Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200

Austin Fraser secures top 20 ranking in Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200
Celebrations are set to take place across all Austin Fraser offices, following our second consecutive placement in the Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200. 2018 sees us come in at 20th in the ninth annual Sunday Times HSBC International Track 200 league table, which ranks Britain’s mid-market private companies with the fastest-growing international sales.
 
Growing our international presence
How have we achieved this? In the qualifying two year period, we’ve seen exponential international growth, with revenue rocketing up over 115%. Global locations have doubled in the past 18 months, too, opening offices in Berlin, Denver and Dallas. And we have more ambitious plans for Europe and the US in place.
 
Strategic leadership
As many of you will have seen in the media, earlier this year, we announced a significantly expanded leadership team, with the aim to propel Austin Fraser’s organisation’s global growth. At the same time, the business has been developing deeper relationships across our specialist sectors across Technology, Automation, Aviation and Life Sciences industries
 
Strengthening our culture
International growth comes with its own set of challenges. So we were delighted to see other regional players like the Bullit Group and Westcoast in the league table.
We’re a people-led business to our core and have nurtured a culture that supports, fosters and rewards success. As a recruitment partner, our teams are genuinely motivated by a core desire to ensure both our clients’ and candidates’ success. We couldn’t be prouder of every team member for making this happen and look forward to celebrating and thanking everyone in person.

Understanding Developer Typology

Understanding Developer Typology
Ahead of the June Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg held on 21st June 2018 we speak with 1&1’s Matthias Wittum, Head of the Source Center and Christian Rehn, Software Developer in 1&1’s Customer Selfcare Solutions about their highly developed frameworks and models which are specially designed to examine developer typology. Their frameworks and models are proven to support developer teams, strengthen communication and optimise design decisions.
 
Matthias Wittum explains that whilst working with Christian Rehn, they identified how different developers can be when it comes to reaching a design decision and how this has an impact on development teams. We know that developers are unique problem solvers who draw on different approaches, knowledge, cultures, experience and principles to produce software solutions. Developers naturally approach projects uniquely, and the outcome can play to a particular focus or strength. Of course within a development team this can lead to several solutions being found and so the challenge is often finding one team solution or design route.
 
There are enough personality tests out there, but no tests or frameworks based specifically on developers. We felt that some instruments were needed to enable better production efficiency and to help develop teams according to their orientation and typology, so we started filling the gap. That’s how the Design Types Model for instance, came to fruition. It sets out to define developers’ typology via a relatively straightforward base of questions for each developer to answer. The answers provided help classify their typology and then you can group them accordingly. Using this model makes it easier to gain an impression of whether the tasks, the way of working and the environment are a good fit.
 
Here are three Models which we have formulated to identify developer typology, aid better case arguments to reach design decisions more quickly and to help optimise development teams:

Design Types Model – sets out to identify why software design is individual and often leads to discussions with colleagues.
Design Cards – great interactive tool using a set of predefined cards used to aid technical discussions by using proven arguments.
Design Matrix – helps you to examine technical problems from all perspectives.

Read more about these interactive Models here.
 
Ever since the agile movement, technical decisions are increasingly discussed or reviewed within the team. Collective Code Ownership means that everyone is now jointly responsible for the software and as a result, it is important for developers to be able to argue precisely and comprehensively, to be able to put oneself into the motives of your colleagues. With our models, we want to support exactly this and strengthen communication in development teams.
 
Leaders in Tech
Thanks to those who joined us at our Leaders in Tech: Baden-Württemberg meetup held on 21st June 2018 when Matthias and Christian give a complete overview of the developer typology, as well as the Design Cards and the Design Matrix. As a start, to understand the concepts and the overall context.
 

3 Top Tips to Building a Successful Engineering Team

3 Top Tips to Building a Successful Engineering Team
 
We spoke with Florian Gamper, freelance CTO/CIO whose background is in Software Engineering from Enterprise Backend to Web and Mobile. Florian is a speaker at our June Leaders in Tech: Berlin meetup and over the years he has built numerous startups, Engineering Teams and Ventures for Companies like Dr. Oetker, BCG Digital Ventures and Columba. Resulting in projects like Coup (Electric Scooter Sharing for Bosch), Mein-Dach (Community Platform for Brass Monier) or backen.de (Oetker Digital).
 
