Explaining Agile as a Sandwich


Agile allows teams to deliver things of greatest value for the stakeholders every single time. But what do I mean by that and how?

The Agile Manifesto states “Deliver (solutions) frequently…”. This often bears out with what is termed Iterations or Sprints, or at least every couple of weeks. The idea is to reassess what is the next most valuable thing to deliver every single iteration or every couple of weeks.

There’s a great story I heard somewhere where the Subway sandwich franchise was compared to running Sprints in Agile. The way this was explained to me was that when you enter the Subway store, you have some idea of what you want, but things change as you are presented with the “product” at each stage.

Your first most valuable delivery is when you choose the type of bun (bread, roll, whatever you want to call it), at the same time you can choose what size portion you want for lunch.

Now, this is world-changing thought. No longer are you given a plate with something indescribable slapped into it, now you, the customer, are given an absolute choice in every aspect. Neither you, nor the Subway team knows what you will end up with. It might be what you were thinking about on the way into the shop, a standard wheat bun, but now you see the Italian Herb or the Honey Oat and you decide that this is exactly what you want.

This means that your first iteration chooses the exact sized bun for your needs and the exact bun you decide. That’s real, delivered value. The next iteration asks what cheese you want and you can decide exactly the type of cheese, or skip the cheese altogether and go directly to the main filling or choose to decide in the next iteration. Toasted or plain?

After choosing which vegetables will now go best with your semi-created product that you can see and almost taste in front of you, you now have an almost complete lunch. You can decide to add sauces (toppings) or cut straight to the final product and eat it now, foregoing the wait.

This is exactly what Agile looks like in real life. Iterations are much longer, a couple of weeks to about a month, but it’s the same thing in reality. After every iteration, you get to choose what is the most valuable thing that you want next, now that you know more about the solution. You know more because you can see what is happening in a presentation to you after every iteration (called a “Showcase”).

The wonderful thing about this is that at every point, not only are you delivered the most valuable solution increment, but at any time, you can choose to wait and get those extras like toppings, or cut right there and take the solution as it is.

What tends to happen in the old-school project management is that you choose everything you can think of, right up front, then the team works to deliver that completed, some time down the road. This suffers from so many problems, but the main ones are the assumptions made:

  1. That you know what you want
  2. That the team knows how to build it
  3. That nothing will change

These assumptions are all wrong and building your sandwich in front of you is often the only way for everyone to see and recognise the best possible next value at every point.

For more information on how you can become more Agile visit http://www.dragonsarm.com

What is Agile?

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Agile is a mindset that helps you deliver the best value, consistently for you organisation.

Benefits of Agile are;

  • accelerate service/product delivery
  • enables change
  • improves team morale
  • experiment and learn rapidly
  • deliver value continuously

To gain the benefits of Agile become a Agile Certified Professional.  Add value to your CV while becoming an awesome asset for your organisation.

DragonsArm was created as an Agile training company. Based in Wellington New Zealand and operates in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, USA, Canada, Dubai, and the UK.

Agile Certified Professional (3 day) Courses in Wellington are scheduled for the following dates

1) 27, 28. 29 August 2018
2) 22,23,24 October 2018
3) 26,27,28 November 2018

To book your course and find out more about DragonsArm visit http://www.dragonsarm.com/



NZ’s top exercise industry body backs calls for tighter guidelines

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Richard Beddie


The country’s top exercise industry body, ExerciseNZ, is behind the call for industry-wide guidelines around high intensity workouts including a weekly maximum time limit for this type of training for gym-goers.

ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says the guidelines should be put in place in the context of safety standards for all Kiwis exercising.

Beddie backed Les Mills international head of research Bryce Hastings whose new study found just 30 to 40 minutes a week of high intensity training was acceptable, reducing the risk of injury or illness compared to longer or more frequent high intensity session.

Beddie says people heading to gyms and exercise facilities to make sure that when they get exercise advice from suitably trained experts.

“We think Kiwis deserve protection when getting advice about what to do regarding high intensity training,” he says.

“The impact of this latest research study may have impacts reaching beyond that, especially for people exercising in their garage with mates or at a local sports club.

“While educating professionals is one half of the equation, empowering and educating exercisers is just as important. All people who exercise deserve to be safe, regardless of cost or geographical location.

“In New Zealand we have robust and well-regulated health and safety laws and together with industry best practices, forms a great basis for the start of industry standards. 

““New Zealand already leads the way internationally with more than 75 percent of all exercise professionals registered with the NZ Register of Exercise Professionals (REPs) which uses the NZQA qualification framework as the basis of its entry criteria, as well as being internationally benchmarked and recognised in over a dozen countries. 

“We support the movement for more regulation in the industry as we start to help more and more people getting active. This means the traditionally inactive people, with more unique needs starting to exercise.” 

Beddie also called for the government and its agencies to work collaboratively with the exercise industry community to support Kiwis getting into exercise which effectively reduces the burgeoning health bill. 

ExerciseNZ represents more than 625 exercise facilities and more than 3200 registered exercise professionals in New Zealand. They provide services to more than half a million Kiwis on a regular basis, making exercise the largest sport in New Zealand.


- Make Lemonade

Develop your ‘search’ skills to find people who can help you succeed

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How this all started.  I was recruited into the recruitment agency world in the early 90’s and this was my line of work in some shape or form for the next 25 years.  In fact, still today I use many of the skills learnt during this period to help me provided services to my clients and to grow my own business.  I was lucky as I was employed to recruit people with information technology skills.  My natural way of working is to get to know people really well and totally understand how I can help them.  This helped me to develop some great relationships with some very smart technical people, these relationships helped me to develop technical knowledge and skills that helped me be better at my job.  I built a career and then a very good business with these skills.

