Moving into agile

We’re very proud to be working with a group of district councils in the south of England. They are making some really radical changes so that they can confront the challenges of delivering effective public service in the digital age (and the age of austerity).

We’ve been working with a group of staff on embedding agile and design-thinking approaches. One of the team members (Kerry Wykes) wrote a piece about her experiences for their internal blog. We really liked it so we asked if we could republish it here. Thankfully she said yes…

This is Kerry

Great Services — A first experience of Project Work

Having only ever worked in customer facing and focussed roles, I didn’t know what to expect when I got the invitation to be involved with this group. I recognised a couple of names on the list but many I couldn’t even put faces to.

So I turned up to a sea of Managers faces and wondered whether I had got the wrong room but — no — this was where the project would begin. To say that I felt out of place was an understatement! And then they started to talk Agile….. now I may be one of the few remaining people who haven’t been on a boot camp and had no idea what they were talking about when they mentioned Trello, Slack, scrums and sprints! When the invitation came to leave the project if it ‘wasn’t for you’, it was quite tempting — I didn’t know what I had to offer. However, the stubborn me decided to stay and see what my worth is!

I do have to say that everyone (regardless of their position in whatever Council) was really welcoming and a couple of people went out of their way to make me feel part of the group and to make sure I knew what the terminology was!

The first sprint (get me!) passed by with me doing little more than learning how to use Trello and Slack. On the second sprint, I got brave!! I volunteered-something that Ben and Esko like to hear!

And so I have been working with Karen and Naomi on creating a blog…… a means to encourage others, possibly like me, that would otherwise not have the confidence to join such a project or feel that they do not have the experience or are not senior enough. You do and you are! The blog can also be an opportunity for you to get to know who is involved and what they do. You can also watch the project evolve and even have your say!

I have already learned so much from this project and the diverse people involved but I also have a unique opportunity to help shape the future of our organisation. Don’t be shy — be brave — get involved. Change is inevitable but how we change can be influenced by us!

We really hope this will encourage Kerry and her colleagues to move their blogging into the public Internet.