Based in Glasgow, Scotland, Valerie McLean believes that people, collaboration and communication can achieve amazing things. Currently spending her days as an agile coach and mum of one.

Weeknote 3 - Do what makes sense.

Weeknote 3 - Do what makes sense.

This week started at my parent’s in the NE of Scotland, 3 days at work, 1 meetup, 1 training course, lots of thinking and lots of playing with mini McLean too - on the odd day I was actually at home!

What should I remember this week for?

That massage - On my way to Birmingham on Thursday early morning, walked past a masseuse in Glasgow airport and had a wee 20 minute massage before 6am. It was the best - set me up for the day.

Word of the week:

Appropriate: So many situations leading on from thinking about context last week which has led me to think about appropriate everything.

Message of the week:

Do what makes sense. Don’t seek a one size fits all. Find what is appropriate in the context.

Who taught me something this week? (Might change this to who really made me think this week…?)

Mark Giles:

Mark is a new colleague of mine and we attended a session on leadership together this week. We had some awesome conversations where he really challenged my thinking.

Should we need to justify spending time on ourselves at work? Anyone who’s seen me speak publicly recently knows that I believe we should spend a lot of time every day at work doing things other than our jobs, so we can grow, develop and change. Mark challenged that we shouldn’t be allowed or expect that time as a given. We should have to justify why we would need that time and what we would use it for. I’m still working out my thoughts but I can see three reasons for us to justify our time:

  1. For ourselves, to give us focus.

  2. For others, to educate them about what we are good at and where we can add value.

  3. For others, who don’t trust us.

It will surprise none of you that I find 1 and 2 interesting and useful, but number 3 was my previous view on this before Mark challenged my thinking. So thank you Mark.

Mark is also the person who really got the word appropriate into my head this week!

Martin Bate:

Recently Martin and I have been discussing groups of people, exclusion and isolation. More on that soon I hope!

Where did I find inspiration?

Lean Agile Glasgow:


I always find inspiration at meetups - I should maybe have a meetups section each week!

This week we heard from Peter Aitken about Global Diversity CFP day (if you haven’t heard of it, check it out! Following Peter’s session, we talked about our own stories and what we could share with the rest of the group. We had SO MANY stories. We’re holding a new speaker night in September and 4 people came to me afterwards to sign up to tell their story for the first time at the new speaker night. Such an amazing group of people in our community here.


Belatedly - Agile Scotland:

At Agile Scotland earlier this year, we were all given sketch books and this week I’ve been using mine with all the coloured sharpies that I never use. I’ve been loving using it to take notes and visualise things. I even wrote notes for this weeknote on it!

What am I still trying to work out?

I feel like I’m still working on my place, still trying to join the dots - like a jigsaw that keeps getting bigger.

I know what I know and what I believe in, but I keep learning more, finding more people wirh new perspectives that challenge me and make me question myself. It’s been a week of that this week. So I’m feeling a little lost.

But don’t get me wrong, I do love it!

How can I be better next week?

I need to focus - there are so many things going through my head, I need to take my own advice and slow down to speed up.


My trip to Birmingham on Thursday was top and tailed by the sounds of Oasis.


Still The Age of Agile: Stephen Denning, but read a good blog post too

Don’t fear the reaper by Ross Stiven - A perfect example of appropriate updates by a self organising team in their own context.


The Mentalist on primeTV. Not convinced after Ep3….

Probably lots of things I’ve missed as this week was a big one but I’ve reflected well I think!

Weeknote 4 - Chitter chatter

Weeknote 4 - Chitter chatter

Weeknote 2 - organising my thoughts

Weeknote 2 - organising my thoughts