Writing good OKRs

OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) is a goal setting system that was popularised by Google.  To summarise, the objective defines what you want to achieve and the key result defines how you will measure progress towards achieving the objective.  In this blog post, I share my thoughts on how to write good OKRs.  I focus […]

Makers time and collaboration time: two metrics that help teams improve the timing of meetings to increase team health and productivity

Makers time and collaboration time are two metrics that I have started using to help teams to measure the amount of quality time they have available to do their best work, and to make improvements over time.  In this blog post I explain what they are and when/how to use them.

Better meetings for remote teams

“Too many meetings” is something I’ve said or heard over and over again in every organisation I’ve worked.  Since lockdown began, this problem seems to have gotten worse for two main reasons: There are more meetings: ‘Watercooler’ conversations and informal chats around the team space have been replaced with scheduled video meetings. Meetings are more […]

Measuring and improving ways of working on digital teams

Healthy teams, happy people and mature agile ways of working are good leading indicators of organisational success.  Getting these things right is key to unlocking long term sustainable delivery of value. In this blog post, I summarise some of the approaches I have used to measure and improve ways of working.

How Government digital teams can use Cost of Delay to prioritize work

Over the past year I’ve been learning a lot about cost of delay.  In this blog post I explain what I’ve learned so far, and how it can be used by teams to prioritise work.  My focus is on teams that are following the UK Government Digital Service Standard, but it can be of use […]

People over resources

In most digital teams the vast majority of budgets are spent on people.  People are our biggest assets. Almost all of our value is produced by them. Small changes in our ability to reduce the number of resignations and motivate them to work have an exponential impact on productivity.

Firebreaks on GOV.UK

Firebreaks on GOV.UK are similar to Google’s 20% time or Spotify’s hack week. For 1 week every 3 months, teams disband and everyone is given a chance to have some self-directed time to improve GOV.UK. We’ve had 3 firebreaks now: June, September and December 2017. This blog post explores why we do them, how they work and the […]

GOV.UK: a journey in scaling agile

GOV.UK is relied on by millions of people every day to access vital services and information. Material published on GOV.UK can move financial markets. GOV.UK is a vital part of our national infrastructure. But GOV.UK differs from most other pieces of national infrastructure in one respect: we built it and we run it using agile. […]

How we do team selection on GOV.UK

This post explores how we plan who works on which team on GOV.UK, and how that process has evolved throughout 2017-2018. 

Using Kata to help teams deliver value faster

Kaizen, Kanban, Kaikaku.  We can’t get enough of these Japanese words in agile!  Here’s a lesser known one: Kata.   Kata is a term used by Mike Rother to describe a set of routines that Toyota use to ingrain a culture of continuous improvement in their organisation.  Each routine is practiced and repeated so that it […]