Imperial War Museum Image of Social Interpretation Blog title

Agile working… learning how to pee quickly.

Twenty-three sheets of toilet paper, issued to British Far East prisoners of war held by Japanese forces, during the Second World War.

Agile management in part is supposed to be a faster way of delivering projects.  As an aside, I’m not impressed with project management methodologies in general, either you can manage a project or you can’t, you don’t need a methodology to follow.

I do however like agile, it makes me happy, mostly because I can bring my unique brand of hyper enthusiasm to it.  Social Interpretation is all about the agile process, particularly the hyper enthusiasm.  That we have in spades.  But another thing we need is speed.   We have to be fast. We are on a tight schedule, and it is tough to be agile, particularly when faced with an ambitious project on a very tight schedule with multiple project partners.  We know that time is of the essence.  However, I wasn’t expecting to be asked to ‘pee quickly’.  Yes, this is how we roll at SI.  There isn’t enough time to take a leisurely toilet break.

Having said that, I think speed for the sake of speed in a project can be like a taking a spin in rollercoaster without an end.  We have tried to mitigate this by being really clear on what we want to achieve, and reflecting on the work we have previously done. But sometimes it all gets a bit muddled and bits and pieces get lost in translation.  Agile can be bamboozling.   We are trying to be as collaborative, open and transparent as possible, but it can be hard to work with when you have less time than you would like to, and a meeting is already half way over before the tea and biscuits have even arrived.  I think we are doing ok, well we are all still hanging in there, mostly with big cheesey grins on our face.

We are becoming very good at adapting to change and adjusting the process accordingly to match that change.  But, yes, it is challenging.  One thing I’m really pleased throughout all of this is that we have been constantly focusing on the user, this keeps us going. Despite the blur of everything else in the project and the lack of toilet stops.   We have a constant: the visitor.  Just how I like it.


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  1. […] on the heals of Claire’s post about being agile and putting the visitor / user first, we wanted to share how the design of the kiosk interface is going – and the process […]

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