Freedom, Directors and the puppy may get it

Yes we have Digital freedom! We had a dream that we could have unfettered access to our automated development and test environments, be able to download and upload software, create our own deployment tool for testing apps and see our pages as our customers do. Basically behave like any other Digital development organisation. Now we can. Well a select few can for the moment as we weren’t given the number of ports we needed but our Airport Extremes will deal with that little issue when they turn up. Markos is one of the early testers which may have been because he was in the office last night or it could have been that he looks a bit ‘street’ and Fen was scared! On a more serious note this does give us a huge amount of freedom and with that comes the requisite responsibility, please ensure you look after it. 

This was a dream 6 months ago and whilst I am surprised at how long it has taken I am convinced it would have taken a lot longer or not happened at all if it hadn’t have been for the tenacity of Fen. Thank you very much Fen. 

On the project front we have a lot in train. Strategic Tagging is in full flight with the team holding a wide ranging risk workshop today to ensure that we fully understand the risk profile around the proposed ‘tag container’ supplier. It was a good session and demonstrated the huge amount of work that has gone in so far to ensure we, as a bank, make the right decisions. Well done to Karan, Oonagh and David. Android is still motoring ahead with the blue line still above the red but the angle isn’t as priapic as it was but I have every confidence we will complete on time as they are over 70% complete and have tackled most of the difficult challenges. Wallet is almost feature complete with the only significant hurdle left to get over being integration, which shouldn’t be underestimated but does demonstrate how far the team have come in the last 4 months. Mobile banking is steadfastly pushing ahead with getting the bug count down, which is a very difficult job given the number of moving parts going through the test environments. Here I share Martin’s confidence we will be defect free before we hit code freeze. For the sheer amount of effort and late nights I would like to single out Pete Trewin for praise. Well done Pete keep the good work up. If you need any chicken let me know.

In summary a lot of really good is being done by a lot of people and as a team we should feel really proud of ourselves. 

On a sad note I have to announce that Martin McHugh will be leaving us at the end of the year to take up an opportunity at Sainsbury Bank.  I have told him I have instructed security to not let him out of the building if there are outstanding mobile defects. Seriously, Martin has done a great job of pulling the project together and getting it to the line, so he will be sorely missed.

There are good directors, bad directors, directors in prison and now Fen. Yes, Fen has become a Director with a capital ‘D’. I know this because I had to sign a bit of paper to allow this to happen. I am not sure what he is becoming Director of but I believe he has asked to be referred to as “Dear Leader, who is a perfect incarnation of the appearance that a leader should have”.  

Want to learn a little bit more about Agile, or even just have some guidance you can point colleagues at look no further? We have our own pages in Jira that Stephen MacAinsh from Calba has been busy populating. They are a very good and handy ‘snapshot’ guide to what we are doing so make sure you take a look….

I did like the timesheet reminder email from Claudia and it gave me an idea. I have now provided her with the following puppy and gun and instruction to do as she pleases. Timesheet malingerers, the fate of this puppy is in your hands


I hope you had a chance to have a look at the November roundup from Cohaesus, some really useful links. I particularly like playing with

Twitter may be experimenting with personalised photos. Have a look at the following link. I liked the response from the engineer to a question about how they got the images so quickly ‘t’s a 200 line ruby script running on a $20/mo vps’. Digital innovation doesn’t need to be expensive.

Have a great weekend everybody. 


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