I make furniture as a hobby. Out of wood. I used to think that woodworking was about the most anti-agile thing you could do - It needs upfront planning, once something is made you can't go back and change it, it's a solo activity, not something you can do in teams and so on.

But then I realised that doing woodworking, and watching other craftspeople at work was actually teaching me a lot about how to be agile in difficult conditions.

Learn what mortise and tenon joinery teaches you about interfacing with legacy systems. What a trip to the timber yard teaches us about buying servers. What building a table leg teaches you about ordering your backlog.

These and many more secrets (well...7 all up) will be revealed!


Outline/Structure of the Talk


Intro - welcome to the workshop

The secrets of workshop agility -

  • Have just enough information to get started.
  • When buying materials, give yourself a little slack. A little upfront cost leads to a lot of downstream flexibility.
  • Automate setup tasks so they are easy.
  • Build in the order that maximises future flexibility.
  • Use maquettes to visualise how the final build will perform in place.
  • Do the parts that are hard to adjust first - do all the adjustment on the easy side.
  • Don't size subsequent pieces off the plan, size them from the performance of what is already built.

Learning Outcome

I hope, in a roundabout way, to illustrate some basic principles for doing agile in difficult spaces. Participants should leave with an understanding of 7 basic tips that make it easier to organise and perform work in an agile manner.

Target Audience

People trying to push agile beyond its traditional home in software.

schedule Submitted 2 years ago