Nimble 2018: my personal reflection on Chapter 2

Last month saw the 2 year anniversary of the leap I made to start growing Nimble, beyond the brand I set up whilst freelancing. When I reflected a year ago, Nimble was just starting to grow as an independent collective. 

Just when I thought we couldn’t beat the crazy adrenaline rush of 2017,  2018 turned up and surpassed all expectations for the team here at Nimble.

Highlights

Some personal highs for me from this year are:

  • 10 to 50 Nimblers – Starting January with approx 10 of us, we hired our 50th Nimbler in October. Working closely with Dan and Andrew has been incredible and enabled this dream of mine to kick on to the next level. As a tightly knit unit and using Scrum for our Biz Ops, we created our own rule book of how to successfully scale a lean professional services organisation.
  • Locations – Growing our presence, client base and establishing strong Nimbler communities in Sheffield, Leeds and Manchester has been rewarding, and let’s face it; they’re 3 cool cities 🙂
  • Quality – My vision has always been for Nimble to become a  niche collective of elite people in the North – we’ve worked tirelessly to keep this bar high in 2018 whilst growing at pace. This effort’s been worthwhile though, as we’ve had feedback from our clients that they came to us for top quality specialists and we delivered on that! Spending time with all our talented, wacky and wonderful Nimblers at a personal level too has been an added bonus!
  • WH Agile @ Scale – We’ve been thrilled to have such a successful collaboration (especially as an independent) with William Hill, seeing the strides they’ve made in organisational transformation through their Agile @ Scale initiative.
  • Validating our proof of concept for Pop up squads – we created this idea in 2017 and have been lucky enough to have many opportunities to prove to clients this year why it’s so effective. We’ve enjoyed being that 12th man/first one off the bench helping organisations who need burst capacity to continue to deliver at or increase pace. The William Hill US platform sticks in mind as one of many highlights. Current projects include delivering, coaching and leading on customer sites (and our own) in UK, Europe, India and the US.
  • Set up our own office – We’ve never done this just because we felt we should. Instead, we had the perfect offsite product to build and in May this year we set up a Sheffield office. We curated a team which includes some of the best delivery people I feel lucky enough to have worked alongside. It’s been a blast!
  • Run a code camp to upskill an overseas client development team on two of the Taro Pumps projects (more to follow on this in the new year) in order to make the change sustainable.
  • Delivered a custom build MVP of an Amazon style product that includes its own stock control, ordering, sales and barcode scanning features in just 5 months with a lean team. 
  • Learning stuff – It’s been a journey and a half with no let up so far. We could have grown it a lot more but I’m glad now looking back we said no to opportunities that commercially looked good but in my heart weren’t Nimble. 
  • Inspiration – We’ve had an extra motivation in our work this year through the amazing range of people we’ve got to work with. There have been hundreds but ones that stand out for me are:
    • Sandra Cockayne, William Hill – a real advert for a leader in the Women in Tech movement, it’s been awesome to work with Sandra personally this year.
    • Hive IT and Paper – are 2 talented local companies we love and have had the pleasure collaborating with for good this year on fulfilling projects.
    • Side by Side – being leaders in the Design and Branding space, it’s been great to work alongside them, this year.
    • Arjunan Ramachandran, Taro – After 10 years being Agile, I’ve always been on a quest for the perfect PO and Arj (as well as having a high level ‘day job’) has been a joy to work with in this space and certainly set a high bar going forward.
    • 101 Ways – Seeing what Kelly has done with his company this year I’ve personally found really inspiring and it’s given me some food for thought when I recalibrate during my Xmas/NY downtime.

Now I couldn’t mention highlights without including some visuals could I?! So, here they are:

Values: our True north

We’ve torn up the rule book on how to effectively run a lean consultancy; not doing what people expect of us and what we think we should do, but by questioning everything and staying true to our beliefs.

I’ll be talking more about these in our ‘8 Values of Xmas’ Social Media series which starts on LinkedIn on Tuesday 11th December 🙂

What’s next

With the current chapter of Nimble coming to an end, I’m going to make time to pause and reflect before getting stuck in again with what Chapter 3 holds for us.  

Whilst this transition is happening, we will (for now) say goodbye to Andrew Long. Throughout 2018,  Andrew’s been phenomenal for Nimble and my go to Delivery guy.

His no nonsense approach to identifying & eliminating waste, legal mind, out of the box thinking and all round business consultancy have been second to none.  

I’m sure we will work together again and I’d like to say that I wholeheartedly endorse Andrew as a modern day Business Leader and feel that any organisation would be lucky to have his services.  

Good luck in your next adventure mate and it’ll be refreshing at our next pub trip to just chat about the footy 🙂

For me….it’s  been bags of fun and a very full on year!!

I’m going to enjoy a good rest, lots of family and friends time, and maybe the odd drink or two over the xmas and new year period, to reflect on where we’ve been, where we are now and where we’re going next.

Relying on instinct, having a beginner’s mind and getting a lot of advice from trusted friends/ex-colleagues have all contributed to this incredible experience so far for me and long may it continue. 

If you’ve got a challenge for us and want to benefit from our elite team,  please get in touch.

The future’s Nimble.  Realise the difference.

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