About UEA Faculty of Science

The Faculty of Science is one of the largest faculties at UEA and aims to encourage innovation and excellence in their research-led teaching. Their interdisciplinary research addresses many of society’s grand challenges, and the faculty focuses on collaboration across the university as well as with their partner institutes in the Norwich Research Park. The Faculty of Science consists of seven Schools of study, where the teams are committed to providing an intellectually challenging learning experience within a supportive educational environment.

What We Did

The Faculty of Science at UEA worked with Rikke from the Innovation Team at Hethel Innovation over a period of four months after expressing that they wanted to implement Agile working and apply the SCRUM framework across their teams to improve communication, overcome silo-working, and reduce duplication of tasks and effort when working on projects. The aim with the Agile Intervention was to adopt a more efficient way of working across the faculty that would increase the teams’ abilities to change direction quickly if needed by managing changing priorities.

Aerial View of UEA
Aerial View of University of East Anglia
Bleese, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How We Did It

As some faculty staff already had pre-knowledge of Agile working and others were completely new to this way of managing projects, the Agile Intervention started with all staff receiving Agile training in a 5hrs ‘Get Agile in a Day’ workshop. The Get Agile in a Day workshop aimed to give all staff an understanding of Agile working and project management, the SCRUM framework and how Agile working can be implemented across teams by using Kanban boards as online workflow visualisation tools. The content in the workshop was designed to introduce Agile to all staff members at a suitable pace and give all participants the background information needed in order to embrace and understand why an Agile transformation was wanted and needed.

Overview of the UEA Faculty of Science Agile Intervention
Overview of the UEA Faculty of Science Agile Intervention

After the training, the faculty staff were divided into four teams to complete a short real-life project over nine weeks (three Agile sprints). The Agile Intervention then continued with project kick-off meetings where the project elements to complete during the nine weeks were discussed and decided. During the project, Rikke acted as an external Scum Master, facilitating the Agile meetings to aid the teams in implementing the Agile working methodologies introduced during the workshop and the transition to Agile working. The Scrum Master from the Hethel Innovation team was also available to support the teams outside the planned meetings for the duration of the project to answer any questions and aid the teams in solving any challenges. The projects were also closed with a meeting to discuss the work completed, any further projects that the teams would still like to develop and give feedback on the Agile Intervention as a whole.

What They Got Out Of It

By working with Hethel Innovation during the four month long Agile Intervention project, the Faculty of Science at UEA now has the knowledge and tools to use Agile working to monitor their workflow. Additionally, they now have the ability to use Agile working with future projects to complete them with better communication, collaboration and in a more time-efficient manner.

Interested in find out more about Agile and how it could help your organisation?

Get in touch with our Innovation Consultant – Rikke – who is our expert in all things Agile for a free consultation!

Rikke Nagell-Kleven

Innovation Consultant

Rikke is an Innovation Consultant in the Business Development team at Hethel Innovation. She is a certified Scrum Master and a certified professional in Agile coaching and has worked with clients to help companies implement Agile working and plan for larger projects. Rikke also has experience with mentoring clients in a wide range of sectors, advising businesses on how to overcome current challenges and accessing opportunities, as well as delivering strategy workshops and Design Sprints.