'll be sharing their insight warts and all.

Eventbrite - April 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

John Le Drew at Agile YorkshireJohn Le Drew: Swearing, Nudity and Other Vulnerable Positions

Over 3 months John recorded over 60 hours of interviews and spoke to some of the most respected people in the industry to produce an audio documentary that attempts to answer the question “What is safety? And why is it important anyway?”
This highly interactive talk will present the findings and guide and challenge you through a journey to understanding safety. 
This talk has grown as John created the new podcast The Agile Path. The first season on this podcast (which will launch in Jan 17) is about safety in teams. John has interviewed world renowned specialists in the field; Christopher Avery, David Marquet, Jerry Weinberg, Esther Derby, Johanna Rothman, Woody Zuill and many more in over 60 hours of audio. This has been a fascinating deep dive learning experience for John and he hopes to explore these insights with the audience.

Bio: John has over 17 years of experience working in software engineering as a system administrator, software engineer, technical lead, technical director, development manager and agile coach. He currently runs the consultancy firm Wise Noodles here he helps organisations solve tough technical problems by untangling their people problems. He is also host of The Agile Path Podcast which creates in-depth audio documentaries on the topics that most affect organisations transitioning to agile ways of working.
Twitter: @antz29 Website:

Chris Cheadle at Agile Yorkshire
Sean Craig at Agile Yorkshire

Chris Cheadle & Sean Craig: Firebreak Tall Tales - A Break From Routine

Towards the end of last year, we decided to remove as many constraints as possible and let our let team at NHS.UK work on what they wanted for 2 weeks. We borrowed the idea, and the name, from GOV.UK but of course they weren't the first and won't be the last. This is our story. What worked, what didn't, what we will do differently next time and why we think you might want to consider one where you work.

Bio: Apart from two years as an International Account Manager for software sales, Chris has been leading project delivery in both the public and private sector since 1996. During the early 2000s Chris developed a passion for improving how organisations work and has strived to combine delivery with effectiveness and efficiency improvements since. Accredited in 2004 for leading the capability maturity improvement in both delivery marques at level 3 by the APMGroup; a world first. In October 2009, he joined the team delivering the website and since January 2011 he has been leading the project and programme teams at NHS Choices.
Sean is an experienced leader of software development teams with over 20 years’ experience in technical roles with organisations such as Kellogg’s, IBM, Yorkshire Water, Asda, Department of Health and currently dev manager for NHS.UK at NHS Digital.
An agile and lean advocate and implementer and he’s transformed teams from waterfall to agile in multiple organisations. 

Tuesday March 14th: Amy Thompson and Velocity: The Golden Snitch of Scrum plus Jon Fulton with Agile Telemetry: Using Data Like a Formula 1 Team

posted 10 Mar 2017, 02:34 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 10 Mar 2017, 06:14 ]

Last month's two engineering based presentations received great feedback but we like to mix things up and this month it's all metrics, data and quantitative decision making. This should be the foundation and focus of any lean / agile leadership team, however this is sometimes not the case. When an organisation uses data well it knows what it's capable of and can match resources to demand, deliver predictably and react in real time to production problems before they escalate. Unfortunately the lagging indicator reports of old are still alive and in common use, accompanied by the familiar lurching from one crisis to the next. 
Come along this month, learn from others and don't let that happen.

Eventbrite - March 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

Amy Thompson at Agile Yorkshire

Amy Thompson and Velocity: The Golden Snitch of Scrum

No-one seems to talk about velocity anymore. I want to talk about velocity. And Harry Potter a bit. I mean I like Harry Potter, but I like stable velocity a fair bit more. I'm going to talk about why velocity is so important to me, why it should be so important to you, and how its possible achieve predictable delivery when you catch the Golden Snitch of Scrum. 

