Digital Transformation Office

Service Handbook


2.3. Ways of working

Teams in the Alpha stage should take a largely similar approach to Discovery, working in weekly sprints, with daily stand-ups and regular retrospectives.

Each sprint, the team should:

  • hold a short planning meeting, to prioritise user stories for the sprint
  • conduct user research with at least 5-6 users, representative of actual users of the service
  • capture learnings and insights from the research findings
  • report back on the prototypes and user research to stakeholders in a showcase / show-and-tell
  • have a team retrospective, to reflect on the sprint and capture improvements

As teams move from Discovery into Alpha, they will make greater use of the team wall in tracking work-in-progress. Making sure that the wall is up-to-date each day will give the team greater clarity on progress.

It is worthwhile breaking down larger stories into smaller chunks of work (eg. building a feature on a prototype, rather than the whole prototype itself). You should also consider limiting the amount of stories that are ‘in progress’ at once.

The team should agree a shared definition of ‘done’ early in the Alpha stage. This will make it easier for pieces of work to be accepted by the product manager. We recommend that stories are only ‘done’ when the changes are reflected in a prototype - not just a wireframe or copy on its own.