Karen Lindop: Camp Digital and the Co-operative Education Conference, plus Shifts has 17,500 users

(Transcript) Karen Lindop: Hello, and welcome to our update on what’s happened in the Digital team this week.

You may remember last week I talked about the go live of Shifts to all our Food store colleagues. At the start of last week we had 4,200 users. We’ve now got an incredible 17,500 users! Plus 93% of our stores have at least one user and 65% of users are accessing it accessing daily. Well done to Chris and the team, you’re doing a great job! Thank you.

Linda Humphries and Emer Coleman both did an amazing job this week representing Co-op. Linda talked about the positive effects of working in the open at Camp Digital and Emer was at the Co-operative Education Conference sharing the story of Federation, talking co-ops, digital and democracy.

Talking of events, we’ve just announced the first in The ‘Federation presents’ series. On the 30 May we are really proud to host an evening were we talk about Modern Slavery in Tech with the incredible Mary Mazzio.

Mary joins us in The Federation to talk about her documentary ‘I am Jane Doe’. It’s a look at how tech can be an enabler of modern slavery without appropriate regulation. Mary will talk about her decision to make the film and the role it has played in generating such focus on the issue and the political and social response.

She’ll then be joined by Co-op’s Director of Policy and Campaigns, Paul Gerrard, and Craig Melson, Programme manager, Tech UK on a panel hosted by our CMO Matt Atkinson. We’ll add the link to our blog, be sure to get your tickets early!

Our user researchers have been thinking about what underpins the way they work, and as a result they’ve created some principles. We published them this week on our blog and James and the team would love to hear what you think about them. We’ve already had some great feedback via Twitter which we really appreciate.

Finally, thank you to Richard Sullivan and Kim Morley who ran another Digital Masterclass last week. We had a great mix of Co-op colleagues from across our businesses and from lots of different disciplines. The feedback was brilliant, and we’ll be running another this month. If you’re a Co-op colleague watch this space for the date, also you can contact Richard or Kim if you want to know some more about it.

That’s it for this week. Don’t forget to subscribe for all our updates on our blog and follow us on Twitter. See you next week.

Karen Lindop
Head of Digital Operations

Attending the Digital Masterclass

Last week I attended the second Digital Masterclass. It’s a half-day session aimed at giving us all one consistent way of understanding digital ways of working –  what we do, how we work and better practice.

I’ve been at the Co-op for 11 months, 9 months leading the transition to our new look in our Food business and the last 2 working in the Digital team.

Picture of Jen Farmer
Jen Farmer

The move to our new look was date led and governed by more traditional project management methodology. After the launch I was asked to work within in Digital team, an opportunity I was really excited about, but a little nervous too. I imagined a world inhabited by people far cooler than me where plans or milestones didn’t exist. This is probably a common misconception and the reality is very different.

I had lots of questions. I had no idea what the difference was between a delivery and product manager, or how to work in an Agile way.  In my first week Wikipedia became my new best friend.  What I really needed was some kind of training on how to deliver successfully in an Agile way.

The masterclass isn’t just for people who are new to digital, it’s for everyone. It’s great to have a mix of new and more experienced colleagues so everyone can get the most out of the session.  There’s nothing more valuable than hearing people’s real life experiences of projects they’ve worked on (the good and the bad). During the class you get the opportunity to reflect on your own experience as well as listen to those of the experts across our communities of practice.

Picture of the second digital masterclass at Co-op
Amy Wagner sharing the Agile principles

The day was also really good for meeting colleagues from the digital team who I recognised but  had never spoken to before. I now know a few more people to call upon when I need help outside of my area.

So what did I learn? The biggest takeaways for me being the different methodologies in Agile, how we practically apply them and how we’re using Agile to deliver some great things in the Co-op.  I also learned that a game involving Lego brings out the competitive side in everyone and 2 minutes is not enough to build a Lego house (bit of advice if you’re going on the course – start small).

Picture of the second digital masterclass at Co-op
Jen Farmer (centre)

So my verdict, regardless of if you are new to digital or Agile, you’ll find these sessions useful. Even if you’re in a role where you think you don’t directly need to use these skills, understanding how the people around you work will be useful and will make us stronger.

Jen Farmer