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What a great turnout for the first Agile Tea Camp

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: GDS team

Over 30 people turned for the very first meeting of the Agile Tea camp, held Thursday 22 September at Café Zest, on the 2nd Floor of the House of Fraser store in Victoria Street, Westminster. There was lots of networking before hand, with old friends catching up and Twitter pals recognising each other over tea and cake before Mark O’Neill set the scene to Agile Tea: simply, an opportunity for people that work with Agile principles to get together, informally and open to everyone, on the third Thursday of every other month.

What happened

Richard Pawson from Naked Objects started talking about his experience working with the Department of Social Protection in Ireland on delivering a benefits administration system. Richard put into context how complicated child payments could be, and this was one of 40 agile projects delivered for DSP – with only 1 failure!

He gave an insight into the "dos and don’ts" of delivering agile projects successfully such as:

  • Don’t start with a specification
  • Deliver something early – and you have a strong position for negotiating the scope
  • Be good at saying No. If you cede completed control of the priorities to the business, they will dive down deep into specific use cases, instead of building a rough sketch of the whole process and then refining it.

Richard also provided some insightful statements such as concentrate on ‘agile principles’ and not ‘agile methodology’.

Mark Foden from Foden Grealy then took to the floor, quite literally, when he designed an agile model on the floor with sticky tape and paper, and nimbly leapt from box to box to show how agile can work in practice.

It was a very interactive session with lots of relevant questions: about procurement from Ali Mahmet of Maracis Solutions, and about IP from Peter Clarke of Severne Ltd - plus one suggestion from Charlotte Daly of the Government Digital Service which could improve the model with cyclical ongoing dialogue. Steve Lamb among others took some photos.

There was lively debate on other matters too, such the size of Government ICT spend (anything from £13bn - £24bn) and about being a supplier to Government.

Supplying to Government

The good news is that now you can register to supply to Government as follows:

Suppliers can register on the Government Procurement Dynamic Marketplace to provide quick quotes for low-value contracts (below £100,000) issued by Central Government Departments.

Also, if you are bidding into Central Government and get asked to complete a Pre-Qualification Questionnaire (PQQ) for a low-value contract (less than £100,000) then please let Mark O’Neill know so he can chase up why you have been asked to complete one.

More info

Contact Abby on or call 020 7829 3764.

Next AgileTea Camp

Thursday 24 November at Café Zest: 16:00 to 18:00 - if you would like to speak please get in touch.

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  1. Comment by Will the government’s ICT implementation plan finally lock on to the SME solutions it misses? | Campaign4Change posted on

    [...] of becoming a better and more intelligent buyer of ICT. It also plans to speak at a forthcoming “teacamp”, the latest of a series of informal meeting places to stimulate ideas and discussion about [...]

  2. Comment by Mark Foden (@markwfoden) posted on

    Really good first session, thanks Abby.

    Details of my talk about the Four Ex model at

    • Replies to Mark Foden (@markwfoden)>

      Comment by Abby Peel posted on

      Cheers Mark 🙂