January 2016 - Tom Castle

Month: January 2016

Why aren’t offices more like classrooms

My 8 year old daughter recently asked me what I’d been doing at work, and I showed her some pictures I’d take in the ‘War Room‘ being used for work in my organisation (unfortunately I can’t post the pics for commercial reasons). Her first comment was ‘Oh, that looks like my classroom at school’. This got me thinking about the… Read more →

Tips on carrying out User Research

User research was the focus of a recent London Product Tank meetup. There were 3 inspiring speakers as always so I thought I’d summarise the key themes I noted and add some thoughts of my own. 1. Do it, some is better than nothing. A key theme from every presentation or article I’ve read about user research is that no matter… Read more →

Everything a priority? – Techniques for prioritisation

Are your stakeholders telling you everything is a priority? Here’s an approach for prioritisation. It was my final term at university and getting close to exam time. I was in a revision class for one of my courses when the professor told us to focus on the topic he had just covered as it was likely to appear in the… Read more →

The Product Vision Workshop

A quick and simple way to get a clear vision for a product to be developed is to use Roman Pichler’s Vision board as part of a product vision workshop. I won’t describe the contents in detail here as there are plenty of good posts about it elsewhere, my focus is more on how I go about completing the board using a… Read more →

Setting expectations when transitioning to Agile

One of the most important steps when embarking on a transition to Agile is to set expectations for what it actually means, how it will change what the team does and how this will impact the business. Stakeholders will have had a variety of experiences of Agile, ranging from those that have never heard of it to those that have… Read more →

Beware – ‘We are Agile’

A phrase I’ve heard a number of times within enterprise organisations is a confident statement of ‘Oh yeah, our teams are all Agile’. This generally fills me with dread, given my experiences of Agile adoption in enterprise organisations. In general is covers up a lack of understanding of what Agile development is about or worse a lack of understanding of… Read more →