3. Agile and user-centred process
Design and build the service using the service design and delivery process, taking an agile and user-centred approach.
Why it's in the Standard
Designing services in a user-centred way means that the services you deliver will be easy to use and convenient for the people who need to use them, helping them to stay in the digital channel.
Designing using agile methods allows you to be more proactive and respond easily to change, both in technology and government policy. Services should be improved frequently; they will be cheaper and more accountable to users.
How you can meet the Standard
This criteria applies through all stages of the service design and delivery process. You should:
- work in an agile way, based on agile values and principles, and using agile tools and techniques
- review and iterate your processes to be able to respond to feedback, continue to improve and adapt to change
- be able to demonstrate how your team uses agile tools and techniques to communicate with each other to increase collaboration and transparency
- be able to show that your governance is appropriate to the size and scale of your service, and that it is human-centred, based on clear and measurable goals, with a clear focus on managing change and risk in real time
During the Discovery and Alpha stages you would have become comfortable with working collaboratively in very fast feedback loops that are guided by user research. During Alpha you should:
- test hypotheses and underlying assumptions with several prototypes
- follow a user-centred approach; include the user in all areas of the prototyping (design, iterations and so on)
- work out incrementally what is the right thing to build
- determine the minimum viable product (MVP)
During the Beta stage and through to the Live stage you will be working closely with users. You should be able to:
- show how the service has responded to user research and usability testing
- clearly describe the lifecycle of a user story, from user research to production
- explain the deployment process and how you are able to support frequent deployments with minimal impact to users
Guidance related to this criteria
- 18F Method cards
- 18F Blog — Is your team using ‘agilefall’?
- GOV.UK Service Manual — Agile tools and techniques
- GOV.UK Service Manual — Agile methods: an introduction
- UK Government Digital Service Blog — How to be agile in an non-agile environment
- UK Government Digital Service Blog — You can’t be half agile