Bio: Amy Thompson is an award winning Scrum Master and Agile Coach who is passionate about Agile practices. Specialising in Scrum and Kanban, her belief in discipline and structure has transformed many teams to high performing success. Having worked in an array of organisations from large enterprises to FinTech startups, there's not much she hasn't seen. Amy firmly believes the key to high performance is a collective mantra of 'setting each other up for success', and educates both teams and senior management on how to do this well.
twitter: @Scrum_Mistress + blog and website

Jon Fulton at Agile Yorkshire
Jon Fulton with Agile Telemetry: Using Data Like a Formula 1 Team

Formula 1 teams use data to fuel continuous improvement. Can agile teams do the same with Metrics? If they can, what effect can this have on people? Jon will share thoughts and experiences from using Metrics with agile teams.

Bio: Jon spent 12 years as a software developer before swapping code for people in 2012. Since then he has worked with teams to use Agile and Lean techniques to deliver great results, ranging from software for ticketing and turnstiles at the London Olympic park, to Online Sports Betting. Last year Jon joined Sky’s brand new technology centre at Leeds Dock, where he is now involved in the continuous development of Sky’s Kids App, streaming children’s TV to mobile devices.
twitter: @JonFultonUK

Tues February 21st - Dr Oliver Shaw: Test Driven Development, the most misused term in software development? and Keith Williams: Dependencies, Injection and Abstraction for Fun and Profit

posted 9 Feb 2017, 08:26 by Royd Brayshay   [ updated 15 Feb 2017, 07:36 ]

It's a while since Agile Yorkshire had an entire evening of content that was firmly planted in agile engineering but for February we're back to our roots. We're still building our calendar for 2017 so watch out for new announcements and get in touch if you know someone with a story to tell.

Eventbrite - February 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

Dr Oliver Shaw: Test Driven Development, the most misused term in software development?

In this talk Oliver describes what "Doing TDD" is and, importantly, what it isn't. He will make the ethos of TDD very clear and show you how to do TDD via a live coding demo. He touches on mocking, the testing pyramid and finishes by doing a fanaticism check with the audience.

Bio: Oliver is an associate with Equal Experts. Currently assisting the public sector. Oliver has an interest in creating pragmatic, quality software and getting that into live as soon as possible using DevOps techniques. Specific tech interests include Scala, Docker, CI/CD. Co-Organiser of DevOps North East. 
twitter: @olly_shaw

Keith Williams at Agile Yorkshire
Keith Williams: Dependencies, Injection and Abstraction for Fun and Profit

What is abstraction, and when should you use it? How much is too little, and how much is too much? Why are we even bothering anyway? If you get it right, you might just make your life much easier; get it wrong and you might end up wishing that you never bothered.
In this talk, we’ll examine what abstraction (and, more specifically, dependency injection) is, what it does, and how it can make your code more testable and reliable, as well as being a key factor in enabling continuous delivery.

Bio: Keith began his career by setting up websites for local bands; since then he has progressed from web developer to senior developer and technical architect, moving from PHP to .NET, and has changed his mind about all aspects of development more times than he can count. He’s currently leading the development team at Sun Branding Solutions, with the stated mission of keeping the company on the bleeding edge without losing too much blood in the process.
twitter: @zogface

January 10th - Adam Mitchell: Hello... I'm Your Project Manager! plus Kev McCabe: The Agile Fluency Model

posted 4 Jan 2017, 14:47 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 5 Jan 2017, 08:15 ]

Eventbrite - January 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

Adam Mitchell: Hello... I'm Your Project Manager!

The dichotomy between agile teams and traditional management has plagued my world for the past few years. I look at scenarios you might come up against and how I've tried to deal with them to allow companies to transform into an agile way of delivery.

Bio: Agile coach and triathlete. Spent the last 14yrs working in IT around Leeds/Manchester. Left development behind and moved into helping companies with agile transformation programs. 

