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Andy Hiles

Principal ConsultantA firm believer that great teams build great products. Andy is a highly experienced process coach, agile practitioner, and certified Agile trainer with the British Computer Society. Currently co-organiser of the South Wales Agile Group
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Recent Posts

Train. Practice. Trust. (Part III)

**This is the third article in the ‘Train. Practice. Trust’ series. Read Part II here.**

 

“Take responsibility for your actions and the actions of your teammates.” - Navy Seal Code


We've all been there. It’s the same thing that happens to our projects. We have been put under some deadline constraint imposed by people outside of our team, and instead of looking at the process around us, we rush the process because we absolutely need to add more people. ‘The printer is not quick enough, so we need thirty more paper stuffers to make it go faster’. It takes a long time for a new employee to just understand the nature of the business, let alone the dynamics of a new team.


We are constantly engaging in feedback loops. Under stress, our internal and external empiricism kicks in. Add uncertainty to the mix and the Tuckman model for team state still holds true. We are always revisiting the Forming stage.

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Train. Practice. Trust. (Part II)

“Great things in business are never done by one person, they're done by a team of people.” - Steve Jobs


**This is the second article in the ‘Train. Practice. Trust’ series. Read Part I here.**


We used to call it team building. Team building is now synonymous with finding enough budget for the team to go out and have a few drinks over a meal. While there is a slim possibility that this could build a team, it just serves the purpose of allowing your team to rest and forget about work for a few hours. More often it's an excuse for the team to vent perhaps moan about the management and the state of the organisation.


As a side note I guarantee that in your team there will be at least one person that won’t attend or doesn't want to attend these social drinking type of events. It’s just not their thing. Recognising this and finding better and alternative ways to include these people into team socialising will be better for you, for the team and for the individual in the long run.

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Train. Practice. Trust. (Part I)

16-Mar-2017 15:09:18 Agile teams Training Agile training

This article talks about the value of training, the importance of practice, and the impact of trust.

“We herd sheep, we drive cattle, we lead people. Lead me, follow me, or get out of my way.” - General George Smith Patton, Jr.


Sometimes we lead, sometimes we follow, sometimes we choose to get out of the way - it's a natural cycle that we go through consciously and unconsciously, whether it's with our colleagues, at work, or within our family units at home.


When we go for a walk as a family, I will always try to let my two sons lead the way. I like them to explore, to discover the path, to set the pace for the family. They develop a sense of empowerment and I hope they know that we trust them to make decisions on behalf of us, as the parents, as a team. Now, sometimes that's easier said than done with an imaginative 6 year old and an incredibly energetic 4 year old. As you can understand, patience and guidance are always there waiting in the wings. As a family unit, a family team, we all lead, we all follow, when the boys are covered in mud my wife and I definitely get out of the way.


This works for us, as a family unit we share values, we set goals. We train, we practice, we trust.

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Float, Move, Fight.

An alternative prioritisation model.


While I was coaching at a client site earlier in the year I got talking to a Scrum Master and ex Royal Navy Warfare Officer called John Harrison, after everyone had gone home. Now I’m not quite sure how we got on to the subject, but I seem to remember we were discussing how to bring his Royal Navy experience back into what he does as a Scrum Master. Then we started relating different military forces to the Stacey Matrix, but that's a whole other blog :)

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The Two Sides Of Agile

I’ve been carrying this bit of paper around in my bag for about six months. It’s a scribble I drew once while on one of ‘those’ conference calls. You know - the one where someone is talking and you are not entirely sure why you are dialled in, let alone why you are attempting to listen.

At the time I was trying to work out a simple way of showing different Agile adoption approaches and how they can so easily go awry.

So what in the world does this scribble show?

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DevOps : A Longer Story Than I Thought!

27-Jan-2016 16:30:00 DevOps Agile
Continuous improvement is my definition of being Agile. ‘But wait’, I hear you cry, surely it can’t be that simple… Well of course it is, so where do you start?

In the Agile arena, we prescribe frameworks to manage our workflow, behaviours to influence our culture and technical practices to improve product quality.

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Are You Doing Water-Scrum-fall?

This is a blog post by Andy Hiles, adapted from his article originally published on InfoQ.

Water-Scrum-fall is a hybrid software development approach that aims to successfully combine Waterfall and Scrum approaches into a hybrid Agile way of working. This blog post takes a closer look at how Water-Scrum-fall originated, what benefits and disadvantages it brings to an organisation, and why ‘doing’ and ‘being’ Agile are two completely separate things.

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