It was a dark and stormy night in a small village in Denmark, and I was preparing some material for an introduction to the agile mindset and agile software development processes.


This must have been my zillionth time doing this, and I wanted to do something else.

To me the most important part of agile software development is the inspect and adapt part, and for that you need to be able to inspect things. Therefore the demo with the stakeholders is one of the things I hold dearly and always try to implement for each team I work with.

I needed something to illustrate how to prepare for these demos and how to get the progress evaluated, and then I remembered my embroidery!

I had seen a “Bless this mess” embroidery online and I had found a place to buy the pattern. When I got the pattern, the colours were not exactly right for me, so when I ordered the yarn for it, I changed the colours a bit, hoping they would still look good together.

And then I embroidered in an agile way, partly to check the colours before I used them all over, but also to be able to stop embroidering, when I lost interest in it (my closets are filled with projects I lost interest in and never finished).

When I made the first word, I stopped and looked at the font and the colour and the size: Did I like it? Also, could I stop here, and just have “this” to greet people when they entered my house?. The answer was no, I wanted to have more text.

So I did all the text and looked at it again, trying to figure out if I had energy for the flowers or if “bless this mess” would be enough. I decided to go on.

The next demo (to myself) was making a flower to evaluate if the new colours went well together in the flowers and the greens. It did.

I now have the embroidery in the third picture, and so far I am fine with what I have. I can always add more, if I get more energy. In the original pattern there were flowers all around the words, but perhaps I will never have the energy for that and then it is great, that I made it with an agile process!

Author of “Retrospectives Antipatterns” Founder of Metadeveloper. Agile coach. Teaching teachers, coaching coaches, facilitating facilitators. I love to laugh.