Applying Lean Agile and more to improve public service operations

Re-contextualising 20 years of learning

Joint meeting with the BCS Agile Methods specialist group.

Wednesday 5th April 2023, 6:30 pm.

Speaker: Chris McDermott

Venue: Skyscanner Limited, Quartermile One, 15 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh, EH3 9EN
(Please use Lauriston Place entrance. Note that Skyscanner will require you to sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) for entry to their offices. Please read the terms here).

Refreshments and networking from 6:00 pm. Refreshments kindly provided by Skyscanner.

This event is free of charge and open to all, though registration is required.


In the past 20 years (or more) the way in which we deliver software has changed beyond recognition. Along the way Lean and Agile practice has played a considerable part in this transformation. Our focus on “uncovering better ways of developing software by doing it and helping others do it.” has led us to develop a large number of new practices. From practices that help us manage uncertainty of large scale projects to those that encourage us to focus on the flow of work through teams and organisations and even practices that see us accelerate learning and ensure quality by sharing one keyboard across a whole team. The Lean Agile community has and continues to experiment with new ways of working to ensure we better deliver software.

But how can this learning be applied to a different context, one far removed from the world of code and stories?

In this talk Chris will share his experience re-contextualising practice to the context of public sector business operations. He’ll show how the use of Lean and Agile practice can help transform the delivery of public services while providing a platform to help improve the engagement of those who deliver the services. Chris will also share how Social Practice Theory can help us better understand practice and what is appropriate to introduce into this context and what is not.

Learning Outcomes:
- What is Social Practice Theory and how can it help us better understand work.
- How to re-contextualise practice.
- The power of focusing on flow.
- Better aligning teams through the use of outcomes and intent.

About the speaker


Chris is an independent Lean Agile Coach, founder of Lean Agile Scotland and Lean Agile Glasgow, Principal Consultant at Contextualise and co creator of Change Mapping, a method of visualising and managing change.

He caught the Agile bug in 2003 when, as a developer, he borrowed his brother-in-law’s copy of XP Explained (which he foolishly returned). In around 2010 he found Lean, ToC and stumbled across Systems Thinking. This led to founding the Lean Agile Scotland conference in a desire to bring together lots of smart people to learn from and to introduce others in Scotland to these ideas. In the past few years his interest in Complexity Theory and Social Practice Theory has grown. His head is now a tangled mess of all of the things he’s learned in the last 20 years which he suspects will take the next 20 years to make sense of.

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