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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

Benchmarking the Study webpages

Over the next few weeks the new Subject and undergraduate course pages will go live and Course Search will be taken down. With such a drastic change about to occur on the University’s website it’s crucial that we monitor any impact these changes have. This corresponds with the digital communications team’s commitment to putting user needs…

2 February 2017Study at St Andrews website

How the UG digital prospectus is an improvement on Course Search

The digital communications team is almost finished with our undergraduate digital prospectus project. The main purpose of the digital prospectus is to provide more detailed, tailored and targeted information about each UG course than our current tool, Course Search, provides. Here are the reasons we think the new digital prospectus will be an improvement on…

18 January 2017Public website

A sneak peek at the undergraduate course pages

The digital communications team has been hard at work creating, developing and designing the academic subject pages (phase 3 of our digital prospectus business case) and the undergraduate course pages. The subject page system is being built to replace course search (developed by IT Services), which as many of our colleagues have agreed, is not…

13 January 2017Public website

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 using Trello and agile can help improve time management

I recently attended a time management training course put on by CAPOD. The session was very insightful, providing useful and practical techniques to become more efficient at work. However, during the session I realised that many of the time management techniques are already integrated into our team’s working system through using a combination of agile…

12 October 2016Agile

Undergraduate course pages – research and development

Having already designed, created and launched centralised web pages to advertise the University’s taught postgraduate courses we have now turned our attention to redesigning the way undergraduate courses are advertised. Why? The rationale for both the new taught postgraduate course pages and the planned undergraduate course pages are covered in our digital prospectus business case. Undergraduate…

10 October 2016Public website

Beginning the migration to T4v8

We are now able to upgrade our website content management system, TerminalFour, to the latest version, T4v8. In a previous post, we explained how we planned to move to T4v8, and now that the plan is in action, here is how the process has been going.

28 September 2016Projects