James Hull: The Power of #No
Sometimes conversations on Twitter seem like they are "Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing." Certainly some of the tweets around the hashtag #NoEstimate can feel like that sometimes.
Is this a bunch of developers stubbornly refusing to engage with the businesses that employ them, being irresponsible with the money their work costs, eschewing accountability and shrugging their shoulders saying "Don't know"? Or is it something more in the spirit of Agile, where some folks working in software acknowledge that the use of estimates in software development can be problematic and lead to dysfunction if misused, and are looking for alternative approaches to managing the delivery of working software to those who need it? In a similar vein, all of us will have experienced complex software work as being treated as a Project, and hence Project Management techniques being deployed to ensure the work is done on time, on budget and to specification. Is this the best means of doing so? #NoProjects suggests otherwise and I’ll take a look at why. Finally we’ll draw together what these challenges to orthodoxy mean for the future of work in the 21st Century.
Bio: James is a freelance Agile software professional with 20 years experience in a variety of technical and managerial roles. James first became introduced to Scrum and Agile in 2009 and has been exploring better ways of getting things done ever since. James spent nearly 10 years at Leeds firm Science Warehouse where he had a hand in everything from the public website, handling support calls, architecting and developing an on demand Business Intelligence application, growing a development team and managing the product roadmap. Influenced by systems thinkers such as Deming, Ackoff and Seddon, James is always keen to find pragmatic ways to "make the work work" for organisations who are also wanting to do better.
In this talk Jon will present a case study where Equal Experts were engaged with a large finance client to deliver new versions of their payment service while improving their delivery practices and supporting an 'agile transformation'. There were many attempts to introduce new working practices, tools and techniques. One change in particular was orders of magnitude more effective than any other and proved the catalyst for embedding most of the change that had failed to stick before.
Bio: Jon Dickinson is a partner at Equal Experts. When he's not spending time with his family in Wales or running trail marathons, he spends his time working on client sites or building the Equal Experts North operations. Jon has a passion for all elements of software delivery. He started his career in software delivery as a programmer. Over the last 15 years he has consciously increased the breadth of his experience to include the full lifecycle of software delivery. Jon fervently believes in the concept of generalising specialists and is keen to see more technology leaders adopt this mindset.