We’re sprinting!

We’re coming up to six months since the Digital First team moved to Jubilee Library and started transforming the council’s services.

We’ve taken on a lot of projects since then, are learning more about the city’s residents and businesses, and are going faster than ever before.

Digital First is also sprinting now – as in we’re running the Scrum framework. This video about Scrum explains more.

We got to a point where there were many projects running at any one time and it was becoming difficult to keep track. Now we’re using Scrum, it’s really clear to see what we’re working on now, what’s next and the role everyone should play.

We’ll be sprinting all summer

Like everything else we do, the way we manage our projects is a work in progress. No doubt we’ll learn from this and improve.

Working with Scrum

Scrum. To most people, scrum is what happens in a game of rugby. In the world of digital, it means something very different. Scrum is a way of developing digital content. It’s an agile working method that’s used heavily in companies like Amazon, Spotify and Netflix.

Scrum is all about developing digital content iteratively. Rather than having all of your requirements and specifications up front as you would in a more traditional project, these are less important than user testing and shaping content based on customer feedback. Testing happens throughout the process.

Scrum usually works in two week blocks called sprints. At the end of the sprint, the aim is to have something that works and that can be tested – even if it’s basic and un-user friendly. Any changes that are needed are fed into the next sprint. These iterations are crucial.

With more traditional project methods, user testing usually isn’t done until the end and this can cause problems. When the project has reached the end, requirements may have changed, which could mean the product is no longer relevant and lots of time would have been wasted. Customers may use it and decide it’s not good enough or not what they wanted. Again, this results in wasted time for everyone.

This is why Scrum is great for producing digital content. It’s flexible, failure is fine (if something isn’t right, no problem; you can start again in the next sprint) and testing with the end users is a core part of the process. This means you know that whatever you’re making is customer focused.

However, whilst Scrum is fantastic in certain organisations, in others it can cause problems. I’ll talk more about this in my next blog post.

What do you think?

As we work on new areas, we’ll blog about the work we’re doing. We always welcome your feedback, so please leave a comment below or email beta.feedback@brighton-hove.gov.uk