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Applying Agile in service delivery

As a methodology focused on providing this value, there are lots of different use cases of Agile. Read how Stephan Hitchins applies them.

Organisations entering the Agile workspace have a strong focus on providing constant and regular value to customers through increased performance and production. As a methodology focused on providing this value, there are lots of different use cases of Agile. In the next three steps, we’ll explore three different use cases, starting with service delivery.

Agile in service delivery: A short story

StayWell, an international hotel chain, needed a new online booking system. Customer complaints about the system were high, and through data analysis, StayWell could tell that a high number of potential customers abandoned their booking before completing it, often frustrated at the number of steps they needed to go through to book.

The bookings team decided to use an Agile approach to revamp the service, breaking down the project into short, iterative sprints. For each sprint, the team would start by setting clear goals and priorities for the work they needed to complete. At the start of the project, one sprint focused on gaining a better understanding of the problems with the booking system by speaking to hotel guests. The team broke this sprint into small, manageable chunks and assigned them to team members: one person took on the recruitment of guests for research, another created questions to answer, and another carried out the interviews.

A male holds a phone making a hotel booking using an app.

Attribution: Photo by Mclittle Stock for Adobe Stock.

As the team worked, they kept in constant communication with each other. They used a daily stand-up meeting to discuss progress and solve problems. At one stage, the recruitment of guests for research was taking longer than anticipated. This problem was shared in the stand-up, so the colleague tasked with carrying out the research changed their diary by pushing the research back accordingly.

The project progressed and the team identified a minimum viable product that would provide an efficient, streamlined booking system. They eliminated waste from the existing process, cutting out steps and form fields that did not add value to the customers’ experience or the hotel chain’s datasets.

One of the key features of the booking system was a customisable calendar that allowed customers to see which dates were available and make reservations easily. The team worked hard to ensure that the calendar was user-friendly and intuitive, and they were pleased with the final result.

The team deployed the minimum viable product and continued to gather data on how customers were using the new booking system, including feedback surveys and analytics. They kept up their stand-ups and identified small tweaks to the process which, through collaboration with the chain’s IT team, could be quickly deployed in the new system.

In the end, the team was able to deliver the online booking system on time and to the high standards their customers had come to expect. They were proud of the work they had done and were already looking forward to their next challenge.

Share your thoughts

Last week, we spent time looking at the 12 principles of Agile and attempting to memorise them so that we can embody them in our practice.
A week later, let’s take a look at how you’re going with those principles! Review the story again, and then identify where you can see the principles of Agile in action. They’re not all there, but see which ones you can find!
Then, in the comments, post one principle that you think is missing or which could have been followed more closely, and explain what the team could have done to fulfil the principle.
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