What was discussed at BarcampUKGovWeb2

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James Darling

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Feb 2, 2009, 6:26:53 AM2/2/09
to Agile Procurement
Morning all,

So I quickly made this group, as I thought we'd been through a little
adventure in the last session of Barcamp. (feel free to correct any
details or complete lies)

Harry and Rupert (correct?) had stuck up a talk called "Agile
Procurement". I went to it, as my talk was going to be (no space)
called "Agile Government" - great minds think alike on awful
buzzwords...
MySociety and some other things were on, so it wasn't a packed crowd,
but there were enough to have a nice discussion about it. Rant is a
better word.

Harry and Rupert, who work for an agency, were discussing their
complaints about how the Government procurement damages the agency's
business, moral, health and generally hurts kittens. But mainly it's
hugely inefficient and forces them to work harder on inferior work. No-
one is winning here.

The people on the other side of this situation, the commissioners of
the work, started to explain their reasoning behind it, and their
frustrations. It's probably best to hear that from them, but I
gathered it basically around risk aversion leading to people making
the decisions they were trying to hire people to make.

It was all getting a bit desperate, but then the realisation that this
is actually fixable. Jeremy said that the movement in the area over
the last year was that Gov was now realising this was an issue, but
hadn't figured out how to fix it.
We figured out it's not as hard as it seems. We were able to flow off
some basic, easily measurable rules for good procurement. We can wrap
this up into a buzz word. People start using it.

I didn't want people to stop there, so I started this group to figure
out what to do next. So, what next?

My view:

* Clarify the issues. Both sides write up better versions of what I
outlined above. Explain and agree on the problem.
* Start working on what "Agile Procurement" (or whatever we want to
call it) means. I see it being as simple as some clear bullet point
rules. Tools used: Wiki and a pub.
* Promote
* Profit

Seem sensible?

James

(I know I'm running before I can walk here, but strike while the iron
is hot etc)

Harry Harrold

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Feb 2, 2009, 7:57:09 AM2/2/09
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An explanation of the agency side problem:

- We believe that agile development builds better software quicker.

(Said better than we could at http://www.agilemanifesto.org/ explained
beautifully at
http://alistair.cockburn.us/Cooperative+game+manifesto+for+software+development
and with a side order of the user-centricity taught fairly well at
http://www.ucdgame.org.)

- We believe that web development is a particularly good fit for agile
methodologies.

(Coming from concepts like "permanent beta", "software as a service",
and the idea of webpages as containers for (distributed? widgetised?)
features.)

- We believe procurement processes don't let us use agile development
effectively.

(A process that starts with a feature list rather than objectives and
audiences is a poor fit with agile and user-centric development techniques.)

- We do understand that currrent processes are driven by risk aversion.

(But we think they're arming procurement departments not to lose the
last war, not win the next one. We think producing hugely complex
specifications must be expensive in staff time, we know that responding
to them is. And we think that time is wasted on both sides.)

- And we believe that agile methodologies reduce risk.

(Getting more creativity from more people working on the same problem,
introducing more early points to kill failure, building more
opportunities for change into a project, and delivering more working
software earlier, with more feedback points.)

When we put the session idea up we were pretty conscious that it was a
massive act of hubris to even suggest it - but they say you have to
present at your first camp, and what better than something you're
passionate about...

Harry


> My view:
>
> * Clarify the issues. Both sides write up better versions of what I
> outlined above. Explain and agree on the problem.
> * Start working on what "Agile Procurement" (or whatever we want to
> call it) means. I see it being as simple as some clear bullet point
> rules. Tools used: Wiki and a pub.
> * Promote
> * Profit
>
> Seem sensible?
>
> James
>
> (I know I'm running before I can walk here, but strike while the iron
> is hot etc)

--
Harry Harrold

Project director, NeonTribe

Internet user experience designers and programmers

www.neontribe.co.uk
01603 727747
112-114 Magdalen Street, Norwich, NR3 1JD

alex

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Feb 2, 2009, 8:20:36 AM2/2/09
to Agile Procurement
Hi folks

I used to work at the Scottish government as an Assistant Director of
Finance

A long time before that I worked in France

France is a member of the EU, and is sensible enough to follow the EU
regulations and directives where and when it suits

The UK is rather too clever at following EU procurement to the letter.
For the most part, sadly, the majority of civil servants are part of
this very clever jobs-worth industry. It bolis down to a few words "
Protect the Minister at all costs " and " The more complex we make it,
the longer we will all have to work and earn our pensions "

This does not work to the benefit of the service user / supplier /
small customer ( as those of us posting here know ). We do not have
the budgets of IBM or Fujitsu et al.....

