I think it is fair to say that the last few months have been challenging in some way for everybody, but in this blog, I want to concentrate on some of the positives outcomes we, as a digital team, have achieved.

Our team uses Agile as a framework to deliver our digital products/services and almost all Agile’s values rely heavily on collaboration, which was so easy whilst working face-to-face. But how were we going to do this from home?

For those that don’t know, the Agile Manifesto has the following values (those on the left more than, not instead of, those on the right):

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Thanks to the positive ‘can do’ attitude from the team, their innovative ideas and quick feedback loops, we were able to recreate our working environment virtually within our first sprint of working from home.

Like many organisations we have made extensive use of Microsoft Teams, but this has its limitations in terms of project management, interactive designs  and co-designing, which is why we also use Jira and Miro respectively.

  • Jira is a workflow management tool that we use to show our work in progress, manage risks and store all our task and project information
  • Miro is an online collaborative whiteboarding platform that enables distributed teams to work effectively together, from brainstorming with digital sticky notes to creating complete user journeys

We now run our delivery ceremonies on the following platforms:

Daily Stand-ups – Microsoft Teams & Jira

Sprint & Roadmap Planning – Microsoft Teams, Jira & Miro

Retrospectives – Microsoft Teams & Miro

Showcases – Microsoft Teams

Community of Practices – Microsoft Teams

Most importantly (for me) this has allowed us to involve the whole team in supporting the council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Nobody has been left behind and together we have already provided:

  • crucial information, advice and guidance relating to the coronavirus on our website
  • digital referral channels for urgent access to food, medication, loneliness etc
  • digital channels for businesses to request small business grant funding
  • online payment channels for services that can no longer take payments over the phone
  • the latest information on when residents can expect their bins to be collected

All of this work has been evolving constantly throughout and it has allowed the team to be iterative and incremental in its delivery. The team have responded to the changing needs of services, over, following what we might have originally planned, and to me this is the definition of being agile.

If you have any questions on how these platforms can support your teams, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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