Beta phase complete

Since my last sprint blog post, we have completed three further sprints and delivered what we term our beta service. This involved a complete rewrite of our alpha service and the addition of all essential features required to support the delivery of the service to approximately 500 users for the beta pilot.

The themes of each beta sprint were as follows:

  1. Environments and basic admin (see previous blog)
  2. Advanced admin features
  3. Test-kit order form and result processing
  4. Informational pages and brand application

Given a tight timeframe and our determination to deliver a working service within budget, we reshaped the provisional project plan and focussed specifically on implementation. Based on previous learnings, there was a high level of confidence that we were building the right thing and we decided to postpone some of our anticipated user research until after the beta build was complete. This allowed us to pull in additional development resource and also reserve some budget beyond the beta phase to monitor and improve the service as it starts being used.

The SH:24 beta team during one of their regular sprint retrospectives

The SH:24 beta team during one of their regular sprint retrospectives

The shared understanding and incredible trust that developed during alpha allowed the team to move extremely quickly during the beta phase and we are all extremely pleased with the outcomes. Whilst the beta pilot is being planned, we will recruit several hundred real service users from within our partner clinics to use the beta service and allow us to continue learning.