Historic England
case study

Define, develop and internalise better approaches to delivery by using lean and agile tools and techniques

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Historic England is the public body that looks after England’s historic environment. They champion historic places, helping people understand, value and care for them.

The Challenge

Having reviewed project delivery practices within the organisation, business leaders identified a need for new ways to approach traditional problems. Agility in Mind provided agile training and agile coaching to help change their understanding of how to deliver projects and improve delivery times.

Historic England wanted to try some new ways of working in order build confidence around delivery dates, improve quality and increase visibility of progress. Having identified a small low-risk project and assembling a team, Historic England was ready to try a new approach in the form of a pilot agile project.

Our Approach

Agility in Mind was specifically engaged to:

  • Train, coach and mentor the team
  • Develop appropriate roles and responsibilities for agile development
  • Drive the adoption of best agile practices in the team
  • Demonstrate how agile practices can improve delivery times
  • Build the confidence of the business to use agile practices in the future

Agility in Mind undertook a rapid initial assessment of the situation, speaking with senior managers and development team, to gain insight into the needs of the project, the teams and the business.

A plan of action was developed and shared with the engagement leader. The scope and scale of the pilot was agreed and a small low-risk project was chosen to trial the new approach.

Considering the tight development time, training was delivered workshop style, blended in to the project planning phase of the project. This took three days, by which time the team had a product vision and well-formed & prioritised product backlog, had started to write test scenarios and were already gaining confidence in their new responsibilities.


During the course of the project, Agility in Mind maintained active involvement with regular face to face contact. Whilst our role changed from training to coaching & mentoring, our goal remained the same – to help Historic England define, develop and internalise better approaches to delivery by using lean and agile tools and techniques.

  • The team grew in confidence in using agile principles to improve delivery times and build more useful products.
  • An appreciation of the roles and responsibilities was developed – including the need for a dedicated agile project manager and product owner.
  • The ability to define a clear vision and develop against it helped manage expectations and provide more accurate delivery estimates.
  • Iterative working enabled the team to keep on track by learning from mistakes quickly and adapting to change effectively as the project developed.
  • Improved team efficiency through incremental reduction in waste.
  • Increased business confidence in using agile tools and techniques.

What our client said

Agility in Mind delivered training, mentoring and coaching for the Historic England and have helped us change our understanding of how to approach projects in order to improve delivery times.

Whilst we were already familiar with the concepts underpinning agile delivery, we benefitted from a refresher of the principles and the practical agile approach to planning and delivering the project.We learned that a dedicated agile project manager is key to success and that people need to forget managing by exception and proactively resolve issues. We also learned that mistakes will be made, but that the agile approach helps us spot these mistakes early and resolve them quickly, helping us keep on track.

Working with Agility in Mind also led to us having a better understanding of building more useful products first time, increasing the business value of the product by stopping ‘gold plating’ and maintaining focus on the core objectives of the deliverables.”

Carlton Carver, Development Team Leader.

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Historis England case study


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