Product Owner is an oft-misunderstood Agile role that is seen as vital, but very few projects seem to have one. And if one asks different people what the role entails, one gets quite a range of responses. In this article, I will share a few observations based on my own experience.
A 2021 study revealed that the average professional spends an average of 21.5 hours in meetings every week. So meetings must be worth having right? In this blog post I share a number of tips on how to ensure meetings provide maximum value.
The fifth and final in a series of articles, in which we will explore the qualities and behaviours necessary to be an effective Scrum Master and why those qualities and behaviours are important in specific situations.
The fourth in a series of articles, in which we will explore the qualities and behaviours necessary to be an effective Scrum Master and why those qualities and behaviours are important in specific situations.
Our journey of digital transformation with the Scottish Government and the completion of a major milestone in the delivery of a payments service.
The third in a series of articles, in which we will explore the qualities and behaviours necessary to be an effective Scrum Master and why those qualities and behaviours are important in specific situations.
The second in a series of articles, in which we will explore the qualities and behaviours necessary to be an effective Scrum Master and why those qualities and behaviours are important in specific situations.
The first in a series of articles, in which we will explore the qualities and behaviours necessary to be an effective Scrum Master and why those qualities and behaviours are important in specific situations.
Since the Government Gateway launched two decades ago , there is now an array of Government online portals available, allowing citizens to securely authenticate with a digital identity, and access Government services. In this blog post, I discuss the legacy of the Government identity services, and the recent Cabinet Office push for the 'development of a single sign-on and identity assurance system.'
· Video
In this talk, Hugh Wallace, Transformation Lead at the Scottish Government, offers his insights on introducing and sustaining a new, agile approach to developing the Scottish Government's payments platform. I provide the supplier perspective on this partnership, drawing on Scott Logic’s experience of being delivery partner for the Scottish Government Payment Service.
Before COVID, the creation of a Team Manifesto for a software project was seen as good practice but not essential. In this post, I explain why Team Manifestos have become much more important to us in the context of remote-first team formation.
According to the power sector regulator, Ofgem, “The fastest route to NetZero is via data and digitalisation”. The endeavor of making energy data open presents a significant challenge — but power companies can take reassurance and learn valuable lessons from the success of the UK’s rapid implementation of Open Banking.
Open Banking is a huge step in the right direction towards Open Data, however it only provides a thin slice of a customer’s finances, as consumers we still don’t have a solution that allows us to fully view and manage our “financial health” based on our personal lifestyle circumstances. Could Open Finance be the answer? In this post I’ll explain what Open Finance is, and further explore the possible opportunities and obstacles ahead.
Remote working every day for months on end is a form of sensory deprivation. Our team working on the Scottish Government Payment Service is coming up with practical ways to address this and promote sustainable working. We want to share them here in case any are useful on your own projects.
This is the first in a series of blog posts that we’ll be publishing over the coming months about how to build effective remote teams. We’ll share insights and experiences from the Scott Logic delivery team working on the Scottish Government Payment Service as they shape optimal ways of working on this important project.
The energy transition will challenge everything especially your digital capabilities. The smart energy leaders are now talking to those who have been down this road before, are you?
Back in May I wrote a blog, Beyond COVID, discussing the changes we may see in the UK after the lockdown. With restrictions now lifting (or maybe not lifting), it seems to be a good time to revisit my thoughts and look ahead to the future.
The change from fossil fuels as our primary source of energy to renewables has vast and immediate implications for our power infrastructure and its operators. It will take smart and open thinking leaders to create a smart and open power network.
In this article, I would share some thoughts about how to approach something we all dread and why it is important to be transparent in an appropriately sensitive way.
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If you don’t work in finance or technology then the chances are, you may not have heard of Open Banking. In this article I’ll explain more about Open Banking, my own experience of implementing an Open Banking API solution for a UK challenger bank, and a brief look at what's coming next...
Those organisations who emerged stronger and more competitive from the 2008 global financial crisis are at it again. They have benefited significantly from past bold and decisive moves and now they are wasting no time adapting to the next version of the future. So what are the tenets of change this time?
In this article, I would like to look at some traps that often impact performance in the workplace and outline some efficient ways to ensure your team is doing a good job.
Following the recent relaxation of Lockdown, and with reports circulating of further loosening, we can all start to look forward to something approaching normality. But what will constitute “normal” in the future, and what will this mean for the technology we use?
I’m not loving you, the way I wanted to What I had to do, had to run from you
I’m in love with you, but the vibe is wrong
And that haunted me, all the way home
In this post, I am discussing my exploratory journey into Power BI and how to connect it to Azure DevOps and Jira so we can create more advanced analytics such as Cycle Time scatter plots and Cumulative Flow Diagrams. It is the short step-by-step tutorial that I would have liked to find on my own hunt for information on the topic.
Traditional metrics tracking progress against a plan are not fit for purpose in an agile environment. Quality metrics often focus mainly on bugs producing numbers that are most often not very meaningful. I am discussing a different approach to both using Flow to judge process efficiency and a measure of practices used to express quality.
· Video
In this webinar, Bartosz shares his experience and practical advice on how to increase your organisation's chances of DevOps success.
In this post, I discuss agility in more general terms than thinking about any specific framework. My aim is to highlight the overarching purpose of agility for businesses as a whole as opposed to concentrating at the team level as I have seen so often.
Setting a Sprint Goal is a powerful means of achieving focus, motivating and inspiring your team. So why is it always forgotten about?
When a project goes off the rails, the question becomes how to get delivery back on track, or even whether to cancel the project entirely. Here at Scott Logic, we have many years of experience helping businesses to recover projects and I wanted to share some insights from that experience.
