Agile methodologies will help you and your team to build world-class, user-centred services quickly and affordably.
This way of working can be very different for those used to long specifications and procurement processes, but it’s essential for producing high-quality services to a standard that many users expect.
An agile project is about creating fast iterations of products based on the feedback of real users.
It means regularly releasing small pieces of functionality; constant communication between team members, and using equipment that displays progress being made by your team (eg project management software or whiteboards).
Find out more information on:
- what an agile project looks like
- what continuous delivery is
- how to do user-centred design in an agile project
User understanding is the most important factor when creating a service, so you need to have a clear understanding of what users need and make sure those needs are met. You can achieve this by writing user stories.
A user story is generally one or more sentences in length and describes:
- who the user is
- what they need from the service
- why they need it
These user stories will help your team to produce the required features of your service, and writing them well can make a huge difference to the quality and speed of development.
Main features of agile
Product development during an agile project is broken into different stages, called sprints.
In a sprint, team members aim to achieve goals within set timeframes. A sprint at GDS generally lasts a week and runs from Wednesday to Tuesday, however other agile development teams may run longer or shorter sprints.
Have daily team meetings (stand-ups). Stand-ups are an opportunity for members of your team to discuss:
- the previous day’s work
- what they plan to work on
- any blockers to their progress
Run retrospectives at the end of each sprint. A retrospective should cover:
- what went well
- what went badly
- how to improve the working environment or process for the next sprint
Retrospectives can also increase in scope to cover full projects or project phases.