2013 Conference

See full 2013 Programme here.

How to find us

The conference is being held in the Conference Room, 3rd Floor of Adelphi Building, UCLan.  Click here for routes into Preston and a Campus Map (Adelphi Building shows as AB in orange zone on the map).  Car Parking is available in Victoria Car Park (Shows as 19 in orange zone on Campus Map).

AN13 Keynote

Mark Coster – Head of Delivery ThoughtWorks Europe – I have been working with ThoughtWorks for 8 years, in an Agile environment for over 10 years,  and in software for 22 years. I have personally worked on many Agile projects large and small – Guardian, BBC, Sony, Dixons and British Gas, and seen up close, literally hundreds of others. This keynote draws on this broad experience and the unique view of a wide portfolio of Agile projects across many organisations and industries.

Presentation – Agile Kaleidoscope – mirrors and patterns

Agile is a broad landscape of methodologies, principles, practices and tools.  Kaleidescope – mirrors and patterns explores this rich tapestry – the themes of how practices are used, the broad differences and variation and how teams go through adoption and evolution. The common strand is what practices you chose, how you adapt yourself, your team and organisation to this disruptive change, but crucially how you adapt the practices over time as the team and organisation evolves.



Seb Rose – is an independent software developer, trainer and consultant based in the UK. He specialises in working with teams adopting and refining their agile practices, with a particular focus on delivering software through the use of examples. He is a core contributor to Cucumber and one of the trainers at BDD Kickstart.

He first worked as a programmer in 1980 writing applications for estate agents and solicitors in compiled BASIC on an Apple II. He has worked with many mainstream technologies since then, for many well-known companies, such as Amazon, IBM, NCR, HBOS, Standard Life and Aegon. He is a regular conference speaker (ACCU, XPDay, AgileNorth, Developer Day Scotland, Agile on the Beach, Lean Agile Scotland) as well as a contributing author to O’Reilly’s “97 Things Every Programmer Should Know”

Presentation – An Introduction to Behaviour/Business Driven Development (BDD)

This three-hour workshop will explore Behaviour/Business Driven Development (BDD) with some formal presentation interspersed with practical exercises based around a sample application. Ideally we will have product owners, testers and developers in the workshop, so that attendees can get a real feel for how BDD works in practice.


Dave Browett – has been working in IT since 1985 and has held various positions in Project/Development Management since 1988. He has worked in a range of sectors (including Aerospace, Healthcare, Legal and Telecoms) and has worked with organisations and companies such as the European Union, FSA, BT and BAe. He has been working with Agile and Agile Project Management since 2003 and has presented at Project Challenge (www.projchallenge.com) at the NEC in Birmingham and London Olympia. He is currently a Project Manager working for Micro Focus in Newbury (www.microfocus.com).

Presentation – The Agile Critical Path

A key part of Agile is ensuring that there is a complete and prioritised product backlog that ensures that the most important features are developed first and any dependencies are managed within an iteration. But how possible is this when multiple teams with differing skill sets and experience are involved and what parallels can be drawn from “good old” project management axioms in order to more clearly understand the Agile Critical Path? This session will investigate these different perspectives and provide some rules of thumb to enable you to better predict agile project delivery.


Andrew Humphries manages a team of software engineers focused on delivering the sonar processing capability for all platforms across the underwater domain.

After attending Manchester Metropolitan University, with an industrial placement in medicines research at GlaxoSmithKline, Andrew joined Thales in 2008 as a software engineer. He has held roles as Scrum Master and Product Owner on surface ship sonar projects, and is an active participant in developing the Thales UK Agile strategy.

John Peachey is responsible for the software development aspects of sonar systems for submarine, surface ship, airborne and mine hunter platforms.  John started his career as a graduate software developer for GEC-Plessey Telecomm in the late 1980s, working on the System X processor. John progressed to lead the software development for the Softswitch Call Agent at Marconi, and then the software development of the Multi-Media Applications Server at Ericcson Ltd in the UK and in Sweden. John joined Thales in 2010, and has been particularly interested in exploring and applying Agile techniques to a variety of projects.

