NHS service standard - 7. Use agile ways of working

Make sure that the team can deliver quickly and adapt to meet users' needs.

Use agile principles, tools and governance and resource the team flexibly.

Why it's important

Using agile, iterative, user-centred ways of working will help you get your service in front of real users as soon as possible. Then observing and analysing data on how they use it, and iterating the service based on what you've learned.

Because you're not specifying everything up front before you've developed an understanding of what users need, you will reduce the risk of delivering the wrong thing.

What you should do

Your team should be able to show that you:

  • use agile ways of working, researching, learning and changing as you go
  • make decisions with senior stakeholders that allow you to adapt and change
  • make sure that the right people know what's happening at the right level of detail
  • are resourced flexibly


NHS service manual

See also service standard point 8. Iterate and improve frequently.

GOV.UK resources

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Help us improve this guidance

Share insights or feedback and take part in the discussion. We use GitHub as a collaboration space. All the information on it is open to the public.

If you've gone through a service assessment or peer review, we're especially interested to hear from you.

Read more about how to feedback or share insights.

If you have any questions, get in touch with the service manual team.

Updated: July 2021