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Gareth is the web architect within the University of St Andrews digital communications team. A graduate of St Andrews (BD Hons, 1993), Gareth joined the web team in 2006 and worked mainly on information architecture and front-end development (HTML, CSS, and JavaScript). He currently spends most of his time doing DSDM agile project management and business analysis.

Meet our sprint planning document

Let’s say you have a team of eleven knowledge workers, who have a wide portfolio of responsibilities, and you need to get a bunch of tasks done, across multiple projects, within a two-week window. How would you keep focus on everything that needs to be done? Here’s one of the tools we’ve developed to help…

30 January 2018Agile Projects

Why CSA Outbound will not be in the new style

In October we launched the inbound students hub as the first step towards creating a new Collaborations and Study Abroad (CSA) website. This week we are planning to launch the rest of the Collaborations and Study Abroad website. Here is a sneak peek at what the new CSA central hub will look like. The new…

15 December 2017Projects

How and why we QA

At a conference recently one of our team was speaking about how we organise our work using Trello and the Kanban-style workflow we have settled on. A number of people told her afterwards that they were impressed with both the simplicity and effectiveness of our rules around the QA (quality assurance) or testing phase. As…

30 August 2017Projects

MoSCoW planning poker

Backlog refinement One agile practice that we’ve adopted from Scrum is that of product backlog refinement. In short, it involves representatives from both the project level team (project manager, business visionary, technical coordinator, etc.) and solution development team getting together periodically to review the prioritised requirements list (the backlog) to decide whether the upcoming features still have the…

13 March 2017Agile

New URL shortening service

Something we’ve talked about for years is creating our own URL shortening service. A couple of months ago Duncan and I sat down one Friday afternoon and created a very basic one using only household objects. What URL shortening is As the name suggests, a URL shortening service takes a long web address—something that is either difficult…

6 February 2017Articles and resources

The difference between acceptance criteria and definition of done

Back in August I wrote a post called “How do you know when you’re done?” in which I explored the agile concept of the “definition of done” or “done done”. However, in conversations with developers over the last few weeks I’ve observed a confusion between acceptance criteria and definition of done. So, let’s use this…

14 December 2016Agile

How we schedule work requests from other projects

Over the last couple of months we’ve had a number of requests from people and projects, somewhat out of the blue, asking for pieces of work to be completed with a deadline within only a couple of days of asking. We often say no to such requests, which can take people a little by surprise.…

9 December 2016Agile

Seven of my favourite books on Agile

I first encountered Agile at the Scotland on Rails conference in Edinburgh in early 2008. While much of the conference (about Ruby on Rails, a server-side web application framework written in Ruby) went sailing over my head, the keynote speaker Jim Weirich spoke passionately and accessibly about Agile development. What he said about self-organising teams,…

25 November 2016Agile

How do you know when you’re done?

How do you know when you've completed something? Agile invites you to define "done done" so everyone on the team knows.

31 August 2016Agile

MoSCoW prioritisation is on effort

This guide shows how the 60/20/20 proportion of must, should and could requirements in Agile MoSCoW prioritisation is against effort not number of requirements.

5 August 2016Agile