Introducing the Public Sector to Agile…


Attended the Northern Regional Continuous Improvement Exchange Forum meeting today, after being invited by colleagues to talk about the ideas around Agile delivery methodologies.

Attended by South Yorkshire Police, the College of Policing, Humberside Fire and Rescue, the British Library, NHS Blood and Transplants, York University, Leeds Beckett University and a number of other public sector agencies, CIEF is an opportunity for different organisations to swap ideas and identify common approaches to solving problems.

When we arrived, we had a fascinating tour of Humberside Fire and Rescue’s (HFR’s) completely independent commercial arm, HFR Solutions, a Community Interest Company. The CIC provides commercial services to businesses who are in and around the Humberside region, including health and safety training, management consulting around risk management services, and private fire services for business premises, as well as providing community outreach services. Their clients include companies responsible for offshore wind farms, companies who work with cranes, and companies who need a different team building day.

They also have a real interesting Virtual Reality training rig, which allows people to experience scenarios like escaping from a fire in North Sea wind farm without being put at risk. This means they know what to expect before they try it out in the real world. It’s an innovative use of technology, which combined with their brand, allows them to second staff from the Fire Service (who might otherwise be made redundant), and make profit contributions back to HFR, netting £500K in the last couple of years with expectations of £1M next year.

I was invited to talk about Agile, and developed an executive overview of Agile which aimed to demonstrate an operational model which enables both disciplined execution and to promote continuous innovation of given processes. A slide on cake will win over the most sceptical of crowds, and all-in-all, I felt the presentation went well; I got a round of applause! 

In addition, I was asked about how project-based financial manage to can work hand in hand with a sustainable delivery model like agile, a topic I think I’ll write about in the future.

I’ve been invited back in June to talk about Innovation Games, and I’ve been asked if I could deliver an in-depth one-day training session in the future.

All in all, a good day’s work!

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About David Waldock

Open University graduate, health and life science at undergraduate level, science and society at post-graduate. Interested in how the Internet is transforming the ways in which the public(s) engage with science(s). Also interested in "the skeptical movement" as a form of science activism and it's effectiveness in achieving its goals. Interested in the representation of LGB types in science and in the periscience communities. Work for a well known and loved public institution. Views are mine and not necessarily my employers.

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