As a Leader in Tech, we asked Florian what his 3 Top Tips are for Building a Successful Engineering Team
 
TIP 1 – Recruiting and interviewing your dream team
It starts with finding the talent. No longer do you have to wait for them to find you, now there’s a much more bi-directional process where you apply to them directly. This helps both sides engage in a deeper partnership. Be prepared to give your ideal candidate(s) an interesting story behind your company and an explanation as to how together, the projects can help take them to the next level.
Don’t ruin their first impression of your company! Before any interview takes place make sure the right people are in the room, and that you’re set up with a proper internet connection and good video chat system for remote interviews (not kidding … falling out of interviews all the time ruins your first expression … so ditch skype).
Finding and recruiting the right people to build a successful Engineering Team takes a lot of time. Don’t rush the process and if you have the funds to use freelancers for the intermediate, do it, it helps a lot. Never hire in doubt or rush.
 
Now it’s time to build your team.
 
TIP 2 – Cultivating the perfect environment
To create the perfect environment for an engineering team to thrive, the culture, supported from the top down, has to be right. To excel, you need to create a supporting culture with a welcoming and open mindset, which each member of the team needs to be a part of. To achieve this there are three simple rules: you have to build a culture that doesn‘t blame, gives fame, has no shame (it’s ok to admit a mistake) for the team to thrive. Set guidelines within which they have the freedom to experiment and thrive.
Glitches can appear if you don’t have the right processes in place to support your successful engineering team. To help track and record workflow you need to have stable processes in place such as CI/CD, Wiki, Tasks.
Listening, can help you spot the early signs that you’ve got the culture right. People will not only talk to each other about work, but also about their lives and hobbies. Bonds form and they’ll do some stuff together after work, ensure these are never siloed in the engineering team.
 
Never fear to lose the wrong people.

 
TIP 3 – The Future for Engineering Teams
Engineering Teams have to prepare to be more and more involved in production processes. Continuous deployment is a key to fast and steady delivery. In the near future teams will get more diverse in skills and topics as ML and other Cloud Technologies are going to be part of wider projects.
 
 
Leaders in Tech: Berlin
Florian explores this topic deeper at the June instalment of our Leaders in Tech: Berlin meetup, where he shares advice on what he looks for in the ideal candidate and what good teams need in order to thrive. 

Next stop, Dallas: consolidating Austin Fraser’s US presence

Next stop, Dallas: consolidating Austin Fraser’s US presence
We’re delighted to announce our next new office opening in Dallas, Texas, scheduled for October 2018. This move will anchor Austin Fraser deeper in the US market, hot on the heels of our award-winning Austin, Texas office and Denver, at the start of the year.
We’d also like to congratulate Dallas team lead, Alina Brovko, who will relocate from Munich to build the new Dallas team and roll-out our growth plans.  Alina is a brilliant example of the career pathways available at Austin Fraser and our strong ethos of fostering talent from within.
 
How we evolve on the ground
As the fourth biggest technology market in the US, outside New York, LA and Chicago, and a concentration of established Austin Fraser clients located in the city, Dallas was the obvious choice for our third US office. With its flourishing start-up ecosystem of incubators, tech meet-ups and a strong Fortune 500 presence, it holds real potential for Austin Fraser. With our Austin team just three hours away too, it will allow for deeper collaboration, ensuring our networks and talent pools are harnessed for client success.
As with previous locations, it’s important to us that we are embedded in the local community. Our approach is about adapting and integrating, while staying true to our Austin Fraser DNA. We invest heavily in communities, creating longer-term relationships while developing an exceptional pool as well as new career opportunities internally.
 
International growth
This past 18 months has seen Austin Fraser double our global locations, with offices in Berlin, Denver and Dallas.  We scale our international teams with home-grown talent, while building a strong local talent pipeline.
As Alina explains “We’re seeing a lot of our clients with hubs across the US so for this market, it makes sense for us to support as many of those as we can, as we extend Austin Fraser’s presence.  Our business is about how we can help our clients grow. Being on hand, to build real connections and relationships really means that we can specialise as well as play an active part in the tech community here.”
Further expansion plans in the UK, Europe and the US are in place and we’ll look forward to sharing these later this year.

