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 7 - Bye bye Sopra Steria

Weeknote 7 - Bye bye Sopra Steria

So this week was my final week at Sopra Steria as I leave there to start a fresh. I’ve set up my own company (which is terrifying) and I start my first contract role on Monday, at Registers of Scotland, along with a few of my good friends. It’s been a week of reflection, looking forwards, backwards and importantly, side to side. Which brings me on to…

What should I remember this week for?

Finishing up at Sopra Steria

Word of the week:


Message of the week:

Look outside yourself - find your blindspots

Who taught me something or really made me think this week?

My (now old) colleague Francesca. She was speaking with me about spacial design. About the importance of the workspaces we work in - from the lighting to sound proofing, to desk placement, breakout spaces etc. It’s something I don’t often think of, but it’s something that she is really interested in and it really made me think. Our physical work environment is as important as everything else.

The reinventing work community. I’ve been part of the reinventing work slack workspace for a while now and it is full of amazing people from all industries and backgrounds who all want to make work better. I’ve often thought that agile was the key to that, but this community of people is making me see that there are so many people out there who feel the same way and don’t even know what agile is! It’s really got me thinking about looking outside of my circles and reaching out to others.

Where did I find inspiration?


One of my leaving gifts from my incredible colleagues was Rory’s Story Cubes. It’s a game where you roll the dice and have to tell a story based on the pictures that turn face up. Storytelling is such a good way of expressing your imagination and being creative, I thought it was a fun idea but I was terrified to try it as I’m soooo bad at telling stories. However, we had a lot of fun playing it on my last day and I think it’ll be a nice thing to bring with me on my travels as I move into new roles. A great way of breaking down barriers and building confidence and trust.

What am I still trying to work out?

I sometimes find the agile industry quite insular, it can feel like we think we are the only people and the only drivers of positive business change, but there are so many people from so many other industries that have learned similar lessons to us and that we can learn from. I want to open my arms to those people. Agile has its place in software, but when we look at wider organisational change, yes agile has a role to play, but there are so many other influences we can use for positive change.

I want to find as many of those people as possible and I’m hoping the reinventing work community will be a good place to start.

How can I be better next week?

Well, I start a new role next week, so I need to bring an open mind. I aim to bring openness, honesty and thoughtfulness next week.


A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman - no idea why!


Still need to sort that...


Manifest - the one about the plane that landed 5 years after take off. Jury is still out for me.

Also watched this video from Frederic Laloux of Revinventing Organisations. It’s about finding your blindspots and being conscious of them. It added to this week’s thinking. 

Weeknote 8 - A new chapter begins

Weeknote 8 - A new chapter begins

Weeknote 6 - Pair writing

Weeknote 6 - Pair writing