Learning Technology Services

Appropriate Agile for Everyone

Agile Services

Our staff have been designing, developing and delivering Agile solutions since the 1990’s (before Agile had a name).

We have been working in partnership with large organisations since 2005, helping them gain the genuine advantages of Agile approaches within a broader organisational context which is typically not Agile.

Knowledge Transfer is core to our approach. We do not consider a project successful unless we have developed your Agile team to operate without the need for our input. Our objective is to make Agile work for you.

We offer training, team workshops and staff to fulfil Agile roles on short or long-term contracts.

Support and development (for staff, teams and organisations)

We are advocates of Agile, but we are also pragmatic. It is easy to talk about how things should be in a ‘perfect agile world’ - but most people and organisations do not exist in that world.

Organisations often adopt Agile badly. They take on the words and techniques, but not the underlying changes in thinking. We focus on ‘Thinking Agile’ rather than enforcing specific practices and methodologies. We work at all levels from delivery teams to senior management to ensure that the organisation adopts the Agile approach that is right for them.

While promoting Agile, we are experienced in waterfall approaches and a wide range of development methods across the whole design, development and delivery cycle. We can make use of this expertise to make sure that Agile and non-Agile teams can work together to deliver effective solutions.

We contribute at every level from individual staff development, through team building and integration to working with senior management in changing processes and procedures to maximise the benefit of Agile for the organisation.

Instant roles

If you have an immediate role to fill in your project, then we can provide a solution. We will fulfil that role while developing the team and growing their skills so they can subsequently take on that role and work effectively as a team. Roles and skills we deliver include:

Agile Coach
An Agile Coach is a key component of building a successful team and delivering valuable products. Do not confuse them with a trainer who teaches Agile. A coach is: embedded in the team; works closely to deal with relationships, practices and skills within the team; fulfils any role that is required; transfers knowledge to the team and ultimately makes themselves unnecessary. They also lead in creating relationships between the team and the organisation.
Scrum Master
A scrum master is central to the team. They are everyone's assistant. A Scrum Master understands Agile and the methodologies to deliver Agile, in detail. They support the Product Owner and the Development team, ensure Agile Processes are followed appropriately and with benefit to everyone on a day-to-day basis, mentor all members of the team, resolve issues that block or affect progress and ensure clear and effective communication between everyone.
Product Owner/Product Manager
There is no such thing as a Product Manager in Agile. The closest we get is a Product Owner. They act as a central arbiter for decision-making, blending needs and knowledge from various sources to produce and maintain a viable, flexible model of the product and progress. They are also the bridge for communication between stake-holders and the project team.

Other expertise

While 'proper' Agile has no other roles, there are various skills which must be embraced by the team to successfully deliver a project. We can contribute to this skill base in the following areas:

  • Business Analyst
  • User Researcher
  • User Experience Designer
  • Front-end Developer
  • Back-end Developer
  • Content Designer/Technical Author

Workshops and Training

We offer a range of workshop and training topics. We are happy to offer these as training courses across generic audiences, but you get the most benefit when we run them as workshops with specific project teams and engage all team members.

It is also important to remember that we are Agile too – the content and delivery of these courses will change to give the maximum benefit to your organisation. We group the workshops into 3 main areas:

Agile Ideas
Understanding the key values and principles upon which Agile works. Knowing how to 'think Agile' and organise projects and teams in accordance with these values.
Agile Techniques
Knowing a range of techniques (such as Scrum, rapid prototyping, user workshops) which can be used to support Agile working.These courses can be delivered as general training, which explores the range of techniques or as workshops which focus on selecting and implementing the techniques most appropriate to getting benefit from Agile in your team and organisation.
Organisational and Management issues
In the perfect world, Agile teams work with users to their own evolving time-scale and objectives. Sadly, most teams are not in the perfect world - they have to exist in an organisational context which affects resources, timelines, risks, responsibilities and funding. Actively challenging, educating and changing the organisation is an integral part of Agile in this context. A pragmatic, but challenging approach is needed. It is easy for an organisation to take on the words of Agile without ever recognising the benefits. These courses help individuals and teams to recognise the organisational issues and take positive and effective actions to change the perception of Agile and the way it is supported within the organisation

Agile Ideas

Understanding what Agile is really about means you can get the best results for your organisation. How you implement Agile is a secondary issue as long as it is compatible with the core ideas. These workshops ensure staff at all levels understand these ideas and can see how they relate to the specific way in which your organisation works.

  • The concept of Agile
  • Overview of Agile methodologies

Agile Techniques

Agile is a way of thinking, but there are a range of methods and techniques you can use to help develop that way of thinking and adapt it to your specific needs. These workshops provide an understanding of these options and facilitate the individual, team and organisation in arriving at their own approach to Agile.

  • User Stories
  • Estimation
  • Sprinting

Organisational and Management Issues

Because Agile is often discussed in a ‘perfect world’, insufficient attention has been paid to how it impacts on the organisation. We have developed a series of workshops based on our past experience with large organisations (primarily in Telecoms, Education and the Public Sector) that identify common issues and how to approach them. However, every organisation is different and we would always prefer to tailor workshops to the specific needs of your organisation.

  • The Agile Bubble and the Janus team
  • Building Bridges between Waterfall and Agile approaches
  • Governance, Approvals and Risks