Smarter Ways Of Working Week A Serious Success

Our first Smarter Ways of Working Week was a huge success, with each workshop being fully booked only a few days after the event announcement on Eventbrite.

Kicking off on Monday 27 January, the trio of workshops focused on Agile - a popular method for running and delivering projects.

Software Consultant - and C4DI’s first ever member - Steve Bowman kindly donated his time to planning and running the three sessions: An Intro to Agile, Agile In Depth and a final practical workshop where attendees put their new skills to the test.

Steve Bowman, Software Consultant and Agile Expert

Steve Bowman, Software Consultant and Agile Expert

“Agile emphasises responding to change and using it to your advantage in order to deliver projects that clients love in a predictable way,” Steve Bowman explains.

“The approach has been shown to improve quality and lead to happier and more productive teams.”

The first talk allowed people to dip their toes into the world of Agile, introducing two of the most common versions: Scrum and Kanban.

Steve discussed a number of tried-and-tested techniques that can be used to enhance the quality of estimation, planning and delivery of projects.

“Studies have shown that Agile can double project success when compared with more traditional approaches.”

Agile theory session in the C4DI theatre.

Agile theory session in the C4DI theatre.

The second session took place on Thursday 31 January and enabled attendees to dive a deeper into Agile, learning different techniques and principles, as well as start thinking about how they could apply it to their own work.

“I really enjoyed delivering the sessions - it was great that so many people were interested and willing to learn. Everyone was so enthusiastic and there were some great discussions,” Steve tells us.

Smarter Ways of Working Week culminated with a final practical morning session based on the well-known Lego Scrum Game.   

“It was useful to have a practical session the next day, so everyone could try out some of the ideas. In the end, each team had taken on board elements of agile that they believed would work for them,” Steve enthuses.

Agile practical session in the C4DI Board Room.

Agile practical session in the C4DI Board Room.

“Even after the event, a few of the attendees have gotten together and created an Agile Slack channel, where tips, ideas and experiences can be shared and discussed - it’s fantastic to see the community coming together in this way.”

The idea for an Agile-focused workshop was sparked when Jon Baker, System Analyst at Arco, realised his team could do with some training on the approach.

“We are currently transitioning to an agile way of working after decades of doing stuff 'the old fashioned way'. The waterfall-style approach simply doesn’t work with how quickly things change nowadays. By the time you’re three months into a project, something needs changing and this causes problems,” Jon exclaims.

“With Agile, we can respond to that change a lot faster, so it’s really beneficial when quickly and seamlessly delivering a product a someone actually wants.”

Agile can also be extremely effective in the way non-traditional teams work.

Matt Wildbore, Director at Mattix Design Ltd, is a keen advocate for Agile and attended the event to connect with like-minded individuals and explore different techniques:

“We use agile to deliver projects and it works really well with our collaborative style of working. This empowers us to be more flexible, creative and dynamic”

We’re so pleased that this member-led event was so greatly received by a wide range of different businesses and individuals. We are continuously looking into ways in which we can further facilitate our community to expand and share knowledge, so if you do have an idea for an event or would like to lead a workshop, please get in touch with events@c4di.net.


Discover more about Agile in a previous interview we did with Steve Bowman.

Find out more about Steve’s Software Consultancy work at www.stevebomman.net.

Meanwhile, catch up with our latest events, workshops and talks on our Eventbrite page.