Blog / Richard Stobart

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What is the definition of ‘done’?
August 4, 2015
If you’re breaking your project up into features, then make sure you define what ‘done’ means for a feature. Consider ‘done’ in terms of: Functionally Operationally Being able to be tested automatically Automated deployments Features need t...
Why should you have a zero-defect strategy?
July 28, 2015

Part of the logic of a zero-defect strategy is about psychology: specifically, the psychology of the developer working on code that they know is flawed. The other part of it is just good business practice… We’ve all heard many times that t...

Are you managing the right risks?
July 13, 2015

I was talking to a very good Project Manager the other day. We were talking about the risks that a Project Manager manages in the delivery of software. In a traditional project, the risks managed are often not actually the biggest risks that proj...

Why a UX-er and a Developer trumps System and Business Analysts
July 6, 2015

An empowered Product Owner (who cares passionately about their product) coupled with a UXer (a User Experience designer) and a full-stack developer (who can knock up some prototypes very quickly) trumps a couple of system analysts and business ana...

How does the Product Owner role change everything in software deliv...
June 22, 2015

I was having a conversation with one of our Agile coaches, who has a long history of project management delivery. We were discussing: Who owns the successful delivery of value of the features in a traditional project approach? I think the ans...

Feature-based Benefits
June 15, 2015

Imagine you have several projects, which you’re trying to get a delivery team to deliver. Those projects are really important and there is a lot to be delivered, but they are also competing with each other for scarce resources. Typically, in a tr...

The Sausage Machine
June 4, 2015

We often talk about “the most important thing for a delivery team to do is…” and “what a delivery team manager should focus on is…”. Let’s get clear on who is responsible for what. If you imagine you’re trying to deliver high value, high q...

Deciding how to deliver your prioritised project portfolio
February 11, 2015

Once you’ve prioritised your project portfolio using the t-shirt sizing matrix, you’ll need to take some strategic decisions to unstick progress… Making decisions about Work In Progress (WIP) The theory says you should limit your work in...

How to prioritise a blocked portfolio of digital products
January 20, 2015

If you’re managing a pipeline of digital products and struggling to get traction on any or all of them, this exercise can help you quickly sift and prioritise what to do next – and engage your stakeholders in this decision making at the same time....

Event: What is there to know about outsourcing?
November 18, 2014

At our recent event, we discovered the ‘new rules’ of outsourcing. I opened the floor to our attendees, finding out what they really wanted to know about outsourced agile teams: When does outsourcing work really well? What are your to...

Agile metrics
May 10, 2013

I have been asked recently about what metrics we would use to measure an organisation’s key delivery metrics. Several PMOs are keen on metrics and measures - it gives them a reason to exist. When we deliver training or try to explain Agile...

Five facilitation techniques for promoting Agile for government
March 12, 2013

Although private software developers have long been fans, Agile in the public sector is only just starting to gain momentum – and it’s proving well worth the effort. Here are five tips for running fun, productive workshops. National government ma...

Five Cardinal Sins of Agile that the public sector can learn from
February 28, 2013

Agile for government can be a very different kettle of fish than Agile in the private sector. It’s an alien context, it’s resistant to change and it’s used to playing by different rules. All the same, Agile offers fantastic opportunities for gover...

Five myths about SMEs and public sector procurement
February 18, 2013

Far from being a bad fit for the public sector, SMEs hold the key to key to innovation and can bring jaw-dropping cost savings. Civil servants have often been wary about working with smaller companies, especially when it comes to high-profile are...

Pivotal Tracker Workflow
June 24, 2011

We use Pivotal Tracker quite a lot these days and I was looking around on the web for a quick image of the Pivotal Tracker Workflow.  I didn’t find much so I did a quick drawing which I thought I would share.  I might put this into...

What car is your website?
September 6, 2010

I was driving the family back from Lucca in Tuscany to catch our flight from Genova when a thought struck me. Car manufacturers segment their markets looking for large niches.  Large enough to attract enough customers worldwide but unique eno...

The Good Years
April 30, 2010

We’ve turned 5!   The last five years have really flown by but I couldn’t let our fifth birthday go past without a bit of reflection!! We are in a really fantastic place as a company and I’ve got a lot of pride when I look b...