The design approach at British Red Cross

Harry Trimble
Oct 5, 2020 · 2 min read

Taking a design approach is a proven way to reduce risk when developing new ideas, products and services. Risks like developing a new service nobody wants or uses and has no positive impact.

Several teams at the British Red Cross are already taking a design approach. To show what the approach is and examples of where we already do it, we’ve made a small website:

design.redcross.org.uk

Our design approach borrows a lot from the stages of agile delivery, popularised by the award-winning GOV.UK website. This approach is now commonplace for teams across the UK public sector and increasingly large charities.

We’ve adapted the GOV.UK approach to make it more recognisable to teams at the British Red Cross:

  • Linking to real examples from our blog
  • Adding a before step about scoping the work, which Lesley pointed out was something we often do but was missing from the list
  • Removing words like ‘Alpha’ and ‘Beta’, which only makes sense if you’re familiar with agile software development or ancient Greek

The hope is the website will help:

  • Show what a design approach is to teams interested in taking one
  • Show how teams already taking a design approach are reducing risk
  • Senior leaders plan and budget for teams to take a design approach

A website won’t achieve these aims by itself, far from it, but its a start :)

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