“When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment, not the flower”

 – Alexander Den Heijer


Last Monday evening after work I attended a talk hosted by the CME Group in Belfast on ‘Agile testing and DevOps’ presented by Janet Gregory.

The CME Group are one of the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace, offering a range of products to serve the finance industry. Janet Gregory is the co-author of several industry leading books on agile testing and team testing culture (Agile Testing, More Agile Testing, Agile testing Condensed), and has also launched an online community of practitioners around this topic, with the Agile Fellowship.

‘Agile testing and DevOps’ – this subject doesn’t quite relate to my current role. I am not in testing, but I previously worked in programming for a software company so I understand the importance of good testing practices and I simply like learning new things.

I really enjoyed Janet’s lecture, even though it didn’t directly correlate to my work. She presented agile from the perspective of testing and DevOps roles, it wasn’t tool or detailed orientated or super specific to these areas so I could at least relate to what she was saying.

I guess you could say it was ‘an agile presentation’!

But agile isn’t really that new.

It is a concept and practice that has been around for years now, especially within the software industry. Maybe it has really just hit Belfast, or maybe because I am working more on the software side as of late I keep hearing it everywhere.

And what is it?

Agile is the ability to create and respond to change, to deal with and succeed in an uncertain and turbulent environment. Actually, that kind of sounds exactly like what we are trying to create with our bioinspired design system, a flexible dynamic algorithm that will constantly evolve thus changing the role of the designer. An agile design system?

Okay so agile is a bit more than that.

Agile is about helping a team’s ability to adapt, helping them deliver value to their customers faster while not skimming on quality either. Requirements, plans, and results are evaluated continuously so teams have a natural mechanism for responding to change quickly. Now this is starting to sound like a manufacturer’s ability to quickly spec, design and produce a product for a customer. Kind of like an agile cloud manufacturing system?

Is Biohaviour, and more specifically the Blind Watchmaker, building an agile environment? Changing the environment for the customer, design engineer and manufacturer?

I am glad I took the time on a Monday to attend this event. It certainly got me thinking about Biohaviour from a different perspective, and I left with a really good quote that I can’t wait to share with the team as I think it really relates to some of the discussions we’ve been having over the past few weeks; “when a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment, not the flower.”

Thank you CME Group and Janet Gregory!

Róisín McConnell