Craig will be presenting the following session
  • Craig Cockburn

    Craig Cockburn - Strategy maps - a visualisation practice to connect your roadmaps to the bigger picture

    45 Mins

     “Most strategy dialogues end up with executives talking at cross-purposes because…nobody knows exactly what is meant by vision and strategy, and no two people ever quite agree on which topics belong where” (Geoffrey Moore -  Escape Velocity). In addition, all too often strategy is a static powerpoint that goes out of date and gives little indication of the “why of movement”. Join Craig and find out how to form an agile strategy and visualise it in a complex landscape and connect it to roadmaps, backlogs, Wardley mapping and the Strategy Cycle. This talk connects to different aspects of agile theory and practices including work by Simon Wardley, Roman Pichler and Dave Snowden. It also uses a novel visualisation technique to help you visualise the talk itself.

1. What got you started/interested in modern software development methods?

I took an interest in programming at school and won a top prize in a UK wide competition "Young programmer of the year". There wasn't much programming taught at school so I largely taught myself. I was involved in the very early days of the web and I took an interest in agile programming later in the my career as I saw it as a much more collaborative way of working which uses both sides of our brain and encourages interaction and seeing the bigger picture from the customer's perspective. 

2. What do you think is the biggest challenge faced by the software product engineering community today?

there's a few related issues, mostly because of management decisions - 1. Not dealing with technical debt early enough because of poor prioritisation. 2. Not thinking long term often enough because short term seems more attractive. 3. Not being focussed enough on what might happen in the market place to disrupt us and 4. Not being transparent enough about what we are doing and why. Cumulatively these add up to disengaged people spending a lot of time dealing with the past rather then being focussed on the right things for a sustainable business in the future. 

3. What do you think are the most exciting developments in software product engineering today?

Being able to be excellent and in demand wherever you are and because remote working has become more acceptable it's easier to have a career without having to move house, disrupt your family, change country and disconnect yourself from your family network. 

4. Why did you choose the topic(s) you will be speaking about at the conference?

I saw a disconnect between people talking about strategy but not being able to practically convey the how and why. I also saw the data that companies were failing because of poor strategy and often self-inflicted wounds. I also prefer pictures and visuals to large amounts of text to help me see more clearly what's going on. 

5. What are some of the key takeaways from your session(s) at Agile India?

1. A template you can use 

2. An understanding of the importance of strategic thinking at all levels.

3. A way to visualise your roadmaps and connect them to strategic pathways 

4. A way to visualise what your competitors might do, many strategies do not make this visible but it's the thing most likely to put you out of business!

6. Which sessions are you particularly looking forward to attending at Agile India this year?

Still deciding!

7. Any personal remarks/message you want to share with the software community?

I'm an agile coach from Edinburgh, Scotland - feel free to visit my site at My surname is pronounced "Coburn", like Agile Manifesto Alistair Cockburn (we are distantly related). I'm also working on a new project called which I hope to share with attendees as a free giveaway.