Weekly show & tell sessions are pretty common in digital and design communities, and they’re standard practice for the team working on NHS.UK Alpha.

Demonstrating what we’re up to

For those new to them, weekly show & tells are a chance to demonstrate progress, to tie together what we’ve been doing in the week and to provide a bit of a rhythm for the team.

It’s not a formal session. The team gathers round a large screen, gets people to come to our space, and shares what we’ve been up to over the last week. We could hide ourselves away for three months and then show what we’ve built, but instead we want to regularly show what we’re building.

It’s a chance to get valuable feedback

These events have been hugely valuable for showing a big group what we’ve been doing. People attend from across the healthcare system – Department of Health, NHS England and HSCIC for example – and also other organisations such as NHS Blood and Transplant.

All of these groups give us feedback. We love feedback. It helps us to make things better. We’re not trying to deliver a working system into production, but we are trying to demonstrate how elements of an NHS.UK service might work. Gathering insight from different groups is really important in this process.

Each show & tell also gives us an opportunity to reflect on where we’re at, to take stock of what we’ve learned, and to change direction if that’s what is needed.

Learning from others

Weekly show & tells are new to some of the team here, but there are plenty of people here used to the format too. There’s a good energy about the NHS.UK Alpha show & tells, and a sense of celebrating what we’ve achieved each week.

Each week we hear new stories about how people interact with the health and care system, new ways of thinking about the problems we’re tackling. It’s a reminder of the potential for transformation that Helen and Adam wrote about a few weeks ago, but also that working with users (whether they’re patients or staff) is the best way of finding out what works.

If you’re interested in our work, please do email us, or follow the project on Twitter at #nhsalpha

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