Thames Valley Tech Awards

Thames Valley Tech Awards 2018: Top Tech Employer

Thames Valley Tech Awards 2018: Top Tech Employer
 
We’re partnering with The Business Magazine to support the launch of the first ever Thames Valley Tech Awards, a celebration of all things tech in the area. We’re taking the lead on the Top Tech Employer as we have the pleasure of working with these game changers every day. If you think you have what it takes, please take a look at our criteria and follow the instructions below to apply.
 
Here’s what we’re looking for in the Thames Valley’s Top Tech Employer:
 
An innovative and inclusive culture
Tell us about the way you work, interact and collaborate as a business. How open are your communication channels, how approachable are the leadership team and what do you do to achieve this?
 
A clear brand identity
Are your employees aligned with your business values and how do the leadership team embody them? Are your people engaged in the work they’re doing and how do you know?
 
Investing in your people
People are the backbone of any organisation, how do you invest in yours? Do you support their personal and professional development with training and progression opportunities? How achievable is a work/life balance in your organisation? Do your people feel valued what are the levels of your staff retention in 2017?
 
Company benefits scheme
 
Do you just offer the standard benefits package or have you created tailored schemes to really differentiate yourselves from the competition? Are you regularly reviewing your offering or is it stagnated?
 
Giving back & creating a positive impact
 
How do you recognise your responsibility as an organisation to give back to the community and how do you engage your employees in this? Do you support charities and if so, how? Are you conscious of your impact on the environment and what do you do to minimise this?
 
Innovating in your space
What are you doing to implement creative working styles, are you using the latest tech to create the most efficient solutions for your business?
 
Talent attraction 
How strong is your employer branding? Do you value your candidate experience and how can you demonstrate this?
 
If you have a strong case for each of these areas, we’d love to hear from you.
 
Follow this link https://tvtechawards.co.uk/tech-awards-categories/ and download the Top Tech Employer Award application form (8th one down).
 
We look forward to receiving your applications and celebrating with you on the night.

Meet AF’s new German Tech Director, Ashley Dunbar

Meet AF’s new German Tech Director
We’re very proud to announce that Ashley Dunbar is our new German Technology Director. He’s been with the company over nine years and was promoted in February earlier this year to UK Technology Director. His wealth of experience in the Technology sector will help us deliver a first class service to our clients and candidates, as well as driving the growth and development of our teams.
 
“Continually developing my skills and taking on new challenges is something I relish so when the opportunity arose to gain international experience I knew it was the right move for me”, says Ashley Dunbar, German Technology Director. “Having built up the UK Technology business I was confident I had the knowledge and track record to take German Technology to the next level. I’m a few weeks into my role and I’m really impressed with all my new colleagues and believe the opportunity here is vast and the future really excites me. The vision for our German business is what initially enticed me. Making it a reality by moving into new territories and truly delivering performances which have a global impact is why I’m here.”
 
“None of this would have happened without my family who have supported me every step of the way. For all of us, relocating to Germany and a great city like Munich is a once in a lifetime opportunity that we couldn’t let pass us by.”
 
Pete Hart, CEO comments, “Ash’s ambition has always been evident, so it is was no surprise when he put himself forward for international opportunities. Relocating his family to Munich is yet again evidence of his commitment to Austin Fraser.”
 
We are confident that Ashley will thrive in his new role, and we’d like you to join us in wishing him the best of luck on this adventure as he relocates to Munich with his family.

Neues Büro am Lenbachplatz eröffnet

Neues Büro am Lenbachplatz eröffnet
Im März hatten wir berichtet, dass wir neue erstklassige Büroräume im Stadtzentrum von München gefunden haben. Nach monatelanger harter Arbeit sind wir jetzt endlich eingezogen: Seit dem 4. Dezember finden Sie uns am Lenbachplatz 1, einer der gefragtesten Adressen Münchens. Der Lenbachplatz befindet sich in bester Lage mit sehr guter Verkehrsanbindung, und in der nahegelegenen Kaufinger Straße gibt es jede Menge Restaurants, Bars, Fitness-Studios, Geschäfte und andere gesellige Angebote.

Dieses Jahr hat Austin Fraser weltweit nicht weniger als sechs neue Büros eröffnet. Sie alle ermöglichen uns, unseren Kandidaten und Kunden einen noch besseren Service zu bieten – und München macht da keine Ausnahme. Mit diesen modernen Büroräumen werden wir unsere jetzige Mitarbeiterzahl mehr als verdoppeln können!
 
