Getting started with agile ways of working
Children 1st's Story
One of the most common questions we are asked is:
“I want to embed fresh ways of working inside my charity. Where do I start?”
Our response is:
“Bring together a small, cross-functional team, give them a specific challenge to tackle by working together in an agile way”.
The value they create and the fun they have doing it will kick start wider change for you.
Here's how Children 1st started well:
1. They identified the problem to solve
Children 1st wanted to develop a new fundraising product for their community fundraising audience. They also wanted to develop the skills to continually innovate in an agile way in future.
We coached them to bring together a small, cross-functional team ready to define the challenge, come up with ideas, and run multiple experiments before launching an idea, all in a short space of time in an agile way.
2. They built their idea iteratively
- The team ran 12 user interviews and used the insight to build proto personas so they could better understand their audiences.
- Then they ran a mini Design Sprint where the team created lots of ideas for products that might meet the needs of their proto personas, then whittled them down to the winning idea: a family scavenger hunt!
- Rather than risking time and money piloting the idea we coached them to run 4 lean experiments to test and refine it before launch, analysing results and iterating the idea as they went.
3. They got fantastic results!
On the first day of the Scottish school holidays the team launched, and gained 200 new supporters!
They also smashed an age-old assumption that the children and families who turned to Children 1st for support wouldn’t raise funds for them.
The Senior Leadership and Executive Leadership team were impressed and have since brought in a new role to drive wider experimentation and change.
“We learned how to make decisions more effectively and efficiently. We made decisions in 6 minutes when it could have taken us 6 hours! It felt uncomfortable but we became comfortable with that! It was an exciting and powerful introduction to the impact of agile ways of working – both for the team and leadership.”
Former Head of Public Fundraising - Children 1st
Here Susan talks us through each step the team took, challenges they overcame and her top 4 tips if you’re thinking of starting something similar.
Want to know more?
- Here’s our short into Design Sprints and how they’re different to agile scrum sprints.
- See how Prostate Cancer UK also started their organisation-wide journey to becoming ‘an agile organisation’ by starting with delivering one product.
- Compare this to the example of how Carers First used the approach above to test a new income stream in just 3 weeks.
- Still keen to know more? Great! Drop us a line. We’d love to answer your questions.