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.
IS YOUR AGILITY CLEVER HANS? AVOIDING MANAGER-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT
Just over a hundred years ago Wilhelm von Osten toured exhibitions with his horse, Hans. Hans was incredible: he could count, solve equations, read and spell. Everyone agreed that Wilhelm was not cheating, and all believed that Hans was genuinely clever.
Unfortunately, it turned out that Hans was just following subtle cues given unintentionally from Wilhelm. Hans was not “clever”. Hans was a horse.
Today we see well-meaning teams collaborating and “being Agile” yet struggling to deliver valuable outcomes. They are working as their managers want, doing the things that their corporate Agile practices require. We are in effect being driven by Wilhelm, i.e.: we are practicing Manager-Driven Development responding to the subtle (or not so) cues given by our leaders. Our agility and hence ability to deliver valuable outcomes is being constrained by conformance to “established best practice”.
We should change that. We should not be Hans. We should challenge our leaders to enable us to deliver faster, better, valuable outcomes.