Half-baked Agile

I have been involved in leading several agile transformations at this stage in my career. In every case many of those around me held firm to a core belief that they had already been working in an agile way, and that the cultural transformation was for the others, not for them. In particular three groups of people stand out:

  • Engineers who believed that their involvement in SCRUM-like ceremonies for planning was evidence that they were working in an agile way.
  • Product owners or project managers, who also felt that planning on a regular cadence was the key facet of agility in the context of product delivery.
  • Senior managers who believed agile ways of working were for their teams, not for them, and continued to operate using deadlines and traditional milestones as their key tools for creating accountability.
Continue reading “Half-baked Agile”

Blue Bottle Coffee | Schemata Architects / Jo Nagasaka

During our 2018 trip to Japan we spent a week staying in Meguro in a small house next to Ryūsen-ji Temple (目黒不動尊 瀧泉寺). Due to a variety of child-related stress factors, we were often in need of sanctuary and the Blue Bottle cafe, conveniently located on our route to the station, provided the caffeine-assisted relief we were looking for on our daily tourist jaunts. Blue Bottle, founded in Oakland, California in the early 2000s, was in the early stages of its expansion in Tokyo and has now grown to a broad range of locations across the city and other key metropolitan areas in Japan. Beyond the shared sparse, functional aesthetic, the design and architecture of Blue Bottle locations is varied and inspiring to explore, as you will see…

Blue Bottle Coffee | Schemata Architects / Jo Nagasaka
— Read on schemata.jp/blue-bottle-coffee/

Google and Apple block update to England’s contact-tracing app over privacy violation

An update to NHS’s COVID-19 app has been blocked by Apple and Google for violating their location data collection rules.

Source: Google and Apple block update to England’s contact-tracing app over privacy violation

Some time back I wrote about the digital contact tracing efforts being made by a variety of public and private institutions. The endeavour, fraught with privacy considerations, has yet to truly prove its potential – little evidence of the efficacy of the approach has been gathered. In an effort to change this, the UK government has recently attempted to release an update to their app, built upon the Apple/Google framework, in lockstep with a change in the nation’s COVID policy. The app would begin to gather and store geographic tracking data to enable authorities to better respond to outbreaks as citizens break free of a long lockdown to socialise in outdoor eateries and pubs. This move however has met resistance from both Apple and Google, who are thankfully taking users’ privacy very seriously.