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 6 - Pair writing

Weeknote 6 - Pair writing

I’ve not written a weeknote for a couple of weeks, as I’ve been off work and spending time with my family, which has been lovely. Back at work this week and been doing a lot of really fun stuff, including a Lean Agile Glasgow meetup.

What should I remember this week for?

Pair writing - I was working on a Civtech application (more about that below) but we ended up pair writing, where one of us ‘drove’ and we discussed what edits should be made to the document. I believe it made the application 100 times better than if we worked alone and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The closest I’ve ever got to actually trying pair programming. :)

Word of the week:

Status quo

Message of the week:

Don’t change for change’s sake

Who taught me something this week?

Campbell - Challenging the status quo with evidence based examples - when people are going through a change it’s hard - sometimes you need to gather evidence as to why a change is needed and why it will help. This helps to bring people on the journey with you rather than forcing change for what could be perceived as change’s sake.

Where did I find inspiration?

Lean Agile Glasgow - of course this gets a mention. This month we had a user mapping workshop which was hosted by the awesome Gary. I love this workshop - it is sure to get people talking and there was a real buzz around the room. There was also a real buzz around next month’s event - our New Speakers Night. We’ve invited people who have never spoken at a meetup or conference before to share their story and I’m really excited about it. Four of the speakers were at the meetup this month and were talking about their ideas. Made me really happy.

My colleagues - I’ve been working on one of the Civtech 4.0 applications with a few of my colleagues. We first spoke about it following the Glasgow information event a few weeks ago, but having been out of the office last week, I wasn’t around to see where it would go. I returned this week and I was blown away by the innovation and collaboration while I’d been away. We spent some time this week making some finishing touches and I was really pleased with the result. So thanks to Francesca, Simon, Stuart and Stephen for that. It was awesome.

Jane Stewart - I recently joined this online slack community called ‘Reinventing work’. It’s a community for people who want to change the norms of work and make it better. There are meetups around the world, but none as yet in Scotland. Jane is based in Edinburgh so we had a chat about potentially setting up a Scottish arm of the movement. Jane comes from a background in the sports industry and it always makes me happy to find people who have a similar mindset to me but come from a different background. We’re all trying to reach the same goal.

What am I still trying to work out?

I’m speaking at a few conferences in September and October and I’ve a few sessions to figure out before the time comes. This week I spent a bit of time digging in to one of the talks, ‘Agility for the masses’ which will be held at Agile Cambridge in October. It’s a work in progress, but I’m looking forward to it.

A ban on sharpies. So I’ve been to a few places recently where sharpies have been banned because they mark tables etc. They are normally replaced by whiteboard markers that just don’t work as well. There is a reason that sharpies and post it notes work so well. Aside from the fact that it is easily readable on photos, the constraint of the size of the tip and the size of the post it means you can only write short notes on each. When post its are used, this is generally what we want. So first of all, there is a reason we use post its with sharpies on a regular basis, but secondly, who cares if they mark the tables? Surely a marked table is a sign of a productive environment!

American football. Ok I know this is a little left field but I’ve been watching All or Nothing on prime video recently and I’ve found it really interesting. I’m starting to understand the rules but I find the whole culture of it fascinating and not sure how I feel about it, so trying to work that out just now.

How can I be better next week?

Next week is all about eating well. Nothing to do with work, but something I need to focus on.


Foo Fighters - they were playing nearby and I couldn’t go, but I could hear it from my house! Cue spotify.


Not had much time for reading, will get on it soon!


NFL preseason - Now I’ve watched all or nothing, the football season is due to start soon and I’ve been able to catch some of the preseason. Constantly asking questions of my husband about why this and that, but I’m getting there.

Orange is the new black (netflix) - The final series ever is out now and I’ve not quite finished it yet. I’ve enjoyed it more than the previous couple of series’ though.

Over and out.

Weeknote 7 - Bye bye Sopra Steria

Weeknote 7 - Bye bye Sopra Steria

Weeknote 5 - People are complex!

Weeknote 5 - People are complex!