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Guest blog: Agile Thinking - the local government Digital Officer's view


by Karen Jeal, London Borough of Lambeth Council

This article has, with permission, been re-published from Karen Jeal's blog on digital communication topics and includes her excellent hand-drawn infographics. Here Jeal writes about Local Digital's event on Agile working that took place last month in London, one of the Hot Topic series from the campaign's Digital Academy .

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) hold regular 'Hot Topic' events that I have found really useful. Oh, they also do Really Useful Days, but that's probably a sketch for another day.

Anyway, on Friday I went to a #LDhottopic event around Agile. I found the whole session so good and really felt I took a lot from it. You can see just from the doodle above that it was worthwhile going.

'Agile' has become a buzzword in local government recently and although I don't like buzzwords, this one is big. In other words it just means doing things quickly and keeping on it to deliver something quick but good. In a nutshell that's what I see Agile as. Instead of planning out lots of documents and plans and how things are going to be delivered it's just a 'can do' and let's #JFDI attitude! Get on with it and deliver.

There's also some great techniques out there to help you track progress, either in retrospect or before it starts to define what you might get from the project.

Here's what I took from the morning session:


I like the fact that I didn't know a lot about the subject before I went but left feeling really energised and enthused about taking everything back to the office and getting on with working in this way.


I learned about how others do things and it was good to really talk with others and gain a perspective from their councils. There were also some very handy documents that will be shared after the event.


I think it lacked that fact that it didn't last all day. It was just a morning session, but I felt I could have taken even more away from it if it had been all day and there had been more interactive workshops.

Longed for:

The only thing I wished for was that contact details of everyone were available so that conversations could be had after the event. There wasn't enough time to talk to everyone, so this would have been good.


Follow Karen Jeal on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.

Find out more about the Local Digital campaign's forthcoming free Hot Topic events on digital transformation aimed at local government.


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