Agile for a design studio for the ATO

Agile frameworks aren't just for software teams. This whole Design Studio goes agile!

The Situation

ZXM was engaged by the Digital Experience Branch in the ATO to support the evolution of the Digital Delivery Branch and their design studio – video production, animation, UI, UX, and visual design – to adopt agile frameworks to improve transparency of work including developing and implementing an agile operating model.

ATO logo

The Solution

ZXM’s solution focussed on creating transparency for decision-making using fast feedback loops and understanding value for prioritisation of work over non-economic models. Specifically, it involved creating a new agile operating model that was product agnostic, enabling design products from livestream video through to traditional print material to be appropriately managed through to delivery.

A focus on coaching managers

ZXM first coached managers, supporting them with our deep knowledge of government and experience with agile frameworks to solve strategic and tactical issues at a Director level using Design Thinking and Scrum as their central practice. The goal was to engender both an agile mindset as well as a servant leadership culture within the managers so that they could lead their own teams to work using agile.

Coaching design teams to be agile

ZXM then rolled-out training across their sites across the country and coached support their teams through their first steps to being agile. We used techniques including self-selection, HR management through Product Owners, cross-team collaboration using Scrum of Scrums, and knowledge sharing along capability lines with Communities of Practice.

The Results

Within 9 months, 6 teams from visual design and UX to video production were using Scrum, Lean and Kanban, with some experiencing 200-300% productivity improvements and radical transparency of their work. It’s new operating model is now reducing management overhead and lead time to deliver digital and design outcomes to areas within the ATO as well as other government agencies.

250% increase in productivity

250% increase in productivity with 80% reduction in re-work

Improved transparency

Radical transparency and improved executive decision-making on strategic design.


Agile for non-software teams

ATO's video production, paper design and conference support, and digital artefacts are all delivered using agile.

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