This is not the event year you are looking for. For details of our next event, please visit

To view the latest event website please visit

For the latest event:

7 - 8 May 2015

Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, UK

Navigating Politics in Agile/Lean Initiatives

Katherine Kirk 

Session type: Experience Report
Session duration: 45 minutes

About this Experience Report

Have you ever wondered why, when you've finally got Agile/Lean working nicely in your software engineering team, managers or 'outsiders' can come in and create politics 'unnecessarily', despite your best efforts? Have you ever sat in meetings frustrated and exasperated at the seemingly unnecessary dramatics some participants go through?

Or, when you start an Agile/Lean initiative, the surrounding politics in the company sometimes escalate rather than decrease? Or perhaps you are struggling with some internal team members who just can't seem to drop the politics and adapt to 'this different way of working'...

What's going on? Why doesn't pure data, logic, transparency and collaboration always work?

In order to provide new insights as to why this happens and what we can do about it, in this experience report Katherine will draw on eastern and tribal philosophy to 'kick off' different thinking and find practical and realistic ways that deal positively with destructive politics and/or prevent scenarios like these from happening in the first place.

About the Speaker

Now an independent consultant and researcher, Katherine has solid experience contracting and freelancing in a variety of roles within the IT and Media industries: from blue chip investment banking to media conglomerates. Most recently, she spent time as an Agile Coach at Rally after a period consulting as Delivery Improvement Specialist, Project Manager and Agile Coach at the BBC in the Future Media division in London. Katherine often finds herself specifically tasked with working with really "troubled" projects, where simplistic solutions don't quite cut it.

She is an active participant of a community of Lean and Agile practitioners in Europe who explore and challenge the status quo through experimenting and collaborating and is particularly interested in contextually driven edge-cases and the cultural interaction between hierarchical management and Agile teams. She supports this interest by studying an MSc in Software Engineering at University of Oxford, specialising in Process Improvement, Managing Quality and Risk and Software Systems Security. Katherine also holds a first class BSc (Hons) Multimedia Computing.

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.