One of the key skills I developed was how to use ‘Forensic Search’.  On a basic level, most people know how to search Google and they may even have a LinkedIn account that enables them to reach several people every month.  You may even know how to do a basic Facebook search for people?

Using these skills, you can find people to help you in your business.  Whether that be to find great staff, clients or my favourite ‘collaborators’.

Collaborators understand the value of building large internet connections where they can either promote themselves and their work or do the same for their clients. Those that provide services for clients are often called ‘Digital Marketers’.

By working in partnership collaborators and/or digital marketers can create large networks that can be used to promote whatever the client is looking for.

However, for those who have another career they can use these tactics to develop personal networks, groups and connections that will help them advance their career.  This works by connecting with other people in your industry and setting up ‘groups’ and meetups where you and your collaborators can invite your networks to share their details with a group or even attend a meetup.  These meetups allow you to build relationships, some of which will be key contacts that help you build your career.

For those of us with advanced forensic search skills, we have the ability to reach into the internet and find anyone on any site simply using code that interrogates the website and brings up profiles that meet your search criteria.  A skill I use to promote client’s jobs directly to the people they may be looking for in a service I developed that promotes jobs rather than engages in direct recruitment.

For those of you interested more in the mechanics here is a great place to start https://www.lifewire.com/web-search-tricks-to-know-4046148

Of course, once you have mastered searching a site that is the first step.  The second is to master how to communicate with people when you find them.  That’s another skill which most of us Digital Marketer’s prefer to keep as our own IP (Intellectual Property).

Once you have these skills the world becomes a much more exciting place, you can use forensic search skills for a wide range of activities, but my favourite is helping people to build their business or develop a career network.

If you are interested in learning how to develop your search skills or your staffs’ search skills please feel free to contact me.



Tony Cutting
Personal Coach / Digital Marketer
m. +64 21 911 722
e. tony.cutting@peoplenet.co.nz

A four step approach to mastering your stress ....

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There are four key steps that we need to take in order to regain, and maintain, control over our stress and anxiety:

  1. Reducing our current stress level
  2. Understanding how we experience stress
  3. Rewiring our brain
  4. Developing and practicing the skills needed to keep stress under control

Reducing our current stress level

When we are experiencing stress it affects our ability to think clearly. This creates an obstacle for us, because we need to be able to think clearly in order to take the next three steps.

In order to get our 'thinking brain' back on line, we need to reduce the level of stress we’re currently experiencing.

One of the most effective ways to reduce our current stress level is to activate our innate Relaxation Response. The Relaxation Response is the branch of our autonomic nervous system that goes into action to restore balance once the Stress Response ("Fight or Flight") is deactivated.

The Stress Response and the Relaxation Response can’t both be active at the same time – when one’s on, the other is off. So in order to reduce our stress level we need to ensure that our Relaxation Response is in action more often than our Stress Response.

During the day the best way to activate the Relaxation Response is through diaphragmatic breathing. You can do it anytime, anywhere. There are many different patterns of diaphragmatic breathing, and the one I teach my clients is called 7/11 breathing. You can find out more about it here.

Understanding how we experience stress - the S.T.R.E.S.S Process

The phrase “Knowledge is Power” is often attributed to Francis Bacon (1597). Bacon was referring to the fact that knowledge reduces uncertainty and empowers people to achieve great results. In the context of stress management, a good, clear understanding of how we experience stress is invaluable, because it helps:

  • reduce our fear of the unknown
  • put us back in control of the stress experience
  • us to tailor our stress management activities to those that serve us best

In my work with individual clients and groups, I use the STRESS PROCESS MODEL to explain how stress is created and how we experience it. I’ve written about the Stress Process in earlier blogs. You can check out the first blog in the series here.

Rewiring our Brain

It is often the case that the stress we experience is due to our brain having becoming over sensitive to potential threats. To use an analogy, our amygdala (our brain's threat detector) is performing like a faulty car alarm, triggering the stress response even when there’s little or no danger to us.

The good news is it’s possible to reset the faulty alarm so it only goes off when it needs to. One of the effective techniques I use with my clients to ‘reset the alarm’ is the REWIND technique. This amazing technique is also effective in helping people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and phobias.

Developing and practicing the skills needed to keep stress under control

With our current stress level reduced, and with a good understanding of how we experience stress, and with our alarm system reset, we’re now ready to learn and apply some effective tools and techniques to keep our stress under control. These tools once learned become skills for life, that we can use as and when we need them.

An example of a really powerful stress management tool/skill is visualisation (also known as mental rehearsal).


“If You Can Visualize It, You Can Make It Happen” ~ Jack Cranfield


Very often anxiety is triggered by a misuse of our imagination – we imagine worse case scenarios, and our brains respond to the situation as if it is real and happening now. By practicing visualization, we can deliberately get our imagination working for us instead of against us.  Visualization trains the brain to stress less and achieve more.  Successful athletes and business people have long known this, and they use visualisation to aid their success and well-being. To learn more about visualisation click here.

What Next?

If anxiety or stress are causing ongoing problems in your life, give me a call me on 021 056 8389, email tony@tycoaching.nz  to schedule your first session.


REMEMBER - "When you change your mind you change your life."


Here's to a relaxing weekend.

Go well

Tony Yuile

Tony helps individuals to harness the power of their mind to achieve success and well-being in life, work and business. Tony's particular area of expertise lies in helping people to 'change their minds' so they gain freedom from worry, anxiety and stress, overcome limiting beliefs and unhelpful habits. Tony’s solution focused approach to coaching uses a range of techniques drawn from the fields of solution focused coaching, neuroscience, positive psychology and clinical hypnosis.