Digital and technology skills

From
Cabinet Office
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Agile delivery

Creating fast iterations of services based on the feedback of real users.

Agile delivery is about:

  • creating fast iterations of services based on the feedback of real users
  • regularly releasing small pieces of functionality
  • constant communication between team members
  • creating transparency across the team about progress and activity by using walls or online tools

Some relevant roles: developers, delivery managers, project managers, agile business analysts

Project management

Awareness of various methods

This involves:

  • familiarity with structured programme and project management environments (for example, ‘waterfall’ methods)
  • ability to retain ‘agility’ even in a non-agile environment
  • ability to apply the principles of agile to a project, when applicable

Managing blockers and risks

This involves:

  • removing blockers that hinder delivery
  • managing risks and dependencies within and between projects and teams

Planning

Involves working with the product manager to:

Agile tools and techniques

Using and understanding when to use a wide range of agile frameworks, methodologies and tools, such as:

  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • extreme programming (XP)
  • retrospectives
  • standups
  • iteration reviews
  • iteration planning
  • roadmap planning
  • agile workshops
  • agile and lean tracking tools

Quality delivery

Ensuring quality is met by:

  • including the right people in the team during the ‘alpha’, ‘beta’ and ‘live’ phases
  • ensuring each member of the team is responsible for defining and maintaining quality

Project tracking

Using agile tools and techniques (for example, burnout charts, lead times, delivery rates) to track:

  • progress against delivery
  • current items in backlog
  • risks
  • issues
  • blockers

This information can then be used to communicate project status to the team and stakeholders.

Continuous improvement

Delivering value early

Understanding and focusing the team on:

Information driven improvements

Making continuous improvements to the team and the products they deliver by using information collected from aspects of delivery such as:

  • burn down and burn up
  • bottlenecks
  • velocity and delivery rates
  • cumulative flow
  • process control
  • work-in-progress limits
  • measures against project goals
  • outputs from retrospectives

Product backlogs

This involves:

  • understanding the concept of product backlogs
  • being able to assist the team in prioritising and refining user stories in the product backlog

Budget management

This involves:

  • regularly estimating and scoping budgets, using delivery data and input from team members and stakeholders
  • presenting budgets and the data used to rationalise them in an understandable format

Focus on value

Improving the performance of agile teams and projects through simplification and removal of duplication wherever possible.

Decision making

Gather opinions

Bringing people and views together to inform decision making.

Balance risks and benefits

Weighing up risks against benefits and priorities to deliver.

Communication

Effective communication

Communicating effectively and clearly even when under pressure.

Promote dialogue

Encouraging open communication between team members and stakeholders, creating a safe environment of transparency and openness.

Stakeholder management

This involves:

  • engaging confidently with stakeholders
  • communicating project information in a clear way, even when communicating difficult messages

Facilitation

Facilitating meetings and workshops with people from all levels of seniority, without bias.

Agile coaching

Communicating, encouraging and coaching the use of agile and lean methodologies to the team and to relevant and interested stakeholders.

Team management

Build a digital delivery team

Managing people and agile delivery to develop high-performing, self-motivated and collaborative teams.

Manage multidisciplinary teams

Matrix managing multidisciplinary teams, offering leadership and support where needed.

Planning and prioritisation

Leading the collaborative planning process, prioritising work that needs to be done against the capacity and capability of the team.

Team leadership

Setting direction and vision

Maintaining a clear sense of direction and purpose for the team based on the project vision.

Creating morale

Maintaining a positive team mood and focus in difficult and challenging circumstances.

Learning resources:

The Service Design Manual offers a detailed overview of the features of agile, including sprints, stand-ups and other regular meetings.

The technology code of practice gives guidelines for the approval of technology projects and spending.

The Service Design Manual includes a section on the common features of agile projects.

The Service Design Manual includes a section on agile training and learning.

Service Design Tools is an example of an open collection of communication tools used in design processes that deal with complex systems.