Better meetings for remote teams

“Too many meetings” is something I’ve said or heard over and over again in every organisation I’ve worked.  Since lockdown began, this problem seems to have gotten worse for two main reasons: There are more meetings: ‘Watercooler’ conversations and informal chats around the team space have been replaced with scheduled video meetings. Meetings are more […]

Measuring and improving ways of working on digital teams

Healthy teams, happy people and mature agile ways of working are good leading indicators of organisational success.  Getting these things right is key to unlocking long term sustainable delivery of value. In this blog post, I summarise some of the approaches I have used to measure and improve ways of working.

How Government digital teams can use Cost of Delay to prioritize work

Over the past year I’ve been learning a lot about cost of delay.  In this blog post I explain what I’ve learned so far, and how it can be used by teams to prioritise work.  My focus is on teams that are following the UK Government Digital Service Standard, but it can be of use […]

People over resources

In most digital teams the vast majority of budgets are spent on people.  People are our biggest assets. Almost all of our value is produced by them. Small changes in our ability to reduce the number of resignations and motivate them to work have an exponential impact on productivity.

Firebreaks on GOV.UK

Firebreaks on GOV.UK are similar to Google’s 20% time or Spotify’s hack week. For 1 week every 3 months, teams disband and everyone is given a chance to have some self-directed time to improve GOV.UK. We’ve had 3 firebreaks now: June, September and December 2017. This blog post explores why we do them, how they work and the […]

How we do team selection on GOV.UK

This post explores how we plan who works on which team on GOV.UK, and how that process has evolved throughout 2017-2018. 

Using Kata to help teams deliver value faster

Kaizen, Kanban, Kaikaku.  We can’t get enough of these Japanese words in agile!  Here’s a lesser known one: Kata.   Kata is a term used by Mike Rother to describe a set of routines that Toyota use to ingrain a culture of continuous improvement in their organisation.  Each routine is practiced and repeated so that it […]

Starting up a new team

GOV.UK was recently restructured to help us achieve our 2017/18 roadmap. As a delivery manager, I oversaw the formation of 2 new teams under the new roadmap: Content History and Worldwide Publishing. The aim was to build happy, motivated and productive teams with a strong culture of agile user-centred delivery. This blog explains the steps we went through […]

How we use Trello on the GOV.UK Publishing Platform team

Teams at GDS are free to pick the processes and tools that work for them. On the GOV.UK Publishing Platform, our Kanban process is supported by Trello. This is a follow-up to my blog post on How we use Kanban on the GOV.UK Publishing Platform team, and explains how we use Trello to support our Kanban process.

How we use Kanban on the GOV.UK Publishing Platform

At GDS, we believe that self-organising teams create the best results. So we give each of our teams the autonomy to pick the delivery approach that works best for them. On the GOV.UK Publishing Platform, we use Kanban to help us manage the work we do.