Peer to Peer: Exploring Agile Techniques

A while ago now, I was invited to take part in filming and co-producing an agile training video for Peer to Peer. You can purchase the full session or watch a 10-minute sample video on their website. I’ve written some long overdue rambles about the filming process below.

When Hannah and Drew from Peer to Peer first got in touch with me, I was intrigued. They describe their service as follows:

“Peer to Peer brings you interviews with some of the most interesting people in technology. Watch over their shoulder as they work on a set problem for a couple of hours. See how they think, what they do, and which tools they use in what context. Learn from their experience, be inspired by their attitude.”

Peer to Peer’s ambition really chimed with my approach. I’m one of those agile humans who likes to understand the problem and the context before I share any agile ‘tricks’ or techniques. That’s because I believe processes or techniques should only be introduced to a team when they’re relevant and when they meet a particular need.

Once we found a willing participant in the wonderful Anna Bowers, I set about understanding her current situation and how I could help with a product kick-off to align a new team and their stakeholders.

This video from Peer to Peer is a paid-for service. For $18 USD, you get a 40 minute video of live white boarding, a 20 minute bonus video where I discuss the Agile Manifesto, a PDF summary of each whiteboard session and .srt files with closed captions.

What you’ll learn

  • Pick up practical tips on how to implement agile techniques in a real-life situation. Ideal if you’re at the start of a project and want to take a more agile approach.
  • Explore three essential agile techniques that you can implement immediately, focusing your team on what matters and eliminating waste.
  • The Spine: Learn how to construct a single sentence definition of your project that aligns all your team and stakeholders. Minimise project creep and confusion.
  • Inception: Identify your drivers, hopes and fears for the project. An ideal session to kick off a project that gets everyone on board.
  • Impact mapping: Implement a technique that allows you to work out why you are doing something, who you are doing it for, how you get there, the impact you want to have and a few ideas for how you can make that happen. Great for concentrating on user needs and product market fit. Breaks down the product into measurable deliverables.
  • These techniques are methodology agnostic, so suitable whether you’re a fan of Scrum, XP and so on.

On being in front of the camera

I’ve been filmed giving conference talks before, but this was the first time I’ve consulted / presented specifically for film.

I was a little trepidatious at the start of filming. It’s easy to over-think and let your mind distract you from the present moment during any presentation, and for me that feeling is dialled up to 11 when I’m being recorded.

To combat this, I made a conscious effort to ignore the camera and focus on my co-presenter. It only took a half hour or so to adjust before I found my flow.

The experience of taking part in this definitely made the concept of cameras-in-faces less scary. It’s useful to have explainers and artefacts in different mediums – not just in blog posts and photographs. Videos are so much richer!

Thinking I might dapple in a few more filming projects when I get some time. Watch this space.







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