I left the civil service in October 2007 and am very willing to help
frame alternatives to the current guddle.

Alex



On 2 Feb, 12:57, Harry Harrold <ha...@neontribe.co.uk> wrote:
> An explanation of the agency side problem:
>
> - We believe that agile development builds better software quicker.
>
> (Said better than we could athttp://www.agilemanifesto.org/explained
> beautifully athttp://alistair.cockburn.us/Cooperative+game+manifesto+for+software+d...
> and with a side order of the user-centricity taught fairly well athttp://www.ucdgame.org.)

emma mulqueeny

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Feb 2, 2009, 8:25:22 AM2/2/09
to agile-pr...@googlegroups.com
Hmm, I am not sure it is just that. I know that in departments we are restricted by procurement rules, to go to agencies sitting on frameworks, by default these agencies have to be of a certain size as they have to have accounts for a number of years and be of a certain size. I also know that the forms required to be filled in to get on to these frameworks never even asks about whether you are any good at what you do - rather how big is your business.

Procurement takes a little while, security clearance obviously longer - but that's cool.

I would like Andrew Lewin in at this point? James can you invite him to join the group if not already here?! We have debated this on twitter

E
--
www.emmamulqueeny.com
cause: www.justicefortom.com

James Darling

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Feb 2, 2009, 9:52:06 AM2/2/09
to Agile Procurement
> I would like Andrew Lewin in at this point? James can you invite him to join
> the group if not already here?! We have debated this on twitter

Invite away, this group is open. Haven't promoted it yet as I don't
want too many people before we figure out what we're doing. But if
anyone can think of someone helpful, please please please do point
them at the group.

@dominiccampbell

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Feb 2, 2009, 10:43:37 AM2/2/09
to Agile Procurement
Hi all

Sorry I've not got stuck in yet since I was in the session on
Saturday, but good going you lot!

Two things:

1. My thoughts from a while back pre-agile procurement drive

http://www.futuregovconsultancy.com/index.php/2008/06/09/busting-bureaucracy-and-procuring-with-purpose/

2. Still very happy to help set up an evening event to bring a diverse
crowd together for some problem solving. Let me know if you fancy.

Dom

alex

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Feb 2, 2009, 10:52:45 AM2/2/09
to Agile Procurement
I can get some Scots who do business in London interested, and
hopefully able to make a meeting.

Isn't Tom Watson seeing power of social media all the time ?

What about Dave Wilcox twitter today about the Landscape Institute ?
People are doing it for themselves now.....

Simon Dickson's post about the £ 10 million might be a place to start

Why doesn't Tom Watson set a challenge - to the blogosphere and IBM -
to develop an application ?

Then we can see who is more agile ??

Alex

On Feb 2, 3:43 pm, "@dominiccampbell" <dominicacampb...@hotmail.com>
wrote:
> Hi all
>
> Sorry I've not got stuck in yet since I was in the session on
> Saturday, but good going you lot!
>
> Two things:
>
> 1. My thoughts from a while back pre-agile procurement drive
>
> http://www.futuregovconsultancy.com/index.php/2008/06/09/busting-bure...

James Darling

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Feb 2, 2009, 11:07:30 AM2/2/09
to Agile Procurement
> Simon Dickson's post about the £ 10 million might be a place to start
>
> Why doesn't Tom Watson set a challenge - to the blogosphere and IBM -
> to develop an application ?
>
> Then we can see who is more agile ??

If only there was an event soon that showcased agile development in
the public sector... (http://rewiredstate.org). (OK, slightly naff
plug)

My point is that I was seeing this group mainly as a place to help
define what we want, rather than raising awareness... yet.
Saying that Government Procurement is wrong is already happening, and
apparently, government are already learning this.
But saying "Government should do agile" is a bit useless. I want a
discussion on how agile can fit into the system, and how it can work
for both sides. My end goal is a clear document to help define the
alternative we're advocating.

