7 Things I Didn’t Expect About Agile Content Development

Tonight I spoke at the London Content Strategy Meetup, an excellent group sharing best practice in the content strategy & development arena. I really enjoyed hearing about Age UK’s research & understanding of older people (or “people in later life”) from Rob and then Chris‘ fascinating approach to figuring out a content strategy for building advocacy for mental health de-stigmatisation amongst young people.

I was quite nervous about talking about agile to this audience, particularly since I’ve only really gotten good exposure to content strategy, design and management in my year at GDS. But they were a lovely friendly bunch and I’m really grateful to Sarah Richards & Graham Francis for suggesting me to the organisers.

Essentially I subtitled my talk “a magical mystery tour of Meri being an idiot” and talked through the various lessons I’d learnt about how agile is actually a pretty brilliant approach for content development.

The book I recommend at the end is an absolutely BRILLIANT summary/primer/refresher on Scrum — I heartily recommend you buy at least a copy for yourself and possibly one for everyone you know who needs more agile in their life. You can get it at Amazon or on Kindle (I promise you the Kindle version will be the best 77p you ever spend. Seriously.).

5 Comments

  • Really enjoyed your talk, Meri. (And went straight out and bought the Scrum book!) The whole agile thing is new to me and I’m really intrigued to explore it as the way you talked about your experience at GDS was very inspiring. Thanks again.

  • Glad you enjoyed it Charlotte and thanks for the feedback — always appreciated :-) If I can be of any help please do shout — I run trainings etc through my company if that might be of use and am always happy to chat too.

  • Hi,

    Thanks for sharing. Just wanted to point out that user stories should ideally have the format:

    “As a I want to be able to so that “.

    That way, they take the perspective of the user and can be based on personas. Value makes sense from a stakeholder’s POV but not really from end users’. See http://www.impactmapping.org for a way to translate high level goals (business value goals) to end user needs/impact.

  • Hi Meri,
    Excellent insights – agile is so big in the development world, and increasingly the UX world, it’s surprising that it isn’t talked about much in relation to content. You are so right about estimation being very difficult, so using user stories is a great tactic to decompose the task into manageable bits.

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