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Small Steps

Do you think you could cycle from Paris to Geneva? 503.9 km, mainly uphill, over mountains and hills, with no material reward? What about 643.7 km from Niagara to New York?

niagara to nyc logo

The former is exactly the journey a group of cyclists undertook to raise money for Small Steps charity last August, and latter is the journey they will be undertaking on the first of August this year. The causes that they’re helping to support this year include the SCSNA (Solihull Special Needs Children’s Association), which provide’s support to the children, often for free, by teaching basic skills, which we might take for granted. They also take the children swimming once a week in an old minibus on its last legs! Without such a playgroup, parents and carers would not have any rest from the hard work they have to put in just to look after these children with special needs. Small-Steps have supported the local charity since 2011.

This year they also begin their support of the Chandratilak Vidyamandir Society, which runs two Primary schools in the tribal area near Bilaspur in Chattisgarh, India. The society runs primary schooling in the tribal area near Bilaspur in Chattisgarh, India. In this school, 186 village children are getting free education until year 4. The society, which has been running on voluntary contributions alone with little support available from other sources, is in danger of closing down. Small-Steps Charity is contributing towards provision of books, school bags, shoes, raincoats, warm clothing to both students and parents, and a healthy and balanced diet. The vision is for Small Steps to establish a long term relationship with the school and help support them as they continue with the fantastic work that they do.

krishna small steps

Capri Consulting has worked closely with the charity since the beginning of its support of the Society, and we’re proud to announce that we are the official sponsors of the 2015 cycling team for their journey from Niagara to New York, after our Company Director, Krishna Thakur, was inspired by the fantastic work they do whilst on a recent business trip to India.

The Charity also holds other regular sporting fundraisers like badminton tournaments and charity walks, find out more and see how you can help here.

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New to Agile?

In short, agile and lean are general concepts, the former basing on Agile Manifesto and the latter on Toyota Production System. Then we have Scrum or XP, built over agile, and Kanban, built over lean, which are specific methods teams can implement, like Prince2.

Personally, I don’t treat agile and lean movements in a very orthodox way — they base on the same principles. So, to some point, they’re overlapping. Also, you will find teams mixing methods from both houses, Scrumban (a combination of Scrum and Kanban) being probably the most common.

If you wanted to position agile/lean methods somehow I’d say that:

  • Scrum is the closest to the old-school project management methods, although it doesn’t really deal with formal side of project management.
  • XP focuses on engineering practices and is generally programmer-centered.
  • Kanban is often dubbed change management framework as it doesn’t change the way team works on the day 1 and lets the process evolve over time.
  • As all three focuses on different things, it isn’t uncommon to see them, or their parts, used jointly.

If you want to learn more I’d start with such set of materials:

  • Introduction to Scrum on Mike Cohn’s site. If you want more on Scrum Mike Cohn’s site is a good place to find also more advanced stuff on Scrum.
  • Once you know what Scrum is I’d strongly recommend Henrik Kniberg’s and Mattias Skarin’s minibook Kanban and Scrum – Making most of both which is great in terms of describing Kanban but has a lot of referrals to Scrum.
  • For more advanced stuff on Kanban I’d recommend Limited WIP Society articles (topic for my next blog).
  • Good kick start on XP can be found on Ron Jeffries’ site.

In terms of books as a kick start, I’d recommend:

  • Mike Cohn’s Succeeding with Agile for Scrum
  • Kent Beck’s Extreme Programming Explained for XP
  • David Anderson’s Kanban for Kanban

If it is too much of a hassle to read these books and digest then contact us and we may be able to help you.