The extension of IR35 tax reforms to the private sector has the potential to be highly disruptive. As I’ll explain here, it is vital to act now – and help is at hand.
Agile is a thing that you are, not a thing that you do, or buy. We can't treat Agile as an off the shelf product. Focus on promoting agility.
“But we already do it in the codebase” is a statement most developers have heard as a reply to a question about some sub-optimal code. But is consistency worth the price of lower quality applications? Or is it an excuse used for a less virtuous approach?
Political Journalists - "How can everything have gone so wrong, it must be betrayal." Software Engineers - "Oh yes, this all seems very familiar, I see what you did there, ayup."
Adapted from a Lightning Talk this is a brief blog post visiting ten points about agile software development that people may recognise from their own experiences. The aim is to inspire readers to focus on a specific improvements for their own agile teams.
After attending Agile in the City in Britain’s bustling capital for the first time I’d like to share my experience of the event together with a brief overview of my personal highlights and learnings.
Since the Agile movement went mainstream towards the end of the last decade many organisations have invested heavily to “go Agile”. People have been trained, Scrum Masters hired, tools purchased and whole change programmes executed. But what have we achieved and have the expectations for agility been met?
The flexibility and power of issue tracking tools can make it difficult to figure out how to use them effectively. In this post, I present a few simple tips on what I find works and what doesn't.
There are differences in technical ability across any development team. In this post I look at how those differences can result in substandard code getting into your releases, and some steps to take to avoid that happening.
The habit of setting a release date for a project is often an obstacle to the success of said project. Focusing on delivering quickly and often usually makes more sense from a commercial and from a technical perspectives.
Sharing our experience of delivering a complex, technical project, and why we decided to switch to Agile (Scrum) mid-project to take control of the project delivery.
Being a scrum master from a technical background, resisting the appeal of being a more technical team member, can be tricky. In this article, I weight up the pros and cons of technical scrum masters, and some pitfalls to try and avoid
An MVP is a product that has just enough features to add business value. Typically you quickly learn from it to improve on subsequent releases or inform business decisions. MVP is also a buzzword and many have tried to constrain its definition. However, when people talk about MVPs, they mean different things. In this post, I describe the 3 types of MVPs that I encountered.
Scaled Agile Frameworks can be used to upscale agile practices for multiple development teams. Here I consider when it can go right, when it can wrong and some pitfalls to watch out for.
It negatively affects all of us mentally and physiologically, yet we seem unable to stop. But are we really doomed to increasingly crumble under the weight of our workload, or can we change our ways to fit the agile world?
This Halloween, coming to a project near you... What horrors lurk on Agile projects when they go wrong? And how do we slay these beasts?
DevOps culture is a critical part of successfully delivering an enterprise scale project. Getting that culture into a company requires a mindset change. In this article, I explore the journey to the DevOps Culture, DevOps Mindset and provide some practical advice based on my experiences.
Can the perfect team evolve beyond the need for sprint retrospectives?
How many times have you heard that from a client?
A discussion of how companies develop rules in line with the values they hold, and how to deal with situations where those rules obstruct you from your job.
Being software developer requires technical insight and analytical approach. Yet, this is just part of the role. This article explores soft skills that are important part of every software developers life.
In our professional work life we regularly come across difficult people we’d love to avoid, ignore or get away from - this is especially true if you are a consultant or contractor and work with so many different people. In reality however, we have to collaborate also with difficult people. In this article I want to look at the situations, types of people and some techniques that can help.
Working for a Digital agile consultancy was my first real exposure to Government / Public Service projects. GDS provide an exceptional amount of process and control for any OGD (Originating Government Department) so trying to follow their rules, the client's wishes and employing a succesful agile delivery methodology can mean serving multiple masters. It did (sometimes) work out.
If you're new to Agile you've probably heard the term Story Point a few times and, especially if you come from a more traditional project management or product background, you may be trying to figure out what a Story Point is and how big one is. This article tries to explain what this is in a more digestible format.
With a well publicised history of multi-billion pound IT failures and operating inefficiencies the UK government took the decision to adopt agile across the public sector. This is a brief look at the history of that adoption and lessons learned for those with an interest in agile project delivery.
This blog post discusses concerns around agile delivery, particularly within the public sector
This blog post discusses the merits of adopting a culture of continuous change
While there is much written about Agile, it’s important to understand not only the principles of the frameworks but also what it means to *be* Agile.
It is a great joy to be a member of a productive team that delivers exceptional value. In this blog post I will share things that developers can be doing to make that happen. Ideas presented are funded in Agile principles and Lean manufacturing.
The demand for speed in Digital Transformation is set against a backdrop of legacy technology, processes and procurement methods, demanding a culture shift
This post explores continuous delivery within an agile context, and goes into detail about what it really means to be doing continuous delivery.
Over the past year, I worked on a large project which saw a dramatic shift towards a more Agile way of working. In this post, I will run through exactly what changed, how it made our project better, and what you can do to become more Agile.
Agile is a term that is heavily overloaded within software development. In this blog I take a look at Agile as a mindset for development, as opposed to a set of tools and practices.
The exact method used for introducing Agile will depend on the nature of our client. Here I look at how different clients might affect the approach we take.
An alternative to introducing Agile incrementally is to make a 'big bang' transition, converting over to Agile all at once. In this post I take a look at how this might work.
One of the common ways of introducing Agile is to incrementally move the current process to a more Agile one. Here I take a look at the strengths and weakness of this approach.
As Agile methodologies gain more acceptance in the software development world, should Scott Logic look at introducing Agile to our client projects? And if so how?
Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum are Agile methods based on the same underlying principles, but they also differ in purpose.
Last week I gave a presentation on Agile Development for an event hosted by Codeworks and Sunderland Software City.