Disruption through construction. First step, construction.

Seem fair?

Dom - I still vote for a meeting.

James

@dominiccampbell

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Feb 2, 2009, 11:13:51 AM2/2/09
to Agile Procurement
Think you're spot on James. We need to work through roughly the shape
and form of agile would be in our terms (both techies from an ideal
world and us gov types who've dealt with it on that side of things to
add a teeny note of realism to make sure it is more likely to be
adopted).

Then perhaps put together a session that presents the 'as is' and 'to
be' including perceived risks vs risk of not doing etc to present to
Tom, OGC and others to have it knocked down or, hopefully, shaped and
adopted.

Sound ok-ish?

James Darling

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Feb 2, 2009, 2:56:04 PM2/2/09
to agile-pr...@googlegroups.com, Agile Procurement
Perfect. Mix that and my first list of tasks. Sounds awesome.

(sent from phone, excuse any brevity)

On 2 Feb 2009, at 16:13, "@dominiccampbell" <dominica...@hotmail.com

@dominiccampbell

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Feb 2, 2009, 3:34:25 PM2/2/09
to Agile Procurement
Totally sorry yes looking back your first list had it!

A timely Times article for you all too:

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/technology/article5636240.ece

Em

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Feb 3, 2009, 4:24:02 AM2/3/09
to Agile Procurement
Guys just sat down to properly read these posts as I was a bit swamped
yesterday by children and snow (and twitter :)). You seem to have gone
off on one and then come back down and now sitting prettily. Liking
the way this is going, happy to play - not sure what we are doing
next!

Em
x

On 2 Feb, 20:34, "@dominiccampbell" <dominicacampb...@hotmail.com>
wrote:
> Totally sorry yes looking back your first list had it!
>
> A timely Times article for you all too:
>
> http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/techn...

Harry Harrold

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Feb 3, 2009, 5:48:19 AM2/3/09
to agile-pr...@googlegroups.com

> You seem to have gone
> off on one and then come back down and now sitting prettily.

Sounds like team formation 101...

> Liking
> the way this is going, happy to play - not sure what we are doing
> next!

I agree with the folk who said... Next we need to start fleshing a
process out, and that means a wiki... (Unless anyone knows a slick
online collaborative process diagram making thingy?)

Now - I can drop mediawiki on our dev space easily enough, or we could
use wikia or pbwiki or whatever - or can we get space on the DIUS wiki?

Is Steph here?

H.

Em

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Feb 3, 2009, 1:01:46 PM2/3/09
to Agile Procurement
Steph is here, agree that perhaps online collab tool might be good to
use, but am leaning towards a face to face formal chat about this, if
there can be such a thing as a formal chat

alex

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Feb 4, 2009, 8:50:36 AM2/4/09
to Agile Procurement
Hello all

Am talking with a friend called Doug Forbes who is often in london.

He would be able to attend a meeting in person. He is in his 50's not
20's or 30's or 40's.

He bids for government work all the time and is passionate about
procurement / commissioning

I am in 40's and am excited by the drive and passion you are all
showing

we are trying to catch up north of the border, but need a Minister to
lead

Alex

@dominiccampbell

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Feb 24, 2009, 8:27:26 PM2/24/09
to Agile Procurement
OK so I'm thinking a 2 hour meeting 12 or 13 March to discuss our
views on agile and get them down on paper as well as a way ahead and
session agenda for the Tom Watson gig sometime in late April/early
March perhaps.

Who's up for it?

Emma Mulqueeny

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Feb 25, 2009, 2:12:27 AM2/25/09
to agile-pr...@googlegroups.com
Me

Emma Mulqueeny
Blog: www.emmamulqueeny.com
Cause: www.justicefortom.com


On 25 Feb 2009, at 01:27, "@dominiccampbell" <dominica...@hotmail.com

Chris Thorpe

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Feb 25, 2009, 6:49:22 AM2/25/09
to agile-pr...@googlegroups.com
count me in, sorry for lurking ;-)

2009/2/25 @dominiccampbell <dominica...@hotmail.com>



--
--
Christopher Thorpe | Founder/CTO
jaggeree

web http://www.jaggeree.com
twitter http://www.twitter.com/jaggeree

email chris....@jaggeree.com
mobile +44 791 326 2140

linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/drchristhorpe
skype drchristhorpe


James Darling

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Feb 25, 2009, 7:27:54 AM2/25/09
to Agile Procurement
> > OK so I'm thinking a 2 hour meeting 12 or 13 March to discuss our
> > views on agile and get them down on paper as well as a way ahead and
> > session agenda for the Tom Watson gig sometime in late April/early
> > March perhaps.

