One of the underlying principles we’ve adopted in managing content on the website is that of ‘publish early, publish often’. This is adopted from agile methods commonly used for software development and project management.
Essentially, this approach allows us to publish our resources as soon as they are ready with the main aim of receiving feedback more quickly and helping us to improve resources more easily.
You might have noticed that a number of our resources are currently marked as ‘under development’. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are coming soon and are currently being developed; it actually lets people know that they aren’t the finished product, just an early release or a ‘work in progress’.
This approach has helped us to reduce risks, overheads and bottlenecks within the production process and gives us more time to adapt the resource within the lifetime of a given project or programme. It allows for feedback and iteration all aimed at making the resources better tailored to the needs of the sector.
With our recent infoKit releases, adopting this process has allowed us to explore different ways of gathering feedback. For example, with the Business intelligence infoKit, we’ve launched a survey requesting feedback from partner organisations with an interest in the subject.
Another approach we adopted was for Relationship management, in that by releasing the resource early, the authors were able to see how the infoKit looked on the website as opposed to the offline draft, and then iterate on the content and structure as required. At all times, the resources were live on the site and publicly available to anyone. Recent resources on e-safety and virtual research environments are following the same approach.
The principles of getting feedback and publishing early and often are something we want to build on with a view to making our content more open to meet the needs of our users and allow them to shape the content at an early stage.