If they really cared they’d already have fixed it

Tuesday 27 May 2014

6.00pm - 6.30pm registration, talk starts at 6.30pm, ends 9pm.

BCS, 1st Floor, The Davidson Building, 5 Southampton Street, London, WC2E 7HA | Maps

Free of charge for both BCS and non BCS Members


A joint event with the Agile Methods Specialist Group and the latest in our loose series of meetings on Agile Business Change.

“[...] all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed” - A Declaration By the Representatives of the United States of America, In General Congress Assembled, T. Jefferson et al. 1776

The Scrum Alliance says that it exists to “transform the way we tackle complex projects, bringing the Scrum framework and agile principles beyond software development to the broader world of work” which is a lot to expect from the idea of a small team working in collaboration during a short timebox to deliver the top-most items on a to-do list. The “Agile” approach to building systems should be uncontroversial: pick the highest priority thing, get it done as quickly as possible, demonstrate that you did that well, figure out the next highest priority thing, repeat until it isn’t worth repeating. And yet, we see again and again how a team attempting to change their working practices this seemingly reasonable way trigger the corporate immune system, often with catastrophic results.

It doesn’t take much exploration of the implications of setting up a self-organizing team to do what they need to do to add the most value they can before running head-first into passionately held beliefs about work, encoded in vary hard-to-change company policies. What’s a programmer who just wants a sane working environment to do? Meanwhile, many parts of the organization might legitimately not want to, nor need to, nor even stand to benefit from adopting an “Agile” approach, and yet all these shiny-eyed, self-appointed change agents are running around the place with the aim of “transforming the world of work”. What to do about that?

Please note that this event is going to be recorded.

Speaker: Keith Braithwaite

Keith Braithwaite joined Zuhlke Engineering as a Principal Consultant and Business Unit Leader in 2006. His work combines business strategy, sales, line management, technical leadership and the occasional bit of programming. In addition to running a business unit which builds software for paying customers, he provides training and consultancy in technical and business process. Prior to joining Zuhlke he worked for companies ranging from start-ups to large consultancies, in locations ranging from the Lake District to Wollongong.


  • 18:00  Refreshments
  • 18:30  Opening welcome
  • 18:35  Speaker: Keith Braithwaite
  • 19:30  Questions / discussion
  • 19:45  Buffet & networking