I Love Agile

AgileA month or so ago someone told me that they wanted to introduce Agile development but they had heard that I didn’t like Agile. I have to say that I was shocked by this as it isn’t true, I love Agile.

I love Agile for its flexibility, I love Agile as it brings the customer into the development process, I love Agile for the visibility it brings to projects, I love Agile for delivering better speed to market, I love Agile for the way it empowers the team and enables collaboration, and most of all I love Agile as a mindset.

What I don’t love is when Agile isn’t used properly, when people abuse Agile, when teams invent their own version of Agile, or when Agile is used as an excuse for lack of transparency, non-delivery or poor discipline.

Development teams that adopt Agile in a consistent way and share best practice deliver a step change for their organisation. However, to turn the step change into a giant leap, add the commercial teams into the mix and get everyone using Agile. You’ll be amazed with the results.

I love Agile (when it is done properly!)

Thanks for reading, whats your take on Agile?

Scottish Power – A story of Excellent Customer Experience

If you read my blog you’ll know I’m a great believer in shouting about great service when I come across it and this time I’d like to shout out Scottish Power.

We’ve been a customer of Scottish Power for a few years now and we’ve generally been happy with their service. However a few weeks back during our normal process of reading the meter and entering the readings into the website we hit a problem when the website wouldn’t accept the figures and advised we call them up.

We rang up Scottish Power and spoke to a chap called Adam Heywood. Adam advised that there was a problem with our reading and because it was so far away from our normal usage pattern the website wouldn’t accept it.

Adam suggested there may be a problem with the meter and advised us to send him a photo of the meter (iphone is ever so handy for this), wait one more week, read the meter again and he would ring us back at a predetermined time to compare the new figures with our normal usage profile.

At the predetermined time, not a minute later, Adam rang and we gave him the new reading. He said he’d have to speak to a colleague and he’d get back to us, and he did within a couple of minutes, to tell us that it was indeed the meter and we needed a new one.

He arranged a convenient time for us to have the replacement fitted and that’s where the story ends.

So what’s excellent about this?

Adam got back to us exactly when he said he would, how many times does that happen?

Whilst Adam had to seek advice from someone else in the company he didn’t pass us over to someone else and forget about us, he took ownership of our problem until it was resolved.

Throughout the engagement we felt like Adam was working for us and not against us.

So, thank you Adam and well done Scottish Power for this excellent experience. I hope all your agents share the same customer care mind set as Adam.