„Wir sind begeistert von der Modernisierung unserer Büros und dem Umzug in Premium-Geschäftsräume in bester Lage im Herzen von München. Wir haben mit verschiedenen Designern und Handwerkern zusammengearbeitet, um unsere Ideen in die Tat umzusetzen und für die tägliche Arbeit unserer Teams ein wirklich inspirierendes Umfeld zu schaffen. Austin Fraser ist in den fünf Jahren, die wir in München sind, schnell gewachsen. Und jetzt haben wir die richtige Grundlage, um dieses Wachstum fortzusetzen und neue Chancen zu schaffen.“ Ashley Dunbar, Director Germany.
 
Neben mehreren modernen Bereichen für Meetings und soziale Aktivitäten gibt es jetzt auch bessere Schulungsmöglichkeiten, was die Teamarbeit noch stärker fördern dürfte. Diese sehr gut ausgestatteten Einrichtungen können auch unsere Kunden und Kandidaten für die Rekrutierung nutzen – eine zusätzliche Erweiterung unseres Full-Service-Angebots. Dass unsere Kunden ihre geschäftlichen Ziele erreichen und erfolgreich Ausnahmetalente im vom Arbeitskräftemangel geprägten deutschen Technologiemarkt für sich gewinnen können, steht für uns an erster Stelle.
 
Um unser neues Büro vorzustellen und die Räumlichkeiten mit unseren Kunden und Kandidaten zu teilen, werden wir in den kommenden Wochen einige Tage der offenen Tür veranstalten. Sie wollen gern vorbeikommen und einen Tag an der Seite unseres Teams arbeiten? E-Mail an [email protected] genügt!
 

Five ways the GDPR will impact your tech business

 
Leaders in Tech is a group of managers and thought leaders who regularly get together to discuss current tech trends, share knowledge, learn new things and network. Our final Munich event of 2017 will be held on Wednesday 6th December in our brand new office at Lenbachplatz 1.
 
The topic this time will be all things security and data protection, including an overview of the upcoming GDPR, which will come into force on 25th May 2018.
 
This change in regulation could have any number of implications for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Tortsen Rammelmann from Solvectio GmbH will give us a more in-depth insight into the changes and their respective ramifications on 6th December, but for now, we have put together a summary of the issues we have become aware of at Austin Fraser, as we ourselves prepare for 25th May.
 
Five ways the GDPR will impact your tech business
1. Consent
The Regulation has maintained the current definition of ‚unambiguous‘ as the legal basis for consent for processing non-sensitive data. However; the new rules mean that businesses that gather users‘ data for a specific purpose will not be allowed to transfer or share this data for a different purpose without the user’s explicit consent. This could inhibit the ability of businesses to innovate with existing data. Explicit consent will also be required for the processing of sensitive data.

A consequence of the new legislation is that businesses will need to seek consent (unambiguous or explicit) more often from customers. A concern about this is that it could lead to ‚consent fatigue‘ and the kind of ‚meaningless consent‘ people provide when they click away cookie reminders on websites. The implementation phase will need to look closely at how practical consent requirements will be for emerging technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), which are not web-based and have no obvious user interfaces.
 
2. New liabilities and obligations for data processors
A significant change in the new rules is that data controllers and processors will be jointly liable for any breach of the Regulation.

Joint liability will extend responsibility beyond the companies that collect and use personal data. Cloud-providers, data centres and processors will now be liable for data held on their services. Given that data processors will have little visibility over whether the data collected by data controllers are compliant with the new Regulation, managing the legal implications of this requirement within contracts between controllers and processors will be difficult and potentially costly. This means that customers, particularly SMEs, will be faced with higher costs. Consumers will also be faced with a complex legal environment with less clarity around who is liable in the case of data breaches. National data protection authorities will need to work closely with industry to develop best practice model contracts to help streamline compliance with joint liability requirements as much as possible.
 