Awesomes. I'm there. Got a location? You thinking office or pub?

Harry Harrold

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Feb 25, 2009, 9:05:34 AM2/25/09
to agile-pr...@googlegroups.com

Me too.

Harry.

> Awesomes. I'm there. Got a location? You thinking office or pub?

@dominiccampbell

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Feb 25, 2009, 12:32:31 PM2/25/09
to Agile Procurement
Great 12th it is then.

I could get us a room at the Hub in Kings Cross - £5 each including a
coffee and cake sound ok?

9-11, 10-12, 4-6?

Agenda:

- WTF do we mean by agile procurement (scope of types of services
involved, process we'd recommend at a high level...)
- Who TF do we need to include/target (government, non-government,
suppliers, commissioners, OJEU, Catalyst/OGC...)
- When TF would we like to target running an event to bring in this
wider group including Tom W (who has confirmed he'd come along to a
clearly scoped session)

Sound ok?

Harry Harrold

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Feb 25, 2009, 12:40:18 PM2/25/09
to agile-pr...@googlegroups.com

> 9-11, 10-12, 4-6?

10-12 best for me.

> Agenda:
>
> - WTF do we mean by agile procurement (scope of types of services
> involved, process we'd recommend at a high level...)
> - Who TF do we need to include/target (government, non-government,
> suppliers, commissioners, OJEU, Catalyst/OGC...)
> - When TF would we like to target running an event to bring in this
> wider group including Tom W (who has confirmed he'd come along to a
> clearly scoped session)

- WTF are the objectives and agenda of that event.

@dominiccampbell

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Feb 25, 2009, 9:29:08 PM2/25/09
to Agile Procurement
Right I've tentatively booked a room at the Hub Kings Cross on 12th
March 10-11.30 (think that'll be enough!)

Who's with me (Harry is already clearly...). There is a tele we could
do skype at the same time on in a fancy way if getting to the meeting
is a hassle.

Dom

James Darling

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Mar 1, 2009, 8:42:11 AM3/1/09
to Agile Procurement
> Right I've tentatively booked a room at the Hub Kings Cross on 12th
> March 10-11.30 (think that'll be enough!)

I've added it to upcoming: http://upcoming.yahoo.com/event/2113373
What's the capacity?

@dominiccampbell

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Mar 1, 2009, 7:45:14 PM3/1/09
to Agile Procurement
That room can only take 6 I think as the larger ones have been booked
out. Can give it til Friday perhaps and decide if we need somewhere
larger depending on interest?

StephGray

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Mar 2, 2009, 5:40:57 PM3/2/09
to Agile Procurement
Whoops, I am here but not paying attention properly :)

I'll come to the meeting on 12th if I possibly can. Happy to set up a
collaborative space on our DIUS Huddle account or wiki, but doing
something on this Google Group or a related Google Site might be
equally good, and probably easier for everyone to get involved with?

Agenda sounds good.

Steph

On 3 Feb, 10:48, Harry Harrold <ha...@neontribe.co.uk> wrote:

@dominiccampbell

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Mar 5, 2009, 6:07:52 AM3/5/09
to Agile Procurement
Hi all

Been chatting to Mark O'Neill on twitter this morning who mentioned
DCMS are looking to develop an innovative procurement strategy so I
have suggested that he host the meeting so we can twin track our
thoughts with theirs. Hope this is ok?

So the meeting will now be 10-11.30/12 at their offices on Cockspur
Street.

Can you let me know asap whether you are coming along as I need to get
names to them for security purposes.

Thanks

Dom

Chris Thorpe

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Mar 5, 2009, 6:17:34 AM3/5/09
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Count me in

best
Chris


2009/3/5 @dominiccampbell <dominica...@hotmail.com>

emma mulqueeny

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Mar 5, 2009, 7:01:59 AM3/5/09
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I'm in
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