Customer Not Digital Transformation

Having just completed arguably the #1 transformation in Australia (possibly the world) I have learnt (the hard way) a thing or two about what to focus on.

In a published whitepaper from the Gartner Group, our transformation was called “Exemplary Public-Sector Digital Service Model”

Vivek Kundra (ex US Fed CIO for Barack Obama) said “The mistake you guys have made is this… you think you are #1 in Australia; I want to tell you, what you have done here… you are #1 in the world”

A couple of proud moments (yep, I tell everyone!) for our team.

What is interesting here is the language used.  Gartner didn’t call it a digital transformation.  They called it a Digital Service Model… because that is what it is.  In reality it is a Customer Service Transformation (underpinned by digital channels and technology).

I have met with over 40 institutions who are getting ready to start their transformation journey.  95% of these were focusing on the technology and not the customer.

Digital Transformation – The process of using new technologies to become more innovative, agile, and above-all else, customer-centric.

Don’t ever forget, Continue reading Customer Not Digital Transformation

Leadership Tip (series) Achieve

No-one likes a long running task.  Day after day, coming in to work to do more of the long running task.  Its a demoraliser…

I teach teams an agile/SCRUM trick, and that is to create your tasks so they can be completed within one day.  This way you go home with a sense of achievement, not dread!

Impossible you say… well let me explain a bit more.  I don’t mean Continue reading Leadership Tip (series) Achieve

Dirty Agile

The other morning I was a guest presenter (I really don’t like that word… I interacted with people) at a breakfast with Deloitte in Brisbane.  The topic was, agile, how I’ve implemented it and the results achieved at my latest client.

Half way through this session I chuckled to myself and coined the phrase ‘dirty agile’ – agile from the trenches.  Since then I have received a lot of interest in dirty agile.

The term dirty agile reflects scrum after many retrospectives.  The flavor of agile that we now run throughout this program can be clearly traced back to the manifesto principles and you can see its roots are in SCRUM, however it fits the organisation, their risk tolerance and low project maturity very well.

Jeff Sutherland – the founder of SCRUM explains that SCRUM is ‘onboarding for agile’.  It is a set of ‘rules’ to get you going, it is not Continue reading Dirty Agile

How Spotify Do It – Part 2 of 2

Everytime I watch this series… yep, I watch them regularly… hey why not learn from the very best(!) I learn something new.

As your level of agile maturity grows you will face issues.  Architecture, design, fit into assurance frameworks in large organisations, skill set sharing etc.  Spotify seem to have faced them all… and found sweet solutions.

Watch and enjoy!

Continue reading How Spotify Do It – Part 2 of 2

How Spotify Do It (Is this Agile at its best?) Part 1 of 2

Those of you who know me, know that I am a raving fan of Spotify and their Agile culture.

Spotify is an amazing free, legal online music streaming service check out their product here (

You see spotify have engaged the Agile philosophy properly.  Agile is about trying, measuring, then retrospectively looking at what worked well, didn’t work so well, and well… what totally ballsed up.

Lets be honest here… every project has its issues.  Any project worth is weight has to solve a problem that hasn’t been solved before, so it will come across some stumbling block.  People will make mistakes.  That’s normal and that’s ok with me.  Its how we learn, its how we innovate.  If we never try anything new, we wont create anything new.

The video below, with a huge thanks to Spotify who made it available, explains their engineering philosophy so well that I thought I’d use it here.
Continue reading How Spotify Do It (Is this Agile at its best?) Part 1 of 2

Welcome To Agile Espresso For Highly Collaborative Meetings

Have you ever sat in a meeting and thought “OMG… when will this end?… I’ve gotta get out and get xyz done.”  You didn’t feel engaged, you didn’t feel valued.

A silly question I know, of course you have!

Sadly meetings like this are common place.  It’s how most meetings around the world are run… and they kill productivity and collaboration.

I’ll let you in on a secret… If I have to sit through another rambling meeting… one that I cant add any value too, I’ll lose the will to live.

Recently I was having a coffee with a friend and this topic came up.  He started telling me about the Lean Coffee framework and how it had transformed his company.   Ummm… no… it’s not a skinny coffee as the name might lead you to believe.  It’s actually a framework for running lean meetings.

Driven by the fear of another life-sucking-meeting Continue reading Welcome To Agile Espresso For Highly Collaborative Meetings

Steve Ranked #10 in Top 25 Agile Evangelists On LinkedIn

Today I received an email from linked in telling me that I am ranked #10 on their worldwide list of Agile Evangelists.  I have to say I am pretty pleased with this info!

Me being me I had to check this so off to google I went and yep sure enough, there I am.  Woohoo!

Continue reading Steve Ranked #10 in Top 25 Agile Evangelists On LinkedIn

The $1,000,000 Hackathon – Watch!

A colleague just send me a link to this youtube video and I just had to share it.

Why did you share this with me Steve?  What has this go to do with Agile?… a lot actually…

It is a good question tho.  Well you see I started my career as a developer… creating software is in my blood and I think this type of event is really cool… and very Agile.

These guys pump out two weeks or more worth of work in two days.  Sure they work like mad dogs, and have a great team around them, but this is very Agile… here’s why…

Continue reading The $1,000,000 Hackathon – Watch!

Is your company infected with SCRUMBUT?

If you’ve been around SCRUM long enough you will be familiar with the term SCRUMBUT. SCRUM what? SCRUMBUT.

First off it makes me chuckle, it’s a great name.  Then my stomach churns.

“We use SCRUM… but…”

Memories of bad senior stakeholder initial meetings come flooding back… “We run Agile here, so we don’t create requirements”, “The guys just build whatever I tell them too” – OMG, SCRUMBUT.

So, what is SCRUMBUT, how can you identify it and what can you do to clean it up?

Continue reading Is your company infected with SCRUMBUT?