What is agile project management, and why do we use it?
As you’ve probably noticed, we’re always super keen to get your feedback! This is because a lot of our decisions are based on your wants and needs. Since we aren’t the ones actually using the software we create, it’s important that our users shape our product. When we launched Chain, instead of aiming to build every feature right away, we released a simple version then listened to our users’ feedback and developed the software in response to this. This style of project management known as “agile” which APM defines as, “an approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the project life cycle.”
Agile’s main aim is to minimise waste. We think it’s a better use of everyone’s time (including yours) if we use an iterative approach to build a valuable product, instead of spending loads of resources on a product that ends up not being useful to you. Our project cycles are broken up into two-week periods called “sprints.” At the end of every sprint, we hold ourselves accountable for whether or not we’ve met our goals and we set goals for the next sprint. We all write down everything that did and didn’t go well over the last sprint on post-it notes and stick them on the wall so we can visualise everything. We then talk about our successes, failures and blockers. We also strategise how to mitigate repeating any errors that came up in the future. Best of all, we also talk about what future features to prioritise!
When Chain first launched, its only functionality was sending NHS leaflet links to patients. Starting out with a simple product allowed us to minimise resources and waste. We then spent time at practices and gathered lots of user research to determine where to go from there. One example of a feedback-based update is our “delay this message until 9am tomorrow” feature. While we didn’t originally have plans to support this, we learned it would be useful after seeing how and when GPs use Chain to communicate to their patients. The timeline below shows the development of Chain’s features over the past year:
So please, PLEASE keep hitting that feedback button! We ALL read, discuss, and document your praises, ideas and concerns.... It plays a huge role in our future plans!
Not using Chain yet? It takes less than two minutes to install, so why not try it out?! You can find a guide to installing here.