Agile Tales Podcast; real-life agile community stories

sam-drinking-tea-at sunrise

This September, I’m touring the UK with my fiancée in a 1970’s VW camper van, and meeting and recording stories with people who’ve inspired me to produce the Agile Tales Podcast tour. That is if the van, Dee and I all survive the journey!

Agile vanlife

As we loaded up the van with the essentials for our life on the road, plus a few extra provisions – podcasting recording equipment & batteries for me, artist’ paraphernalia for Dee, and piles of books for us both – we were a little nervous.

sam-drinking-tea-at sunrise
That first cup of tea – a view of life on the road

We both love travelling, and relish the idea of exploring new places. No problem there then. But spending so much time together in a beautifully proportioned but nonetheless small metal box on wheels comes with some risks. We’re both fairly strong characters and need our own space. Therefore we’re treating vanlife as an agile experiment: can we live and work from the road for a while?

The great news is, we got through the first four day ‘sprint’ trip to the South East. We discussed in a ‘retro’ how we can improve things in the next two week ‘sprint’ (pack less stuff, avoid mosquito bites, keep smiling, travelling max. 50 mph is fine). And furthermore, we had a load of fun on the way with new friends and old.

The next leg of our journey is now mapped out as a thousand mile plus trip. And yes – we’ve checked the RAC membership is up to date. I’ve also arranged to meet and interview people from across the UK, most of whom I’ve not yet met in person.

The sun is shining. The podcasting studio can be setup almost anywhere. Bring on the open road.

The Agile Tales Podcast Tour Bus — and our home for September

What are Agile Tales Podcasts?

There are plenty of resources out there that give advice, tips, suggestions and guidance on the ‘how to’ side of Agile: implementing methodologies, processes and tools.

What I’m intending for this podcast series is to speak, and capture the experiences of, people who implement Agile principles and the points from the manifesto thoughtfully. And I want to find out how others see the human side of agile, and to then share these stories with the rest of the community.

Or to put it another, I’m hoping we can explore the first point from the agile manifesto:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

So the truth is, I won’t really know what Agile Tales are until we get a little further along the road.

And that’s fine: it’s a short sprint, risks are small, and therefore I have permission to fail learn (hat tip to Emily for this phrasing).

Why ‘real-life’ stories?

I’ve worked in and around digital for 15 years, building teams and product. During that time I’ve explored how Agile principles can be applied (not always knowingly), more broadly in organisations, and in non-software situations.

This year, I’ve spoken about ‘Agile Principles for Real-Life‘ several times, to different audiences. It’s been enlightening to explore this idea with sports coaches, digital project managers and product owners, and learning development and human resources teams. I’ve enjoyed swapping my own agile stories. The subject seems to have captured peoples’ imaginations, as well as my own.

As a result of this, I’d like to explore the subject with thought and community leaders from the agile world. And I’d like these talented people to consider if lessons learnt by digital agile practitioners have relevance in the real-world.

My hypothesis: people are people, and in the right circumstances, Agile principles can deliver more value that existing approaches across the organisation.

Coming (slowly) to a town near you

If you’re in any of the following places and want to grab a coffee, say ‘hello’, see the camper van, and even contribute to the Agile Tales on the road project get in touch.

Tour dates (September 2016):

  • 12th – Nottingham
  • 12th – 14th – Peak District
  • 14th – Sheffield
  • 14th – Doncaster
  • 15th – York
  • 16th – N. Yorkshire Moors
  • 17th – Whitby
  • 18th – Leeds repairs to the van
  • 19th – Manchester repairs to the van
  • 19th – Liverpool repairs to the van
  • 20th – Blackpool repairs to the van
  • 21st – West country
  • 21st – Gloucester
  • 22nd – S. Wales
  • 23rd – Ross-on-Wye (join us for a kayak)
  • 24th – Oxford
  • 25th – Bedford
  • 29th – 30th – London

See you on the road.

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