MMT Digital’s Agile Game Gets a Star Wars Twist

by Hayley Bayliss MMT Digital

MMT Digital  kicked off 2016 by attending not one but two events in January, one themed around UX and the other around Agile and… Star Wars! First up, on the 21st January we headed to The Hospital Club in London for the Web Build, CMS & UX Seminar, hosted by Figaro Digital. Our Co-founder James Cannings was first on the agenda, speaking about how to create market-leading UX on your CMS platform. James shared with the audience his thoughts on running a successful UX ‘discovery phase’, he explained how to create market-leading user experiences for marketing/ecommerce platforms and how to deliver these in an iterative and agile way. The audience were given answers to questions such as integrating your UX processes into a wider CEM strategy and how and when (and when not!) you should layer on personalisation and marketing automation. It was another excellent event put on by Figaro and James’s talk went down really well with the attendees. You can watch a video of the presentation here.

Star Wars and Agile – a winning combination at UKGovcamp!
Just a few days later, we were off to UkGovcamp, an ‘unconference’ based around all things digital in the public sector. A very different setup to our usual events, anyone attending gets the chance to pitch to run a session. They get just 30 seconds each to tell the audience all about their session idea and people then attend those that appeal to them, the most popular sessions are given the biggest rooms! For this event, James Cannings and Mark Starling (Client Solutions Director), both pitched a session. James’s session was all about the fun factor of Agile projects. He spoke about going beyond the mechanics of Scrum and the importance and power of fun within an Agile team. It’s a topic that James is passionate about and he has even managed to get the “Pastor of Fun” role recognised in the new PRINCE2 Agile global accreditation which is run by our client AXELOS. The topic was a real hit with the attendees and an interesting discussion took place.

The next session, pitched by Mark and run by both he and James was all about Agile and Star Wars, apparently a winning combo as it proved a popular session! We decided to jump on the success of the latest film and give our Agile board game (introduced last year at the annual JBoye conference) a Star Wars twist, complete with free t-shirts for the winners!

So how does our Agile board game work?

Players are divided into teams and they then have to devise a strategy for the build of a website. The site they were asked to build this time was an online store selling t-shirts to tie in with the release of the new Star Wars film The Force Awakens.

Each team gets given a pack of cards which feature elements of a website ranging from ‘homepage template’ to ‘discount codes’. They have 4 phases in the project that equate to 40 developer days. Working together, the teams have to decide on the most important elements and begin to build their plan. Like any real life project, there were a few curve balls thrown in. Originally the site was solely selling t-shirts for Kylo Ren (the bad guy) but a sudden demand for BB-8 t-shirts (the adorable drone in the film) meant that the teams needed to re prioritise in order to ensure the MVP (minimum viable product) was ready in time for the launch date.

The game was extremely well received with the UKGovcamp audience and the winning team loved the t-shirts. It was a great addition to a day focused on knowledge sharing. The event encourages members of the public sector to develop new ways of thinking around their digital endeavours and we were proud to be sponsors.