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9 ways to get started with Agile in public services

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9 ways to get started with Agile in public services

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Agile is simple to understand, but lots of people we work with sometimes find it difficult to get started.

Here are some practices you can try to help you get started on your Agile journey. They range from simple things you can do as an individual, to more ambitious approaches that will involve your wider team.

Let us know how you get on at comms@basis.co.uk or on Twitter @WeAreBasis or @Dyn_Drwg for Joe.

Agile is simple to understand, but lots of people we work with sometimes find it difficult to get started.

Here are some practices you can try to help you get started on your Agile journey. They range from simple things you can do as an individual, to more ambitious approaches that will involve your wider team.

Let us know how you get on at comms@basis.co.uk or on Twitter @WeAreBasis or @Dyn_Drwg for Joe.

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9 ways to get started with Agile in public services

  1. 1. 9 ways to get started with Agile in public services Joe Badman and Kelly Buis @WeAreBasis @Dyn_Drwg We help Public Services tackle messy problems, co-delivering effective change
  2. 2. 2 AS A…public servant…I WANT to understand how to I can get started with Agile tomorrow…SO THAT…I can make quick progress on complex projects. Agile is simple to understand, but lots of people we work with sometimes find it difficult to get started. Here are some practices you can try to help you get started on your Agile journey. They range from simple things you can do as an individual, to more ambitious approaches that will involve your wider team. Let us know how you get on!
  3. 3. 3 Start where you are Create a backlog of work on an existing project. Work with the person responsible for the it and agree the most important things to focus on within the next fortnight - and then get going! Backlog Sprint backlog To do Doing Done Work Work Work Work Work Work Prioritised work Prioritised work Prioritised work Prioritised work Work Work
  4. 4. 4 Make work easy to understand for others using user stories As a… I want… So that… As a… I want… So that… As a… I want… So that… User stories tell us who we are doing a particular task for and why we are doing it. This essential context helps self-organising teams make better choices about how to do the work.
  5. 5. 5 Make work visual using a Scrum board in Trello Trello works perfectly with Scrum. This article explains all the features you can use to help you manage your work as an individual or team.
  6. 6. 6 Use roll calls to share progress and improve communication If daily stand-ups with your team sound like too much of a commitment at this stage, why not start with Roll Calls… Use an existing communication tool (at Basis we use Slack) at the start of the day each team member shares what they will work on and what their Rest of Life (ROL) looks like. ■ Less time in meetings ■ Improved awareness of progress ■ Greater sense of teaminess ■ Improved accountability
  7. 7. 7 Review your progress using show and tells Here’s how it works in practice… Here’s what we learned from users… Here’s the impact the change had… Does this meet your expectations? How might this better meet the needs of users? In show and tells teams to demonstrate their progress rather than just talk about it. This enables teams to gather feedback from stakeholders on their work and helps product owners prioritise what comes next.
  8. 8. 8 And then discuss how you as a team can improve Retrospectives create the space for team’s to reflect on how they are working together and identify improvements. Run one, keep it fun and you’ll find out why these are essential tools in enabling Agile teams to do twice the work in half the time (hat tip to Jeff Sutherland). Check out this great example courtesy of Clyde De’Souza on Miro. Source: Clyde D’Souza on Miro
  9. 9. 9 Practice estimations with your team Estimating the time it will take to get something done is difficult. As individuals, we are terrible at this. Sharing our assumptions in a team is one way of getting better at estimations. Using the fibonacci sequence is a great way to get clarity on the size of a piece of work. Everyone shares which number they think reflects the size of the work. After hearing people’s rationale we estimate again and take the average. In time we learn how much can be delivered.
  10. 10. 10 Spotlight sessions on Agile Your initial experiments with Agile may fail. This is fine! When working in an Agile way we try to make it safe to fail. In doing so we learn about what works and what doesn’t. Rather than pretend that everything is working great, why not celebrate failures using a spotlight session. These are short and snappy sessions you can run as a team, department or organisation where you share what went well in the first steps on adopting Agile and also what went terribly wrong. Let’s shake off the stigma attached to failing and celebrate it. There’s no reason this can’t be fun. For more inspiration check out Corporate Rebels article on F*~k Up nights.
  11. 11. 11 Get everyone on the same page at the beginning of the work At the start of a project it’s useful to be clear on why you are doing the work in the first place, who is going to help you and roughly what needs to be done. Using a project on a poster can help you to get everyone on the same page about these things before you get started (literally). You’ll soon run out of room in the sprint board section - time to switch to big wall or a Trello board!
  12. 12. 12 All the ideas in one place If you are the Bingo type, here are all the approaches we’ve suggested in one place. If you want to challenge yourself, see if you can’t complete the whole card. You can find a link to the full size bingo card in the source link above. Source: Basis Getting Started with Agile Bingo

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