Simon Thomas is primarily responsible for all UI based software development aspects of sonar and control systems for submarine, surface ship, airborne and mine hunter platforms.

Simon started his career as a software developer with Cadence Design Systems on FPGA’s for the multimedia industry in the late 1990s. Simon joined Thales in 2002 where he eventually led software development and Integration with third party suppliers and platforms. Simon became a certified Scrum Master in 2011 and is actively involved in Thales’ global strategy for a move to adopt Agile practices.

Presentation – Running Agile teams on complex projects in industry

As a large company that works predominantly on government contracts, Thales presents a challenging environment for the adoption and practice of Agile methods. This session will focus on our experience of establishing and running Agile teams on complex software projects. Particular aspects will include:

  • the common challenges of fixed timescales and fixed cost
  • adopting Agile within ‘the matrix’
  • addressing corporate inertia
  • dealing with change, urgency and unknowns
  • anatomy diagrams for visualisation and release planning
  • building Agile Product teams in a project-based environment

The session will be delivered as a seminar with some break-out discussion and a Q&A.


David Toon – I’ve been a software developer for the last 8 years; in the last year I’ve become a team lead & successfully built 2 teams which deliver software for the internal systems @ DRL Limited. I’m passionate about building teams which collaborate all the time; I believe XP is a great way to achieve this… I’m interested in Lean, TOC thinking and how to apply them to software dev. I live by principles and beliefs in how software should be built, but I’ve learnt to become a pragmatist over the years & understand that the most important thing is to deliver working software regularly, whilst having fun!

Carl Phillips – My 11 year career in IT and Software Development has spanned private retail and public (central government) sectors and I’ve worked in lots of software development teams. As a developer I was always fascinated by the dynamics of team work and the challenges people cause and face and when I became a team leader I spent a lot of my time searching out and trying new ways of thinking, learning and communicating with people, to make the process of software development more effective and fun. I’m now responsible for process & practice development for 3 agile development teams and still find on a daily basis that the more I learn the less I know I don’t know!

Matthew Parrish – I’ve been a project manager for the last 11 years, previously working at large companies such as Vertex and DSGi in a structured Waterfall/Prince type environment. Three and a half years ago I moved to DRL and with my colleagues began to learn about Agile and the benefits it can bring to your organisation. While learning as much as I could, one of my greatest frustrations was what I saw as a lack of clear, tangible advice from others who had adopted Agile, particularly on how they had addressed specific problems we were encountering. Given my more process driven background I also struggled with some of the more adaptive techniques that Agile promotes, as well as a need to constantly challenge our development teams on progress rather than trusting them to deliver. Originally something of an Agile cynic, this was by no means an easy journey and involved many challenges and strongly worded discussions along the way! I now head up the projects team at DRL Limited, and am responsible for ensuring that we deliver as much value for the business as quickly as possible. While I don’t believe that I am an Agile expert, I do feel that sharing the learning process and real life experiences I experienced may be useful for other people in similar roles to my own.

Presentation – Agile Resistance and Challenges

David, Carl and Matt would be the last people in the world to espouse to be agile transformation experts but they have been lucky enough to be at the epicentre of a quietly successful shift away from the problems caused by big bang, large project, waterfall development and towards an evolutionary, continuous improvement culture. In this session they will share the mistakes their naivety occasionally led to, and the hard lessons they learned during this process.


Katie Taylor is a Director of the DSDM Consortium and DSDM Advanced Practitioner as well as Course Leader for UCLan’s MSc in Agile Software Projects.

Peggy Gregory has been teaching and researching Agile Software Development processes for the past ten years.

Presentation – Agile – Powered by People

This highly interactive session will use simulations to explore the process and practices that make Agile approaches so effective in the workplace. In this session we will experiment, through the use of games, with different processes to get insights into the impact and outcomes of both traditional and agile approaches. We will encourage audience participation to discuss barriers they have encountered in the adoption of new processes, and consider some solutions.