The dxw digital team has grown a lot over the past 18 months. New people bring with them different perspectives and this diversity of viewpoints is one of our strengths. But we also want to make sure that clients know what to expect when working with us. That’s why we started our Playbook in 2015 – to describe in the open who we are, how we work, and for consistency in the way we do things.
Balancing flexibility and consistency
Not every client or project is the same so we need to be able to adapt our approach to suit the situation. We often work closely with our clients in blended teams. Sometimes the people we work with are less involved on a day-to-day basis, preferring to keep updated through project show and tells and weeknotes.
It’s the role of our delivery leads to help the team find the right working pattern for the project. To balance the need for flexibility against the need for consistency, we’ve crafted a handful of guides to use for the various meetings (or ‘ceremonies’) and updates that we use on a project.
These help our delivery leads set up, manage, and close down projects in an agile way. They’ll be instantly familiar to anyone that has worked on an agile project. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel or be radically different. This is about having a consistent foundation so we can deliver great work with our clients.
What do the guides cover?
The guides help our delivery leads and team members from start to finish on a project. They cover:
- a summary of typical agile delivery phases (discovery, alpha, beta, live)
- setting up a new project and running kick-off sessions
- team changes and handovers
- regular ceremonies (planning, standups, and show and tells)
- wrapping up a project
This is agile with small ‘a’
There’s a cottage industry of methodologies, certificates, and the rest that describe how to do “Agile” with a big ‘A’. Many of these approaches have good things in them, but they can feel pretty bloated and intimidating at times.
They also often forget the simple rule of finding what works for the specific needs of your client, your project, and your team. A lot of that is based on experience and common sense.
Others elsewhere have summarised how working in an agile way means learning, improving, communicating, empowering, and showing.
There’s a balance to strike between doing these things consistently versus being too rigid in your approach. We don’t subscribe to a particular methodology, and we expect our delivery leads to tailor these guides to the situation at hand.
Where have we put them?
The Playbook is our manual for how dxw works. We’ve added all our guides there and it’s something that we’ll periodically review and update as we evolve.