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Agile Delivering Live Solutions for Public Services
Waltham Forest’s Transformation Team were working on a broad range of projects, supporting teams right across the council to improve outcomes and to reduce cost. The wanted to be able to ensure they consistently met customer need and worked at pace without bogging themselves down in the bureaucracy that often accompanies large transformation programmes. They wanted to work in Agile way.
Agile has been used for over a decade in the information technology and product development sectors and is the standard approach for some of the world’s most innovative tech organisations (think Spotify, Tesla, Amazon and Netflix). These organisations don’t just use Agile as a means of delivering IT development at pace, they use it as an approach to run their businesses.
We believed that Agile was perhaps even more suited to transforming public services than it is for the IT world because it thrives in a world of complexity. We tried, tested, and improved the approach (we think) on real projects in public services and developed the Agile Master in Public Services, the only accredited Agile training programme tailored for the public sector.
What we did
We put the Waltham Forest team through the programme, but in order for the approach to gain traction, they needed to deliver some quick results. Together we picked some projects to deliver using the Agile approach and got to work.
One of the first of these was the implementation of a council wide carpool scheme. We worked with Waltham Forest and their key stakeholders to really understand what they wanted from the solution. Having understood the vision, or epic in Agile terminology, we worked with the team in iterative prints to deliver small but frequent deliverables to stakeholders. They told us if we were on the right track and where we’d gone off piste, and using this feedback, we could iterate the solution in the confidence that we was moving in the right direction.
With our help, we were able to support Waltham Forest to develop ‘carpooling’ from a good idea to a live solution in less than 6 weeks. By their previous estimates the team thought it would take months to get the idea off the ground.