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7 Things I Didn't Expect About Agile Content Development


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Talk I gave at the London Content Strategy Meetup ( sharing some thoughts about using agile (Scrum & Kanban) for content development, largely based around my experience working with the Government Digital Service.

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7 Things I Didn't Expect About Agile Content Development

  1. 7 Things I Didn’t Expect AboutAgile Content DevelopmentMeri Williams@Geek_Manager
  2. I’m a publishedauthor, so I expectedcontent strategy anddevelopment to beHARD
  3. But I didn’t expectcontent strategy &development to beable to be AGILE
  4. 7 Things I Didn’t Expect: #1USER STORIES to be agreat way to defineneeds andrequirements forcontent too
  5. (What’s a User Story?)As a <type of user>,I want to <do something>,So that <some value iscreated>.(should fit on a post-it)
  6. 7 Things I Didn’t Expect: #2Creativity in the HOWto be quite soimportant.This was dumb. I KNOW creating good content isjust as hard as writing good code.
  7. In Agile…In Agile, you focus ondefining the WHAT andthe WHY and leave theHOW to individuals todefine as they deliver.
  8. 7 Things I Didn’t Expect: #3Requirements tochange and evolveand not be completelydefinable upfront.Just like in software. *sigh*
  9. In Agile…In Agile, you accept andembrace ambiguity. Allyou really need to be100% clear on is what ishappening NOW.You tell the team what you did yesterday, what you’regoing to do today & what’s blocking you.
  10. 7 Things I Didn’t Expect: #4Design + user research+ architecture +content + analytics +development +operations to be quiteso …
  12. 7 Things I Didn’t Expect: #5ESTIMATING to bequite so hard.How long is a piece of string, exactly?
  13. In Agile…You continually assess howmuch you’re delivering andyou get useful metrics fromyour burn charts andbacklog.But it’s still damn hard.
  14. 7 Things I Didn’t Expect: #6The process of creating,editing, reviewing andaccepting to fit well intoScrum and Kanbanapproaches.But in fact, it really worked. Especially Kanban.
  15. In Agile…Kanban* is used as a “pull”system – stories to be deliveredare on the wall in columns (suchas “Backlog”, “Ready”, “InProcess”, “Done”) andindividuals pull the next storywhen ready**.* Arguably its own methodology, but frequently foundgrowing near Agile & Scrum** Whereas in Scrum what will be achieved this “sprint” isagreed upfront
  16. 7 Things I Didn’t Expect: #7Mixed multi-disciplinary teams tobe so freakingAWESOME.
  17. Every role is capableof virtuosity
  18. In Agile…Agile helps create anenvironment where each ofyour specialists can be trulyamazing, and togetherachieve so much more.Close knit teams mean you understand &appreciate your peers’ skills in more detail.
  19. Sound Interesting?Suggested reading:On Kindle (only 77p!)