Delivering the Impossible

Wednesday 5th June 2024, 6:30 pm.

Speaker: Mark Stringer

Venue: Computershare Limited, Edinburgh House, 4 North St. Andrew Street, Edinburgh EH2 1HJ

Refreshments and networking from 6:00 pm.

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


What do you get if you mix a degree in philosophy, 20 years in Agile project management, 10 years on the comedy stand-up circuit and a healthy dose of psychology? Mark Stringer’s new book “Delivering the Impossible”.

Mark will talk about about some of the concepts in his fascinating and funny book, including
“Why is it so incredibly hard to get anyone to prioritise a list of features?”

Perhaps the writings of the Chilean psychoanalyst and psychiatrist Ignacia Matte Blanco can help us understand.

According to Matte Blanco, there are two ways of looking at the word. “All, same and forever,” and “some, different and for a while.” Our unconscious mind favours “all, same and forever.” Understanding this can explain a lot of the strange, difficult behaviour that we experience in software development projects – such as the refusal to prioritise features. And connects directly with the four values of the Agile manifesto and its attempt to distance itself from contracts, documentation and plans.

About the speaker


Mark Stringer is a speaker, writer, and commentator on Agile project management. But he’s also an amateur comedian and improviser.

He still works as a projects manager delivering software projects.

He has been working in the software industry for thirty years. But he’s not really a technical person. His first degree is in Philosophy from the University of St Andrews.

His first experience of managing software development was working with a team of two developers who had started their programming careers in the former East Germany on Commodore 64s smuggled over the Berlin wall.

Since becoming a full-time project manager he's delivered projects for large multi-national companies, small independent companies, and big, confused government departments.

In the summer of 2023, he took is one-man show "Delivering the Impossible: A short talk about how to rule the world," to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and received extremely positive reviews.

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