This is part of our ‘Meet Our Delegates’ series where we introduce you to social scientists and technologists who are attending the conference.
Hey Sarah, nice to meet you! You’re Head of Agile Delivery at Elucidata. Can you tell us a bit about Elucidata and what your job involves?
Elucidata enables organisations to use data and analytics within pioneering new products and services that improve lives or enhance citizenship.
My job entails overseeing the incorporation and execution of Agile best practices across the company where Agile is the preferred approach of product management and delivery. I have co-authored, with colleagues at Elucidata, an Agile standards for the company which describes best practice. I work to coach teams and Agile leads both internally and externally on these practices.
Additionally, I am an Agile lead for a team on our Genomics England programme where I work with the client and several vendors with international team members.
How is Elucidata using artificial intelligence in health?
Our latest news is that we have just started to work with a local startup, designing a Machine Learning methodology to screen disease progression in retinopathy.
As Head of Agile delivery, you obviously know a thing or two about Agile. What does Agile mean to you and what are the benefits to organisations of putting Agile principles into practice, in your opinion?
At the end of the sprint, by showing what we’ve built or analysed, we can get early confirmation we are on the right path or fail early.
Agile is an approach to developing products that uses business or user-led prioritization and feedback to build a product up incrementally and iteratively. This enables the product to stay relevant and up-to-date with user and/or business needs. We do this by building up products over multiple, short cycles of plan-do-review, called sprints. We agree what should be done, then do the work and finally, show what we’ve built or analysed.
During the sprint we have daily catch-ups with the team and the lead user or the business lead to be transparent about our progress and raise any blockers so that they are dealt with quickly. At the end of the sprint, by showing what we’ve built or analysed we can get early confirmation we are on the right path or fail early. We also inspect and adapt not only the product or analysis as it evolves, we review how we are working together (in communication and processes, for example). This is called a retrospective. This supports continual improvement.
Why are you excited to attend the conference and what do you hope to get from attending?
This is an amazing opportunity to hear from thought leaders on the wider implications and considerations when developing technology products and services that harness Artificial Intelligence.
This is an amazing opportunity to hear from thought leaders on the wider implications and considerations when developing technology products and services that harness Artificial Intelligence by utilising user-centric designs. I hope to hear about problems that need solutions, challenges and successes in this area. From the networking point of view, I would like to meet people that are interested in collaborating with us so we can fully cover the research needed for an ethical and well thought out product, service or analysis.
In your opinion, why do you think other technologists should attend the conference?
This is an opportunity for technologists and anyone in the product lifecycle, to consider the advantages of using social experts beyond user experience.
I believe a successful product or service comes from utilizing synergy from technologists, users and subject matter experts including researchers. This is an opportunity for technologists and anyone in the product lifecycle, to consider the advantages of using social experts beyond user experience and to be encouraged to seek out these experts when creating technology or service solutions with or without AI. Additionally, this conference provides a unique opportunity to have technologists and social researchers identify the next steps or even solutions to key issues or mitigating risks such as designing and coding bias into decision systems.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell us or say?
I am so looking forward to this conference!
Thinking back on my undergraduate studies at Syracuse University, I took elective classes in women’s studies, social work and anthropology, which always encouraged students to be aware of their own bias such as ethnocentric views. These classes were alongside my information management and technology major classes, which covered the value of information on society, its use and the importance of users. I am so looking forward to this conference as I enjoyed those areas of study very much. Perhaps we can even get a dual degrees discussion going!
Thanks so much, Sarah, we look forward to meeting you in October!