Kev McCabe at Agile Yorkshire
Kev McCabe: The Agile Fluency Model

Agile is about teams and people, and the success of any project will depend on it team(s). Team fluency is more than the capabilities of the team members. There is also the management structures, relationships, and company culture, as well as the tools, practices and technologies that the team use. Many agile teams have plateaued, while we all know that continuous improvement is a foundation of agile, many teams has stopped making these improvements. They lose the benefits that can be had for themselves and the company. The Agile Fluency Model will help guide a pathway through many of these issues and work with the wider business to incorporate them into the agile process.

Bio: Kev has worked with large corporations in the Finance, Media, E-commerce and Logistics spaces. He’s currently a freelance code smith, coach & trainer; With a passion to improve developers from the ground up in all areas of development. He also has a huge Interest in all things Agile since 2002, mainly XP, but of late Scrum & Kanban having become a Certified Scrum Master in 2012 and Accredited Kanban Practitioner in 2013 and SAFe agilist in 2015. 

Eventbrite - January 2017 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

December 13th - Annual Lightning Talks

posted 6 Dec 2016, 10:45 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 10 Dec 2016, 08:19 ]

Agile Yorkshire Lightning Talks Competition
Every year around Christmas we host the annual Agile Yorkshire Lightning Talk Competition. It's an Xmas tradition to make the December 13th meeting a celebration of community speaking, with prizes to boot. If you haven't been before then you've definitely missed out on a quite a bit of fun and an opportunity to be inspired. 

The topics are now confirmed!

David Oakes"Do You Trust Your Dog ?" - All about building and developing trusting relationships
Andy BurginHello, this is Windows support desk...

This is the humerous tale of when the support scammers picked on the wrong guy. I'll explain how on two occasions I spent over an hour winding up a fake support company. I'll explain many of the petty and annoying techniques I used to cause the poor "support" team to despair at my self imposed inept abilities and why they resorted to calling me a "monkey". But there is a serious side to this and hopefully you'll take the "funnies" from this and share it with those who might be at risk.
Tom CraneDifferent types of failure
Adam Mitchell Why Triathlon is better than football
Steve TrappsThe problem with Agile is...
Mr Ethar AlaliMonsterLith Inc: A Tale of two Ditties
Dave LiveseyGeospatial for dummies - why mapping matters
Daniel DrozdzewskiWhy does your browser think #chucknorris is a color ?
Naeem Sarfraz"You built what I asked for, it's not what I needed"

Eventbrite - December 2016 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

8th November, James Hull - We Become What We Behold: Sociology, software and Conway's Law + Stephen Mounsey, Listening: An essential skill for software testers

posted 1 Nov 2016, 16:50 by Neil McLaughlin   [ updated 5 Nov 2016, 04:47 ]

Eventbrite - November 2016 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

James Hull Headshot
James Hull - We Become What We Behold: Sociology, software and Conway's Law

Conway's Law states that 'organizations which design systems ... are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations' - e.g. highly distributed development teams will produce a distributed application architecture.

""First we shape our tools, then our tools shape us"". In the context of software development, do we reflect enough on the way our environment, tools, languages etc determine how we view the world and attempt to problem solve?

What can awareness of these sociological aspects of software do to help our work, and what are the implications for business, politics and the economy?

Bio: Freelance Agile and Systems Thinking consultant and developer @jamesahull

Stephen Mounsey Image
Stephen Mounsey, Listening: An essential skill for software testers

“When you talk you are repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new” Dalai Lama

Are you really listening? Listening is an important skill for any human being but for a tester an essential skill. If part of testing is about information gathering and interpretation then Listening is a key component.

A detailed look at the art of listening with parallels being drawn between listening theories and how we test. Listening when done effectively has the potential to change your relationships as well as your testing.

Bio: Stephen is a scrum master and agile coach who values visualisation, games, play and fun at work. He's an enthusiastic agilist with a passion for emergent thinking and self organising teams. When Stephen gets time away from his 2 dogs and 2 young children, he likes to attend and speak at agile and test meet ups.

Eventbrite - November 2016 Agile Yorkshire Meetup

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