Saturday, September 16, 2006

AgileScotland 2006 Challenge

Hi everyone,
Are you up for the AgileScotland 2006 Challenge?  
This is your chance to meet with and learn from some of the key players in the Agile World - for free, here in Scotland.  And to build something for the international Agile community.
The problem:  We've been very lucky to get such high quality - both local and international - speakers at AgileScotland in our 3 short years, but one of the difficulties with organising AgileScotland events is our geographic isolation.  For instance, I first approached Tom Gilb about running a session about a year ago and we've been too-ing and fro-ing since then to organise something.  It is only happening this week because Tom is already in Edinburgh giving a tutorial at a conference.  I have similar conversations going on with a half dozen "big names" but the hard bit - with no budget - is getting them physically in Scotland.
The idea: I have an idea which - if we can pull it off - will not only get us even more world class speakers but will also help get Scotland firmly placed at the centre of the Agile world map. 
The idea is to (a) invite "big name" speakers to run presentations - webinars, if you like - to an AgileScotland audience over the Internet (b) record the presentations and q&a, then (c) publish video and audio recordings of the sessions online as a free resource to the rest of the Agile world.
You can find an excellent and free archive of business webinars here: .  I'd like to build something just like this but with Agile content - and at no (or very low) cost.  The placeware (now ms live meeting) service costs thousands of dollars each year ... so we'll just need to build our own.  That's where the challenge comes in ...
The easy part is getting speakers.  I already have 3 very big name speakers who've agreed to run a session for us - and since they are the only 3 I've asked, I've no worries about getting more.  If we can setup a successful online archive then the free publicity for the speakers is a big incentive too.  I'm also confident that we can find sponsorship for things such as hosting if we need to.  If we can prove the concept works then I'd like to broaden this out so were doing something Scotland, not just AgileScotland - there are a lot of clever people in this country so why not let the world know about it.
The Challenge is building a technical solution that'll allow us to (a) view and listen to presentations delivered from across the word while sitting comfortably in Scotland (or anywhere in the world, long term) (b) record the presentations - including the local audience interaction (c) edit out the crap and (d) host the solution so that the rest of the world can access it for free
To kick this off we need between 4 and 10 active participants.  We need people with technical skills, a little spare time, and the commitment to actively engage in the challenge.  I'd especially like thoughts about how we will mange this.
Join me at: or if you'd like to be involved.  Please ... :)
Look forward to hearing from you,
Clarke Ching

Monday, September 11, 2006

Tom Gilb Evening Session - 18th of September - An introduction to Evolutionary (Evo) Project Management

Hi Everyone,

I'm absolutely thrilled to announce that this coming 18th of September, Tom Gilb will be presenting "An introduction to Evolutionary (Evo) Project Management" in Edinburgh at 7:30.  This is a rare oppotunity to meet and learn from one of Software Development's true guru's. 

I first read about EVO in Tom's 1988 classic "Principles of Software Engineering Management" a book which has influenced my own thinking about software development more than any other.  You can download many of Tom's articles and excerts from his books from, including the full draft of a book about Evo by Tom's son Kai Gilb (login to the wiki to download).

The Evolutionary Project Management method – abbreviated Evo – is arguably the
best systems engineering project management method (Larman and Basili 2003). However, it is also probably the least known and the least discussed, so the aim of this talk is to shed some light on it. Evo is particularly good at dealing with large, complex, and innovative systems – it does so by breaking down the project into a series of numerous small incremental steps. Each Evo step is both an opportunity to deliver some useful results to the stakeholders, and an opportunity to learn more about the system.

Evo has ten basic principles:
E1: Decompose by performance results and stakeholders;
E2: Do high-risk steps early, learn how 'unknowns' really perform;
E3: Focus on improving your most valuable performance objectives first;
E4: Base your early evolution on existing frameworks and stakeholders;
E5: Design to cost dynamically;
E6: Design to performance dynamically;
E7: Invest in an open-ended architecture early on;
E8: Motivate your team by rewarding results;
E9: Prioritize changes by value, not place in queue;
E10: Learn fast, change fast, adapt to reality fast.

Please join us at VISION Consulting's offices,
Fettes Park, 496 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2DL at 7:30.  Call me on 07919403972, if you need any further information.


Friday, September 08, 2006

Gilb Agile Methods training - 3 for 2 offer!

As you know, industry guru Tom Gilb will be doing a one day course on the 18th September discussing his Agile methods.

We've had loads of interest and I was getting worried that would have to get a bigger room!
I'm now certain I will as Tom wants to speak to as many people as possible and is offering a fantastic 3-for-2 offer!

We've set the cost at £200 per person so it's already dead cheap but just by rustling up a couple of colleagues your organisation can now get 3 people trained for £400! Can't do much better than that!

Remember Tom will be covering;
  • EVO Project Management
  • Agile Requirements
  • Agile Specification quality control
  • and a bit on Competitive Engineering won't hear this stuff anywhere else!!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

correction! Tom Gilb events on the 18th

Hi everyone,

Never send an email when you're tired... Tom Gilb's training and evening session are on Monday the 18th, not the 16th like I said in my last note.

Thanks to Suzanne of for point out my error. 


AgileScotland - September update

Hi everyone,

Here's a heads-up for Agile events in (or near) Scotland in the coming month.
  1. 16th of September: AgileScotland are running a full day's training with guru Tom Gilb in central Edinburgh.
  2. 16th of September: AgileScotland presents an evening session with Tom Gilb (in the VISION offices, Edinburgh) - full details to follow in a couple of days.
  3. 20th of September: AgileNorth are holding a full day mini-conference at the University of Central Lancashire, Preston. 
  4. 28th of September: ScotlandIS and VISION consulting present "Understanding the Software Development Paradox: Introducing Agile Software Development" in Aberdeen
  5. 4th of October: Edinburgh BCS present "Agile Web Engineering Process" by Dr Andrew MacDonald
Please note that I've postponed Harvey Wheaton's session until later in the year.  I had hoped to run it as part of a mini conference on the 22nd, but AgileNorth beat me to it by 3 days.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Free money!

Thought that'd get your attention!

I'm a member of the Agile Alliance. If an organisation (e.g. AgileScotland) has at least 5 Agile Alliance members they offer to sponsor the cost of bringing in speakers to the tune of $250 per grant, with up to two grants per year. International speakers may attract more than $250 sponsorship.

So, IS ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE a member of the Agile Alliance? If so, let me know and perhaps we can get some sponsorship from the Alliance. Send a message to