Towards a better future state – improving the socioeconomic landscape through data informed transformation – part 4 (Going Agile with Artefacts to aid scalability)

Application of DSDM ATERN to design and deliver innovative Agile international development programmes Somewhere in the beginning of this journey we uncovered our own transformation and that it remains continuous; from people of the fence to a vocal opposition, off the fence and in the thick of it, putting our talent and resources where our mouth is;  designing, engineering and delivering programmes that work, are measurable, repeatable, evolving with increasingly positive and verifiable results. Analysing analogs and antilogs, experimenting, failing and revisiting the drawing board on multiple programmes at times concurrently, at times all consumed by what can be engineered in society using Agile methods to experiment in situ.

Prototyping where prototyping is seldom conducted, taking every opportunity to learn, adapt, apply, measure, rinse and repeat. Running lean, delivering social development programmes on fumes, a startup of sorts with quantifiable social good and spiritual food as our return on investment.

Given our cross cultural, global ambitions means the design process has to be agile with standardised artefacts to ease knowledge transfer between cross cultural teams and adapted to new environments effectively with the same or similar level of efficacy.  Navigating unchartered waters albeit with considerable experience of having delivered very different transformational programmes in large organisations.

Be it the Mini-MBA programme or Urban farming cooperatives, every programme is broken into components and delivered using methodologies best suited for the nature of the individual component, whilst being Agile. We are in a hurry remember, gotta fix whats broken and fast.

Being a practitioner and evangelist of Agile in its different guises it was a no brainer to adopt DSDM Atern here. A major consideration remains scaling the programmes via the international development community; to achieve scale beyond our very humble means requires adoption of our programmes by the behemoths of international development; USAID, JICA, DFID, Minhaj-ul-QuranAga Khan Development Network and the likes of. Though I have my doubts if they could do things as we do… the systems scientist in me says with the right artefacts and training this is repeatable with similar results; they can replicate our programmes and processes, the pragmatist in me says it requires a paradigm shift that is hard for these organisations to contemplate let alone deliver on.

In context effective repeatability entails creating the programmes and documenting the processes in a language these not so Agile organisations understand, can relate to and adopt without having to re-learn or re-engineer. More importantly grass root teams who may not be familiar with Agile at all can pick up and fly with it, we have already proven that they can in South Punjab, KPK and are now doing so in Karachi. With that outcome in mind DSDM Atern was a natural choice for the design process of the programme it self, not so much its delivery. For delivery the teams have been trained in and adapted SCRUM, Kanban and a variety of modelling techniques borrowed from digital marketing, digital strategy development and LEAN… the details of which are for the next post.

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OPEN London – an evolutionary leap…

@OPEN_London 20th of October was OPEN-London‘s chapter launch, a resounding success. 240 individuals came together to bring about an evolutionary leap for the London Chapter of OPEN global; a not-for-profit organization, whose focus is promotion of entrepreneurship and professional growth. A secular and non-political organization with prosperity and growth as its raison d’être. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA 57% of all registered delegates attended,  42% of whom were students and 124 professionals representing British economy across the board; the NHS, BBC, Deutsche Bank, KPMG, Citigroup, BP, Oliver Wyman, Telereal Trillium, Vodafone, CPA Global, Deloitte, Marriot, Saudi Aramco, StudentFunder, BPP and the list goes on and on.

51% were women; including the founder of CARE Foundation, partners at law firms, consultancies, doctors, startup entrepreneurs, teachers in London, educational reformists to OFSTED employees. From hijabs, traditional garbs to skirts and suits.

OPEN_London_EmailComs_LE2013 On day zero in June 2011 it was four near strangers at Smith and Nephew’s offices on Adam Street in London,  this past weekend it was 240 representing technology, finance, social transformation and the healthcare sector. From industry leaders, rising stars, established, growing to wobbling entrepreneurs, a former prime minister to a Hollywood star the entire spectrum was covered.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Though LA, Washington DC, New York, Manchester, Bristol, Brighton, Birmingham, Canterbury were represented it was mostly a London affair.

Keynote speakers included Seema Aziz of Care Foundation; educating 150,000 children studying in 225 schools, former Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr Shaukat Aziz and Faran Tahir; of StarTrek, Elysium, Iron Man and most recently Escape Plan fame. There were four separate breakout sessions covering social entrepreneurship, technology, finance and healthcare with an equally impressive line up of panellists. The Alexander Fleming building of the Imperial College London was a fitting venue for the launch, Pioneers of sorts hosted in a building named after an epic pioneer himself.

OPEN London – to learn, share, connect, improve, seize and grow; individually, as a community in London and beyond.

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OPEN London – community 2.0 or something like that

Open_london Usually I shudder at the thought of a networking group built around an ethnicity/creed/religion or any sort of singularity for it represents something as far removed from the concept of a community as is possible.

So when a friend mentioned OPEN mid last year my initial reaction was dismissive,  Athar pressed on and it paid off! I checked out the Organization of Pakistani Entrepreneurs and Professionals (OPEN) and found a few things that set it apart from the usual suspects! they drummed on about being secular and non-political, they were concerning themselves with the ecosystem they ‘lived in’ as opposed to focusing everything for the benefit of ‘back home’ –  a bunch of integrated folks – that in itself scored well on my scale.

I wasn’t sold yet… but was curious to meet the few folks meeting up to explore bringing OPEN to London. OPEN is from across the pond and it has successfully delivered to its mandate State side… so the Brit in me was curious as to why there was no OPEN London chapter … clearly the centre of the multiverse should not only be represented but be leading the way!

My first meeting ,with what was to later become the group of charter members, was refreshing! against the odds these were people I could relate to, integrated, secular, progressive, inclusive… quite OPEN! (every pun intended) and determined to build a community not a singularity.

A little over a year on, OPEN London is launching in some style at Imperial College London (Sir Alexander Fleming Building) on the 20th of October 2013 and I am proud to be involved in building an enterprise focused, inclusive and open community at home in London.

Thank you for badgering me many moons ago Athar and thank you Naseem for bringing this to the centre of the multiverse and of course everyone else for bearing with me and my awkward ways and awkwardly open world view!

One more option to look on her packing at it levitra vardenafil it of course to take not so simply because a form another and there is a wish to hold in hand her not so strongly. You can carry by me on a wide field.