3. Restrictions on the use of ‚legitimate interest‘ as legal basis to process data 
Many companies currently rely on the legal concept of ‚legitimate interest‘ as a legal basis to lawfully process personal data. The new rules restrict the instances where legitimate interest can be used as a legal basis for processing. Companies will have to ensure that any data processed under this legal base is compliant with the now more restricted requirements and reflect member state law. Legitimate interest is a key enabler of the digital economy and underpins a company’s ability to combat cybercrime and fraudulent activity. Restrictions on its use as a basis for data processing could prove problematic for many businesses.
 
4. New restrictions on the use of profiling to support products and services
Many companies rely on profiling and automated decision making based on profiles, to develop cost-effective real-time personalised services that benefit customers. The new Regulation will limit the use of profiling in circumstances where its use may lead to ‚legal effects‘ and could mean that companies offering financial services, for example, are unable to use fully automated profiling, without some form of human review. Automated profiling will be allowed in certain circumstances such as fraud detection and public services, or where provided for in national law.

The new rules could be problematic for many FinTech companies as it will make it more difficult for companies to offer some personalised financial and insurance services to consumers. It could also make it harder for companies to detect and prevent fraudulent activity, which cannot feasibly be done manually.
 
5. Innovation and further processing
In a digital economy, innovation depends upon the ability to use existing data to see and understand the world differently. The new Regulation imposes stricter limits on such further processing which will make it more difficult for many organisations to drive innovation.

There are differences of interpretation about the precise meaning of this Article and how it impacts the ability of companies to develop new innovative services based on existing data. However, given the severity of fines that could be imposed if companies are found to be in breach of the Regulation, legal certainty will be essential for unlocking innovation.
 
If you would like to find out more about GDPR and the impacts on your business then join us for the final Leaders in Tech event of the year on the 6th December by signing up here.
Here is what you can expect from the night:

19:00 Arrive

19:00 – 19:30 Networking and Glühwein

19:30 – 19:45 Security Testing – A presentation by Jürgen Unterreitmayer

19:45 – 20:00 GDPR an Overview – Torsten Rammelmann

20:00 – 20:15 Live Hacker Demo

20:15 – 20:30 Q&A, Discussion

20:30 – 21:00 Networking

What a fantastic year it has been for Leaders in Tech. Our thriving community in Munich now has over 450 members, together we’ve discussed developments in IoT, Agile, and the Digital Revolution, with some fantastic speakers whilst gin tasting, BBQing on the roof terrace, and celebrating Oktoberfest. Off the back of our success in Munich we have now also launched Leaders in Tech in Berlin, Stuttgart and Reading, UK, and have plans to further expand.
Find your nearest Leaders in Tech Meetup and join the community here.
 
 

WeWork Berlin coworking space

We are expanding our presence in Berlin

 We are expanding our presence in Berlin
We are excited to announce that our Berlin team has moved to a new location in Ku’Damm.  We spent the past year in a building less than a mile away from our new location – our old office served us well, and we made great memories there, but we couldn’t be more excited about our new space.
 
We are pleased to occupy a vast, open-plan office within the WeWork Ku’Damm complex, a modern masterpiece of co-working space spanning six floors of industrial design heaven, located in the heart of Berlin. We’re excited about the hustle and bustle happening outside our windows and all of the great bars and restaurants within an easy walking distance of the new location.
 
While we were happy with our previous space, when we first moved in there were only 3 of us who had relocated from Munich so, we had plenty of room. Now that the team has tripled in size, it’s safe to say space was getting tight. The new office offered more square-footage, but more importantly, it allowed us to rethink our layout. We were able to start from scratch by knocking down walls and putting up others that better fit our team and how we’re growing. Overall, we now have more of an open plan so we’re all working closer together.
 
It has been an exciting ten years for Austin Fraser, and we look at this new location as the start of another chapter in our history. We’re still working on getting settled in and adding artwork to the walls, but we’re incredibly excited to be in the new space. We’ll be hosting a welcome party soon, so if you’re in the area, feel free to stop in and say ‘Hi!’
 
The new address is:
Austin Fraser GmbH
c/o WeWork Kurfürstendamm
11 10719
Berlin

The launch of all:in Denver, a community that actively promotes diversity in the workplace!

The launch of all:in Denver, a community that actively promotes diversity in the workplace! 
We are passionate about helping businesses and individuals grow by connecting them with relevant communities for sharing, learning, attracting talent and finding jobs.
 
