Agile and Lean in Everyday Life: The London City Tour

My family was on a recent trip to Europe and in each of the four cities that we visited there was an orientation tour – to get a taste of the city.  This typically happened when we first got into the city and it gave us some background on the top attractions.  As we were going through our fourth tour with a local tour guide I took note of some Agile principles and practices at work.

The MVP (Minimum Viable Product):  With a limited timeframe of 3 – 4 hours, it is not possible to offer an in-depth tour of the city and all it’s attractions.  It was however enough to give us a good taste of the entire city and make us feel like we had seen all of it and knew what to come back to an explore in more detail at a later time.


With the London City Tour, our guide Victoria took us by Buckingham Palace, St. James Palace, West Minister Abbey, Big Ben, Tower of London, St. Paul’s Cathedral with a little additional time spent at Buckingham Palace and West Minister Abbey.  Many of us returned the next day to explore the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral in more detail.

What Victoria offered us with the city orientation tour was a great example of what could be the tour company’s MVP (or minimum viable product).  Through learning about destinations that were the most popular and interesting to their customers, could create additional tours and offerings that addressed special interests in more detail.

Responding to Change Over Following a Plan:  One of the stops on the London City Tour is 10 Downing Street, the residence of the Prime Minister of England.  However, the day that we were there, there was a demonstration by the Sikh community in London and many of the streets were blocked.

Victoria made a quick decision to change the itinerary a bit. dsc_1999 She took us by the London Meat Market.  Not a typical stop on the tour – Smithfield Market or London Central Market,is the largest meat market in UK and one of the largest of its kind in Euro
pe.  Preserved for over
800 years; because of Victoria’s experience and knowledge as a guide, she was able to quickly respond to changing circumstances and share this little gem packed with history.