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Agile, Scrum, Kanban & IR35

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    Agile, Scrum, Kanban & IR35

    I've been paranoid about working in any form of Agile team for over a decade now. I offer quite a lot of distinct services, but often turn down Developer contracts I come across due to the inherent way work is usually allocated - believing that Product Owners prioritising the granular tasks would come under "direction". I don't usually have any issues or worries about "supervision" or "control" as once I'm given the work, I agree a timescale and get on with it, and (more often than not) raise issue / turn down work once I'm on with a project.

    I've read a fair few opinions on this - there's also a thread on here from 2008, but as you can imagine the opinions are probably a bit out-dated now.

    Struggling to find a new project at the moment (mostly because I often restrict my search to remote work and there just doesn't seem to be much about at the moment), so I'm having to widen my acceptance criteria - looking at some on-site Agile based roles, so my "direction" worry raises its ugly head again.

    What are people's thoughts? Worrying too much or legitimate concern? Who sees taking tasks off a Kanban board as "direction"?

    Found this article written last year too, which alleviates a fair amount of my worry, but still not 100% convinced.

    https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/ir35-...ormed-renwick/

    #2
    Surely, going off the descriptions on this page, supervision and control should also be a worry?

    https://www.contractoruk.com/success...need_know.html
    'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by northernladuk View Post
      Surely, going off the descriptions on this page, supervision and control should also be a worry?

      https://www.contractoruk.com/success...need_know.html
      This is the dilemma that causes the grey area I've read those definitions before, but I've also read quite a lot of other definitions :\ Taking those ones into consideration:

      * Supervision. Its very rare these days that a permie manager tries to oversee me, and when they do I put them right pretty promptly. I generally agree a task, timescale and deliverables (even if this is essentially based on an Agile process), and am held accountable if I don't deliver. There is literally no leaner way to deliver services to a client, and HMRC can't expect you to deliver professional software services without some degree of flexibility on both sides. I never accept training from a company, and decline all invites to company meetings etc.

      * Direction. The definition on that page is also quite friendly to me - no one ever tells me how to design or write software, and I choose projects that use frameworks and tech that I'm comfortable with. If a client asks me to write something in a language or framework I'm not comfortable with, or asks me to look into a technology I have no interest in - I decline (within reason of course, you still have to show flexibility). e.g. asking me to write something in Java when I'm a .Net developer - I decline because it would be irresponsible for me to accept work that I can't fulfil.

      * Control. By that definition, this would be the point I would be most concerned about (rather than direction, apologies). The work I undertake, even within the scope of a project, can often be dictated or re-prioritised by a client or one of their employees. A common scenario is where I've agreed to deliver work within a 2 week period - a week into it, the client contacts me and asks me to change my task to something that's now more important to the success of the business or project - and they are happy for my current task to slip. Declining this change of task or work, even though its within the scope of the project, obviously makes you come across very awkward, and raising a new schedule for each task in a project is absolute nonsense.
      Last edited by Spikeh; 26 February 2018, 10:35. Reason: sp

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by Spikeh View Post
        What are people's thoughts? Worrying too much or legitimate concern?
        A bit of both. They are not mutually exclusive.

        Buy TLC35 insurance if you're uncomfortable with the risk.
        See You Next Tuesday

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Lance View Post
          A bit of both. They are not mutually exclusive.

          Buy TLC35 insurance if you're uncomfortable with the risk.
          Are there any proven cases where TLC insurance has worked?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Spikeh View Post
            Are there any proven cases where TLC insurance has worked?
            No idea. Ring 'em and ask 'em. I'm not here to sell it.
            It will give you £50k of cover even if you lose.
            See You Next Tuesday

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Spikeh View Post
              Are there any proven cases where TLC insurance has worked?
              https://forums.contractoruk.com/acco...countax-3.html
              'CUK forum personality of 2011 - Winner - Yes really!!!!

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Spikeh View Post
                Are there any proven cases where TLC insurance has worked?
                They wouldn't sell it if it didn't. Although possibly the real questions is, "for whom does it work"...?

                To be fair I recall QDOS answering that question fairly recently. Perhaps a search might be in order?
                Blog? What blog...?

                Comment


                  #9
                  I've always taken Agile/Scrum/Kanban as WHEN the work will take place, in which order etc, the HOW is still up to you which is a basis for arguing any IR35 case which does not fall under direction
                  Originally posted by Stevie Wonder Boy
                  I can't see any way to do it can you please advise?

                  I want my account deleted and all of my information removed, I want to invoke my right to be forgotten.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by Spikeh View Post
                    believing that Product Owners prioritising the granular tasks would come under "direction"
                    Using the following from the attached link:

                    "For you, the contractor, to be subject to direction there is someone making you do your work in a certain way. This ‘director’ achieves this by giving you instructions, guidelines or advice as to how the work must be performed."

                    I don't see how prioritising requirements is making you do you work in a certain way?

                    You are given the priority of requirements, and you develop them in the way you see fit, not according to how a product owner see's fit.

                    If the stories are so granular that they literally are low level development tasks then the project has far greater issues and it's probably best to leave alone anyway, especially if the product owner is directing these tasks.

                    Comment

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