All:in Denver is an inclusive community, promoting the benefits of diversity in workplaces by actively providing research and insight, and inspiring action.
 
Spearheading this launch is our Denver Lead, Oliver Wood and his team: “I’m very passionate about this project, having worked in the staffing industry for close to a decade, I have experienced first hand how important workplace diversity is. It’s incredibly enriching for both the companies who encourage it and the work they produce.”
 
We’re launching the inaugural all:in event in Denver, Colorado but have aspirations for the community to establish a global presence. We’ve partnered with Denver-based business leaders to create a board of stakeholders, so our decisions truly reflect the needs of local organizations. We’re working hard to provide our community with exclusive research and insight to promote change, as well as provide our members with a platform to share their ideas and experiences.
 
So, to kick off our first event we’re hosting a panel discussion on diversity in the workplace followed by an audience Q&A session with some of the leading diversity and CSR specialists in Colorado. We’d love you to get involved so we’ll provide you with loads of opportunities to have your say and really shape the course of the night.
 
Here’s what else you can expect:
 
4:30 – 5:20 Sign in, grab a drink and find someone interesting to talk to!

5:20 – 5:30 Introduction: The who, what, where & when of All:in

5:30 – 6:10 Panel discussion

6:10 – 6:30 Audience Q&A

6:30 – 7:00 Drinks & networking
 
To save your spot and join in the conversation, sign up here! 
We’d also like to thank Arrow Electronics, Colorado’s largest company, for hosting the event in their Innovators Club, a creative space in their Denver-area headquarters office designed to inspire guests and add a touch of ingenuity to any event.

Leaders in Tech: Berlin - Scaling an agile organisation

Leaders in Tech Berlin: The Road to Scaling an Agile Organisation

The Road to Scaling an Agile Organisation

Leaders in Tech is a group of senior execs and thought leaders who get together to discuss current tech trends, share knowledge, learn new things and network. We have created thriving local communities in Munich, Stuttgart, Reading, UK, and now we are excited to expand to Berlin.

Our Berlin launch event will be held at VW Digital Labs on 23rd November. Eric Heymann, Vice President Engineering at FlixMobility Tech GmbH (FlixBus), will give an interactive presentation on the journey to a fully independent, agile team.

There are numerous ways to scale a truly agile team. Eric will present his own perspective at the event but here are some considerations that Austin Fraser consultants have encountered recently.
 
The prevalence of Agile methods in the software industry today is obvious. Most major organisations can tell you about their approaches to implementing the values and principles found in the Agile Manifesto. Published frameworks and methodologies are rapidly maturing, and a wave of associated terminology is part of the modern lexicon. The challenge now is to scale Agile to work in complex settings with larger teams, larger systems, longer timelines, diverse operating environments, and multiple engineering disciplines.

What is scaling?

Many people understand Agile concepts through the illustrations offered by widely adopted methods such as Scrum. These team-focused development processes embody patterns of Agile behaviour and offer concrete implementation examples. If you want to achieve success with Agile methods in large-scale development efforts, you might be tempted to view the challenge as simply a matter of tailoring Scrum to work with larger groups of people. What we are learning from the experiences of major programs undertaken by large businesses is that this view oversimplifies the real work to do.

Below are some key attributes in successfully applying Agile methods. These attributes deserve attention as organisations architect the way their programs will implement Agile processes:

Team size.
Keeping teams small can enable every member of the team to have all the information needed to effectively contribute to the work.
 
Specialisation of roles.
Limiting the extent of specialisation among team members is something that most Agile proponents strive for. Agile program managers are instead encouraged to move away from a team structure where people focus only on one speciality.
 
Iteration length.
Iteration length has received much attention among those adopting Agile practices. The challenge of implementing shorter iterations may be one of the biggest challenges in scaling Agile to build larger, more complex software systems.
 
Synchronised cadence.
Coordinating the contributions of multiple teams to a single product delivery cycle can be hard, no matter what development method you choose. If your teams use different iteration lengths, you will want to look for ways to synchronise the end points of iterations. If teams deliver product features or components (or slices of the architecture) at different times, the cascading effect of rework as integration occurs with each new arrival can lead to a chain of rework-driven cycles that amplify over time. Postponing integration while lagging teams finish their work may lead the early finishing teams to move on to other projects without the benefit of potentially course-correcting feedback from those they’ve just completed.
 
