27–29 September 2017, Churchill College, Cambridge

So, you want to start an agile project?

A 60 minute Case Study by:

Nick Walker


Sarandeep Banwait


About this Case Study

Scour the web and you’ll find hundreds of variations of project planners, guides and theories all preaching ways in which to kick-start an agile project. Initiation, inception, discovery, blueprint, foundation, start-up... call it what you like, but starting an agile project can sometimes be the most daunting part of the journey. It doesn’t have to be.

Having worked on projects within the media/publishing industry of all shapes and sizes, we’ll be sharing ways in which we’ve helped to lift-off successful agile projects.

We’ll start off by testing assumptions often made as to what the perfect ingredients are to start the perfect agile project. Is it a superstar team of people? An unlimited budget? The latest industry tools? Our super quick group game will help test our assumptions of what key ingredients we believe a successful start requires (you’ll be surprised!).

We’ve tried and tested a number of different approaches over the year and whilst so many of these are useful, sometimes you just want to start things as quickly and as simply as possible. The bulk of the session will be about sharing our experiences and learnings, in the hope that you’ll be enlightened and inspired by our successes…and mistakes!

We’ll cover a number of topics, including:

  • the infamous ‘4 Walls’ exercise (also known as locking stakeholders within a room!)
  • super quick starts with a defined MVP
  • nailing a strong and powerful vision statement
  • kick-start design sprints

Of course, we don’t live in the most perfect world. From managing egos, battling priorities, struggling to start up a harmonious gelled team, to not having a clue why you’re all sitting in the 5th hour-long meeting of the day, we’ll also be sharing many of our lessons learnt and pitfalls we’ve had along the way.

Sometimes you have to learn things the hard way, so hopefully our learnings will inspire you the next time you’re asked to be part of starting up the perfect agile project!

About the Speakers

Nick Walker

Nick is a keen agilist, working in the delivery space for the past 8 years. From telecoms to media, Nick has been using agile techniques and developing new ways of working to motivate teams to achieve more. Now working for NewsUK as a programme manager, Nick is looking to share his knowledge and experiences to enable others.


Sarandeep Banwait

Sarandeep is a senior agile project manager currently working at News UK. Having worked within the publishing industry for the past 6+ years (previously at the Financial Times and Pearson), she has worked with multiple teams to help deliver projects of scale, using agile methodologies and developing teams to a high maturity.


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