What are alpha and beta?

You might have heard the terms ‘alpha’ or ‘beta’ in relation to software development.

In software, alpha is the stage where developers experiment with their ideas. They figure out what works and what doesn’t so that they can move forward to beta with a solid understanding of what their users need.

We’re taking a similar approach with the Global Experience Framework.

What is alpha?

In alpha, we:

  • deliver the minimum, focusing on information over everything else
  • continue to learn what our users need
  • refine our understanding of what our business units need
  • work out how to balance those needs
  • experiment to see what works
  • learn and adapt so we can move towards beta.

What is beta?

Once we’ve learned and adapted from the alpha stage, we can then move on to beta. The beta stage is much closer to the ideal state.

During the beta stage, we:

  • deliver similar functionality to the site or section we’re replacing
  • test how well specific functions are working
  • learn and adapt so we can move towards the full release.

For a full explanation of the technical side of things, see the Digital Transformation Office’s Service Handbook.

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