Agile for museums and cultural organisations

Blue paper plan with "Agile for beginners and thrill seekers" written on it

Agile focuses on satisfying users' needs by delivering working software early and frequently in the development process. This contrasts with other ways of managing digital development projects that focus on specifying all requirements 'up-front' and delivering a finished product much later in the process.

At Cogapp, we have a history of delivering large-scale and often complex projects with requirements that can be subject to change. We have moved from a traditional 'waterfall' approach to managing projects to using Agile methodologies, with much success.

Whether you are new to Agile, or have more specific questions about whether Agile is right for you or how to apply it, we hope that the resources on this page will be useful. We would love to know what you think of them, and if there are any further issues that you would like us to cover:

Contact us at agile@cogapp.com, or get in touch via Twitter: @cogapp.

Resources

The Manifesto for Agile Software Development values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan.

What is Agile?

This blog post from Cogapp's Head of Technical Production, Andy Cummins, gives an overview of what Agile is, without using any Agile-related jargon.

When is Agile the right choice?

How do you decide if Agile is the right choice for your type of project and for your context? Andy Cummins talks you through the questions that you might want to ask yourself before working in an Agile way.

Quality control: how good is good enough?

With quality a key consideration in delivering digital projects, how can you make sure that you always achieve it? Senior Producer Joshua Routh talks about the importance of ensuring that quality is built in to the project from the start, and shares his checklist for gathering great digital requirements. 

MuseumNext: Agile for Beginners and Thrillseekers workshop

On 20 April 2015, we ran a workshop about Agile for people attending MuseumNext Geneva. This blog post explains what we did in the workshop and includes the three big benefits of Agile. You can also view the slides from the session. 

Some of our favourite Agile resources from around the web

Assistant Producer Phil Davidson shares some of our favourite Agile-related resources from across the web, including introductions to Agile, blog posts on organisations that have benefited from Agile, and resources to help you with Agile planning and management.

Southbank Centre: The Glass Box

Cogapp has been working with Southbank Centre to support its website transformation. Part of the process has involved working in an Agile way, and Southbank Centre has been documenting their experiences on their blog: The Glass Box. The blog shares the realities of working in an Agile way, and contains some really useful resources on the Role of the project board in Agile and Southbank Centre's Agile Operating Statement.

Is this the most powerful Agile burndown chart you'll ever see? Open sourced by Cogapp

Cogapp has developed its own Agile Burndown Chart, which is now Open Sourced and available for you to use. We designed the chart to give us more detailed information than the other charts we could find, and we'd love to know if you find it useful.

Changing how we work

Head of Production, Gavin Mallory, talks about the danger of delivering a product at the end of the creative process. He shares how adapting Agile processes means that our clients can influence projects as they progress and as requirements change.

Agile and museums and cultural organisations

Agile is a hot topic for museums and cultural institutions at the moment. Widely discussed at Museums and the Web Chicago 2015, it became clear that organisations have varying levels of understanding of what Agile is, why it might be useful for cultural organisations, and how to implement it successfully.

On 20 April 2015, we shared our knowledge at MuseumNext Geneva in an Agile workshop and an Agile Lunch Club. More here: Cogapp team to present Agile for beginners and thrill seekers at MuseumNext Geneva

Find out more

If you would like to find out more about Agile, please contact us. We can share our experiences of delivering complex digital projects in an Agile way - with clients like Southbank Centre - and help you to understand the benefits and changes that you might need to make if you want to start working in an Agile way. 
Find out more about Cogapp's work