Agile Digital Services In A Nutshell

The AgileDS framework was developed by Agile Business Consortium with a primary focus on the building and delivery of digital services. Agile Digital Services (AgileDS) is a certification designed to assist project managers working in a digital services environment.

Understanding Agile Digital Services

AgileDS is based on the GDS lifecycle of the Government Digital Service, an internal department of the UK government responsible for supporting the implementation of digital strategy. Like other Agile frameworks, AgileDS is driven by data with a focus on the user to meet business outcomes.

AgileDS certification is useful for any role that requires a sound working knowledge of AgileDS principles. 

This may encompass a variety of roles or scenarios within an organization, including:

  • Senior stakeholders – responsible for implementing digital transformation strategies or adapting the organization’s services for a digital world.
  • Change management professionals – responsible for motivating digital change teams in the context of project, program, and portfolio (PPM) management.
  • Events staff – who create, deliver, and manage digital events.
  • Aspiring or practicing digital project managers.

AgileDS principles

AgileDS is underpinned by 10 generic principles that govern all agile processes. Each principle applies to the nuances of digital service delivery, but the first, sixth and eighth principles are particularly pertinent.

  1. Start with needs. A clear understanding of the needs of digital users is a vital component of discovering the right solution.
  2. Do less. Code must be reused where possible and should never exceed requirements. Other information and resources should also be reused to minimize waste.
  3. Design with data. Use data that can be verified and not data based on assumptions.
  4. Do the hard work to make it simple. By simplifying the difficult initial work, there is a higher likelihood that excellent outcomes will manifest.
  5. Iterate. Then iterate again. Value comes from continuous improvement.
  6. This is for everyone. Digital services need to be accessible to different groups of people. An elderly individual that is vision-impaired will be less suited to visually stunning websites. A gaming app suitable for children will need to use simpler language and a slower pace during content delivery.
  7. Understand the context. Digital services should be built around people, not systems and tools. Instead of delivering a digital product that requires a fast internet connection, a business should first consider whether its target audience has access to such a connection.
  8. Build digital services, not websites. While the end-user undoubtedly visits websites, they do so to access valuable information. Development teams need to make valuable information accessible by removing barriers or distracting elements.
  9. Be consistent, not uniform. Consistency means using the same language and design wherever possible across a suite of digital services. This increases brand recognition and loyalty.
  10. Make things open. Digital service development should be shared with as many key stakeholders as possible. With more eyes on a service, there is a better chance that faults or errors are pointed out and better alternatives are devised.

Key takeaways

  • Agile Digital Services certification was designed to guide and incorporate Agile principles into digital services delivery.
  • Agile Digital Services guidelines are based on the GDS lifecycle created by the UK Government. The guidelines are relevant to a broad range of roles within an organization.
  • AgileDS is underpinned by ten agile principles. Understanding and then addressing the needs of digital users is fundamental. Needs are addressed when businesses avoid the temptation to deliver digital services that are based on systems, tools, or websites.

Read Next: Business AnalysisCompetitor Analysis, Continuous InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model InnovationProject Management.

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