The First AgileTea Meeting

Hi, my name is Abby Peel and I have recently joined Mark O’Neill in the Innovation and Delivery team within the Government Digital Service as Head of Community. The team is working with government and non-government communities to continue to promote fast, lean, cost effective and agile solutions to major ICT & digital challenges. As part of our work  I’d like to announce AgileTea; an informal opportunity to get together with other people who work with agile methods, those who are interested in it, or those who know nothing about it but want to know more!

What is Agile?

Simply put, Agile techniques are about finding ways to reduce complexity, speed up delivery and drive business agility. A great example of this was the recent Government e-petitions website which was launched to huge public interest after being developed by the Innovation team in 6 weeks.

What is AgileTea?

AgileTea will be the first of a regular series of informal, BarCamp style events that will bring together like-minded people to hear, contribute and engage in discussion of Agile methods  on a regular basis over tea and cake. Each AgileTea meeting will have guest speakers, anyone can nominate themselves and it is open to all who wants to share ideas, chat with others working on agile projects, or just come for a cup of tea and piece of cake (you will have to buy your own though!)

The first meeting will be held on Thursday 22nd September in Cafe Zest, 2nd Floor of the House of Fraser on Victoria Street from 4pm – 6pm

AgileTea is open to all, users and suppliers, public sector and private sector. Any one can ask to give a short presentation up to 10 minutes in length at a future AgileTea. Note – pitches may get gonged off!

Who’s presenting?

Guest speakers at the first event will be Richard Pawson  from Naked Objects speaking on ‘Experience of very large scale agile development at the Irish Department of Social Protection’ and Mark Foden  from Foden Grealy will present on ‘Where agile fits’.

Richard has been a direct advisor to Ireland’s Department of Social Protection (DSP) for a number of years now. DSP, or “the Welfare” as it more commonly known, has a similar role to DWP in the UK. He will talk about how DSP has used agile techniques over the past few years to deliver a range of systems and services, and the tangible benefits that the DSP has realised from this approach – as well as addressing the areas that, in retrospect, could have been done better. Check out a couple of links: ‘Large-scale pure OO at the Irish Government’ and ‘Agile Development using Naked Objects‘.

Mark will be sharing some ideas on how agile ways of working may fit with existing approaches to the delivery of government IT. Mark is a management consultant with a background in supporting behavioural and cultural change associated with Government programmes; and has particular experience of promoting agile working in complex IT environments.  He writes on his firm’s blog and is @markwfoden on Twitter.


Big thanks to Jane O’Loughlin at GDS whose highly successful @TeacampLondon initiative has provided the model.

Look out for more info here.

See you there !


  1. Hi Abby, conngratulations on your new appointment, certainly one of the most exciting areas in government and technology at the moment. I am part of a team that is delivering a project which is very similar in its aims to and we have been using an Agile approach. we’d love to come and have a chat and maybe share our experiences at one of your events?

    1. Great Simon I’ll get in touch to arrange a chat, or else come along to Agile Tea and we can take it from there ! See you then

    1. Hugo – We are planning these Agile Tea camps on a regular basis, as well as other camps, currently planned in as Tea Cloud and Green Tea to focus on exactly that – and I’ll keep you updated.

  2. Hi Abby, when is the next Agile Tea Camp? I lead Technology and Delivery for Connect Digitally and would be very interested in attending / contributing @TimSpiers

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