#UKHOUSINGFAST – an ongoing agile project of UKHousing


Writing a project report has never been my strong area but I still prefer it to a blog as it’s a known territory since university days and I know what is expected off me. I always know there will be an abstract which will include purpose, methodology/approach then findings, keywords, overview, what, when and how and then finish by adding conclusions. That’s relatively simple. Writing a blog is altogether different, you need to have an honest and simple view that may or may not include your personal opinion, that is difficult, the most difficult part, if you ask me to get informal and comfortable, I mostly get too comfortable and won’t leave.

As this is my first blog after a wait for over 2 years of this blog site being up, I am going to have to bite the bullet and crack on with it. Acknowledgement where it is due, this topic came out from a recent telephone discussion between me and Sahil Khan (@khan_sahil) where after 45 minutes of planning and sorting out project related things, we gave ourselves a 10 minutes pat on the back through this.

Sahil Said “#UKHOUSINGFAST was my first ever agile project in UKHousing and I do think this is probably the only ever or may be one of the very few. That was a very big statement and where it showed me how proud Sahil is on the project, it gave me time to test his hypothesis.

So what is an Agile Project methodology?

Agile also now in the broader term considered as adaptive, dynamic, risk minimising project methodology has 4 core principals.

  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  4. Responding to change over following a plan.

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
#UKHousinfast started on 15.07.2014 and to date it has no process rather a common sense approach. Although most of the team are now good friends and informally see each other over dinners and ice-creams throughout the year, #UKHousingFast do not form any project group until a few weeks before the date. Its all volunteer basis and depends on how much time each person can give, its open for new participants to join in all the time, so its owned by availability and interaction instead of group of individuals. Everyone who is a part of the group each year bring their own flavor, tools, and processes and either they are adopted by the whole group or if do not get the popular get abandoned. All volunteers have their own reasons and take on the campaign they all are treated as professional adults and trusted with the tasks once handed over to them.

Working software over comprehensive documentation.
#UKHousingFast only uses free online software. All members use their own devices. The team’s most widely used “software” is our Google account which includes emails, blog subscriptions, last year branding documents and files, image libraries etc. #UKHousingFast uses Google-hangout to interact and everyone chips in ideas. The only documentation that is ever done is “Nasrin Fazal’s Action plan” that is emailed out at the end of a hangout. Bless her for doing that and may be all blokes like me will understand why does she need to type it all up in such details when its all already said and agreed, I can confess I have opened that document and peeked through it when I needed to reminded myself of a few things (Just because it was there)

Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
#UKHousingFast is solely supporting The Trussell Trust and their good work in managing foodbank supplies this year. Over the past 3 years we have supported a number of charities all related to food shortage and sharing the meal.The Trussell Trust has always been one of them. This year the team felt the need to measure the result of our efforts and get some figures if we all push in one direction, is the change noticeable, that was why we choseThe Trussell Trust, they have been very instrumental in providing all UK household the figures of this crisis and those alarming figures need to have a response that is equally as strong and as good.

Responding to change over following a plan.
#UKHousingFast has no owners, no processes, no contracts with lengthy terms, no personal / sensitive information about individuals, no Dos and don’t list so it all is managed from week to week where that one Google-hangout can possibly change the whole direction of the campaign. I have even seen significant changes happening through our whatsapp group suggestions.

Now the verdict, I do think Sahil is right, I will further add #UKHousingFast is an ongoing Project of UKHousing that is driven by reason and by its very own core values. Hence it gets going every year and everything falls in place so smoothly.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support and help.

Roommy Zaahid