Release definition.
At scale, most Agile development efforts are structured into a series of releases, each built up from a number of iterations. Typically people set a release to contain four to six iterations, which often fit into a calendar quarter (e.g., four iterations of 3 weeks each, or six iterations of 2 weeks each lead to a 12-week cycle). When scaling Agile methods it is useful to consider synchronising with business cycles (e.g., quarterly reporting requirements or cadence driven by earned value management systems), as budget cycles and other external dependencies may follow these patterns.
 
Batch size.
In scaling Agile, the long wait for feedback is a bigger problem than the heavy weight of documentation. The priority focus should thus be on working in small batches, prioritised by value, with rapid feedback from the user.
 
Product owner role.
The product owner role in Scrum is a pivotal element to successful implementation because it provides the development team with a single voice of the business. Even among teams not using Scrum, we are seeing a product owner role – or some variant of it – used to communicate priorities based on value for users.
 
User role.
Agile development relies on collaboration with the users of the system (or someone who represents the user base) in a way that many other development styles do not. Rather than basing all work on an up-front comprehensive requirements specification, engage the users to help refine the development team’s understanding of what is needed – at a time when that discussion will have the most beneficial effect.

Looking Ahead

While a number of published frameworks are available, each has strengths and weaknesses. The challenge faced by many in the Agile community today is how to scale Agile to succeed in complex settings, with larger teams, larger systems, longer timelines, diverse operating environments, and multiple engineering disciplines.
 
If you would like to find out more about scaling agile teams, discuss this and other current trends with your peers, and expand your network, then register for the upcoming Leaders in Tech Meetup on Thursday 23rd November: https://www.meetup.com/Leaders-in-Tech-Berlin/events/244144570/

Dave Howard - Marketing Director - Austin Fraser in Thames Tower's roof garden - The Roost

Life at AF: Why I joined Austin Fraser as Marketing Director

Why I joined Austin Fraser as Marketing Director

What an exciting time to be in recruitment, what an exciting time to be a marketer.
Recruiting’s a competitive business, and it’s getting even hotter. The job market continues to evolve. Recruiters need to do the same or risk being left behind. But recruiters are nothing if not persistent, adaptable and innovative. Mastering the new recruiting landscape and associated best practices that find and secure those competitively skilled and experienced candidates in demand today is irrefutably at the core of effective talent acquisition and recruiting.
 
Austin Fraser not only recognises these challenges but has the ability and appetite to tackle them head on and turn obstacles into opportunities. Success will be based on networks and networking. Consultants’ networks need to be extensive, varied and full of amazing talent. Whether you’re working in a talent-driven or job-driven market, the best consultants are those who network the most. And today, the mediums of networking are ever evolving too. Consider digital platforms, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, GitHub, Stack Overflow. Where are your candidates? You need to be wherever they are.
 
When it comes to showing up at work each and every day it takes more than an outstanding service, exceptional year-on-year growth and glowing customer reviews – all of which Austin Fraser has. It takes a fantastic team. Pete, Del, Jacob, Alice, Hannah, Rich, Tom, Ash, Brad, Laffers, Simmo, Jon and the 150+ global team are all exceptional people, and they are the reason I accepted Austin Fraser’s offer. It is these very people and their accomplishments that get me out of bed each and every day.
 
One of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned is that in order for any company to succeed, they need to anticipate customer needs and stay nimble in the face of change while remembering what made them special in the first place. This is true especially with our customers who pivot quickly and value a consultative approach to skills and staffing. Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all approach, the best recruitment companies provide services that are built to fit their customer’s’ needs and predict where they and the marketplace are going. Most importantly, they always remain dedicated to providing experience, insight, and service in order to help their customers succeed. Why? Because the recruitment ecosystem is complicated and ever-changing. What works today may or may not work tomorrow.
With one of the highest customer retention rates in the industry, Austin Fraser shares all these attributes.
 
Businesses increasingly prefer the ‘master of one’ to the ‘jack of all trades’. While it might sound convenient to just write one check, more and more businesses have realised that they’re better off looking for best-of-breed recruitment partners. That’s why one of the biggest trends in recruitment right now is a shift away from generalists that do a lot of things just okay, to specialists like Austin Fraser who have deep and demonstrable sector knowledge.