Phase 4 - Improve

This phase describes the key activities that happen to support the continuous improvement of the service. It should end only when the service is decommissioned, although practically resource constraints may mean that it is shorter. The importance of this phase is that the service won’t yet have delivered every user need identified in the earlier phases, and the user stories delivered in the build phase may not be having the maximum impact. User needs may also change over time, and technology may offer different ways of meeting the needs. The improve phase enables the team to continue investing in the iteration and enhancement of the service, whilst ensuring the current version is well-supported.

Team and skills

Ideally, there will be a core team that continues to work together during this phase. The key roles will be:
  • A Product Owner
  • Applications support
  • User research
  • Developer
  • Service designer
You may need to draw on the skills of:
  • Business Analysis
  • Project manager


Decisions about the prioritisation of user stories will be made by the Product Owner and releases will need to be signed-off by the PO. Any decisions for further investment should be made by the Directorate steering group, prior to any formal financial bids or approvals processes. Any changes to the functionality of the service, or its relationship to other services, will require a change management request through the ICT CAB.


  • User stories
  • A prioritised ‘backlog’
  • A product roadmap

For inspiration


  • A service that meets all of the prioritised user needs
  • The targets for the service have been achieved

End of phase checklist

The Improve phase does not end, but if you are regularly delivering user stories you should ensure that at least quarterly you are reviewing the prioritisation against the service performance metrics.

Team and skills
End of phase

Last updated on 25/06/2018