- Paul McGarvey
- Justin Owen
- Stuart Turner
- Phil Wilson
- Ross Ferguson (facilitating)
There is a single website providing information for Agresso users, which can be referenced when the new version of Agresso is launched in March.
Let the experts do the talking
In only rare instances are the Digital team going to have the subject matter expertise to write copy related to research or services. In the majority of cases, the people qualified to write the content are in the research or service team itself - as was the case here with Agresso.
It is best to provide the research or service teams with the training (in the CMS, writing for the web, writing for user needs) to enable them to write the content themselves. Digital can then focus its resources on coaching the team, editing copy, developing content structure and producing supporting rich media where required.
The benefits of this approach will be felt over the long term, as teams around campus develop ownership of their content, its maintenance and ongoing development.
User testing expertise
When Paul conducted user testing it was in partnership with Jennie from Agresso. This decision was smart for pragmatic reasons - Paul had limited understanding of how users apply Agresso day-to-day - and also because we should be encouraging and coaching service teams to carry out regular user testing themselves, so they can understand what needs to change and why on their webpages and online services in the future. Paul posted about this: http://blogs.bath.ac.uk/digital/2014/02/27/user-testing-with-staff/.
Good to pair
Working on your own - in the context of sprints - is sub-optimal. A sprint should have at least two Digital team members working together on it. Delivery by a team is more efficient than delivery by an individual because there is someone there to exchange ideas with, share the burden and check the quality of delivery.
A need to know basis
At sprint planning, it is important to forensically identify stakeholders. By doing this we can ensure that the right colleagues are informed about our activities at the right time to allow them to adapt or to support us. This is in reference to the IT training team, with whom we should have maintained better channels of communication from the beginning in relation to the training manuals.
Be mindful not to overextend when conducting stakeholder management, especially within the setting of a short project. Ranking stakeholders will help ensure that you do not spend a disproportionate time on any one stakeholder group over another.
A wall-mounted sprint board is the most visible type of board and is good when all the delivery team are co-located. When all members aren't co-located use a web-based board.
A web-based board is also useful when stakeholders or users are involved in testing deliverables, because they can be subscribed to specific cards and notified when they need to take action.
What went well
- Site is a massive improvement on what came before
- Site is easier to use than what came before
- 1st overtly service based site to go live in new mode
- 1st iteration of task-based service site landing page
- Feedback from users has been positive
- Coped well with restructuring content on the hop
- Good partnership held up under pressure
- Digital and Agresso teams worked well to find solutions to every problem as they appeared
- Agresso team (Stuart and Jennie) engaged fully in the delivery process
- Digital provided effective and comprehensive explanations
- Shipped on time
- We met deadline despite short timeframe
- It was there in time for launch
- Paul is a content hero
- We liberated content from PDFs - there are now none whereas the old pages had countless docs
- User testing with staff
- User testing carried out in collaboration with Jennie from Agresso team
- Visiting Agresso team office helped build relationship
- Using a physical board as a talking point
- Good support provided by Digital since go-live
- Agresso team found Agile working process efficient
- Enjoyed experimenting with new processes and designs
- Control of content in hands of Agresso team
- Site performance monitoring in place to help with future iteration
What could be done better
- Justin not involved enough due to other ProServices activity
- Paul worked in isolation much of the time
- Very limited resource available in Digital
- Ran over original two week sprint allocation
- Keeping sprint coordinated without a delivery manager
- Should have used digital rather than physical delivery board
- CMS training for Agresso team sooner in process would have helped
- High volume of images where standards were skipped to meet deadlines
- Image resizing was a constant headache
- Content provision was slow
- Working off source Word docs was time consuming
- Paul got RSI from copy-and-pasting
- More content restructuring was necessary than archived
- Working with detailed guidance is tricky when you aren't a subject matter expert
- Some guidance is out of date
- Corners cut on some page metadata
- Consultation with IT training overlooked
- Jennie wasn't able to make the retro