The first of the two week alpha sprint was carried out between 12 June and 25 June. Aside from establishing a few tools and services to support the team's work on the alpha phase, the key aim was to get a basic online form in place that could capture the user data essential to deliver and process a home STI testing kit.
Face-to-face communication is an important factor in the success of an agile project and the team set about finding a “war room” where we could all co-locate. Given that much of our early work during alpha would be carried out in one of the two partner clinics we looked at a great space in the Burrell Street clinic but have initially settled on a room close to Camberwell clinic.
To manage the day to day communication between team members when away from the war room we agreed to use Slack and to manage the backlog and associated tasks we set up Trello. A shared Google Drive was created for document sharing and storage and a shared Google calendar setup for the team.
Having identified the minimum dataset required to process STI tests and with a strong indication from earlier research that users would use an online service to order STI kits, we felt confident in building a working prototype application. Using user interface (UI) resources and guidelines provided by the Government Digital Service (GDS) we used Ruby on Rails to construct a single page order form that collected data and stored it. We set up Kissmetrics and Google Analytics to provide baseline data and explored the use of Twillio to deliver feedback to users via text messages. The application was hosted on Heroku.
Initial user feedback from friends, family and clinic staff was very positive and we plan to experiment with the order of the questions in the form in the next sprint.