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7 - 8 May 2015

Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK

The Language of Agile

Liz Keogh 

Session type: Keynote
Session duration: 75 minutes

About this Keynote

If I tell you that I have two horses, one named Thunder and one named Buttercup, you probably have an idea already of what they're like and how they behave.

Words have more power than the sounds they make... and with great power comes great responsibility. The words we use affect not just our work, but our lives and the lives of everyone who interacts with us. Small changes in language can not only alter how we come across to others, but also how we come across to ourselves. They can help to make us happier, healthier, more productive, more effective and more successful... or, if we allow them to, they can ease us into doing the opposite.

In this keynote, we look at the power of the words we use; how they affect our decisions and our understanding; and some simple changes that we could make to our language to improve our work, our lives and our world.

About the Speaker

Liz Keogh is a Lean and Agile consultant based in London. She is a well-known blogger and international speaker, a core member of the BDD community and a contributor to a number of open-source projects including JBehave. She specialises in helping people use examples and stories to communicate, build, test and deliver value, particularly when faced with high risk and uncertainty.

Liz's work covers topics as diverse as story-writing, haiku poetry, Cynefin and complexity thinking, effective personal feedback and OO development, and she has a particular love of people, language, and choices. She has a strong technical background with over 15 years experience in delivering value and coaching others to deliver, from small start-ups to global enterprises. Most of her work now focuses on Lean, Agile and organisational transformations and the use of transparency, positive language, well-formed outcomes and safe-to-fail experiments in making change innovative, easy and fun.


Session Types

Need help planning which sessions to attend? We've provided a breakdown of our various session types below.

Case Study/Experience Report

A presentation and discussion of real-life (not theoretical) experiences of the application (or mis-application) of Agile and Lean practices. Case studies and experience reports include some discussion of lessons learned and an indication of how novel the work is.


Participants learn a new approach, tool or technology through using it to solve one or more practical exercises. Any software/hardware requirements are disclosed in the session description.


A session focused around some specific tool, technique or issue. Primarily led by the speaker, tutorials usually include some elements of interactivity or individual / group exercise.


An in-depth working session on a specific topic. May include paper presentations.