Colin Deady

Colin Deady

Head of Agile Development, Capita Digital Development Centre UK & Ireland


Colin is Head of Agile Development for Capita Digital Development Centre UK & Ireland. With wide-ranging experience in Agile product delivery he helps cross-functional geographically separated teams discover their own agility and ways of working.

Colin is a BDD practitioner and Shift Left advocate: he enables teams to transition from old-school manually intensive approaches to Agile delivery, emphasising client-value discovery, rapid iterative delivery, and the importance of constant communication between all stakeholders.

Previously Colin ran a BDD practice for Capita. His teams would continuously track against a desire for Zero-Known Defects: they did not maintain defect lists; they produced working systems.

It’s 2001 and the team says, “let’s do Agile and automate our tests!” They start layering the cake reducing net feedback time between Tester and Developer. Roll forward to 2010 and the mantra “automate our tests!” is now established and practiced. Yet, feedback loops often began to increase again. Teams were delivering untoward complexity by adding too many layers to the cake. They had lost sight of the goal: valuable, actionable, fast feedback.

Today, software complexity far outstrips the pace of traditional test automation. With the use of TDD and BDD coupled to hexagonal architectures we should be stripping layers from the cake. Our automation should be faster and leaner with the gaps between Customer, Developer and Tester virtually eliminated.

Instead, and in many cases, complexity increases and value slips away.

In this talk we will examine reasons why, discovering that it is often trust, delegation of responsibility, literalism to a cause (“Testers test…”) and counting volume not value of work that is causing a divergence from our goals. Instead, we need to accelerate the provision of valuable information to enable technical and business actions of value.

We need to leanify our feedback.