30 September - 2 October 2015

Churchill College, Cambridge, UK

The Minimum Viable Book

Emily Webber Tacit
Amy Wagner Wagner Ventures

Session type: Experience Report
Session duration: 45 minutes

Video of session

About this Experience Report

This is a story of creating something in an iterative, user centred way.

We set out to write a book in an agile way, and have been travelling the world talking to people and collecting stories from inventors, creators, builders, learners, strivers, doers and dive-right-in-ers.

In this session, we'll tell the story of the Minimum Viable Book for the first time. From its humble beginning as a red wine-inspired idea between two friends, through conducting a series of workshops and interviews around the world collecting stories for a printed artefact, to our writing methods and process.

We will take you on our journey and show you how we iterated our ideas, our approach, our formats and our own understanding of our material and emerging themes. We will also help to answer the question: how agile can a printed book really be?

We will share the stage and tell the no holds barred full story:

  • our original post-it noted inception in Amy's kitchen detailing our drivers, hopes and fears
  • our search for formats, stories and how we finally pieced common threads together
  • snippets from the invite-only alpha and the newspaper beta version of the Minimum Viable Book
  • original video, audio and stories from all kinds of people 'making things happen' around the world
  • how we accidentally built a community and lured publishers into ringing us

About the Speakers

Emily Webber

Emily Webber is a London-based independent agile coach. She has worked with organisations in both the private and public sector to develop their agile capability and transformation and spent some time as the Head of Agile Delivery at the Government Digital Service (GDS).

Emily is passionate about communities, organisational and personal learning. She co-runs a meet-up called Agile on the Bench and has a weak spot for vintage scooters.


Amy Wagner

Amy Wagner is an independent agile coach, currently working with the UK Ministry of Justice and various start-ups around London.

She also spends part of her week working to support the independent music industry with her innovative music publisher, Hookline.tv.


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 service design techniques. 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.