Developing ideas

The garage was built as an “office-less organisational structure” to promote a new way of working and sharing ideas, and to place the firm “in the neighbourhood” of the Silicone

Roundabout startups that are innovating in the same way and which might make good partnerships in the future.

There is a mixture of teams in the space, with two or three teams thinking about creative products nine to 12 months in the future, others working on how to integrate with startups and others working on mobile and web products and services.

The team, an extension of the Aviva insurance brand, has a callcentre in the garage to reflect how the wider organisation and its work is affected by the products and services the IT teams create.

“It’s great ideas that win here,” says Shivanandan. “What IT people really want to do is build things people enjoy using.”

She explains that agile works well for IT teams because when working in two-week sprints, feedback on the product is faster, so products can be tweaked or fixed and the engineer knows how what they’ve made has been received.

“They’re working because they really like to see things built – that’s why agile really works,” says Shivanandan.