This category contains 42 posts

Healthy programme-level conversations

Sometimes a piece of work is so big that it’s quite reasonably called not a “project” but a “programme”. And at the top level of the programme is a group of  senior people (the programme board) who are concerned with its success, but who also are very distant from the detail. The conversations at this … Continue reading

I’m leaving the Guardian

I’m leaving the Guardian. It’s a sad time for me, but also one of great pride because I’ve got a chance to look back on eight years of digital growth and recall some of the wonderful things we’ve done… Early days I introduced agile development to the Guardian team in 2003. I was not particularly … Continue reading

Agile Awards 2011 shortlist

I returned from last week’s holiday to an e-mail telling me that the Guardian has been shortlisted in the 2011 Agile Awards. In not one, but two categories: Best Agile Team, and Best Use of Agile in the Private Sector. I’m thrilled, because it acknowledges that success really is a team effort, and while you’re … Continue reading

Guardian Hack Day 2

There isn’t too much I can add to Kevin Anderson‘s extensive coverage of Guardian Hack Day 2 [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6]. But here are a couple of things… First, huge congratulations to Matt McAlister and the whole organising team. Hack Day 1 set the bar pretty high, but the team managed to meet … Continue reading

The Open Platform: It’s thanks to individuals

Yesterday we launched the Guardian Open Platform, incorporating the Content API and the Data Store. A lot’s been said already about this — and more will be said — so I will add only a few words of acknowledgement. Many have pointed out (Tom Watson, Jeff Jarvis, ReadWriteWeb, Fast Company and others) that it’s a … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: Z is for zones

…which are a top navigation level of However the navigational structure was designed to be quite fluid, and the concept of a zone is really more of an internal reference point than a phrase that’s intended to be used by our site’s users. The ebb and flow of the online media marketplace meant that … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: Y is for YAGNI

…which stands for “you ain’t gonna need it” and is an important principle of Agile development, with strong benefits for the business. The basis for YAGNI stems from a failure common in many software development projects: that when a developer creates a component of a system they tend to give it more flexibility than is … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: X is for XL

…which was a size of problem we noted but wouldn’t tackle. When we estimated the work for R2 up front we used t-shirt sizes for each feature: S, M, L and XL. The largest single task the team would tackle was an L, which was the equivalent of five days’ work. We felt this was … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: W is for Wiimbledon

…which was a semi-regular event of Wii tennis in the office, but a very useful part of our R2 work, too. Each launch required a small army of technologists to be on-hand: to run the various scripts, check the results, and deal with any problems that might arise. We needed to arrange these teams carefully … Continue reading

An ABC of R2: V is for video content

…which changed in the way we thought about it (and implemented it) a long time after it was released. Originally any piece of content was designated as being of exactly one type: it was either an article, a video, a competition, and so on. To take the video content as an example, putting a video … Continue reading