Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services

Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division (RESAS) division commissions and runs a multi-million-pound portfolio of research to address major policy issues, carried out by leading teams of scientists across a range of topics on the environment, natural resources, and agriculture.



Following attendance on a Scottish Digital Academy Leadership course run by our coaching partner Gnos-tec, the RESAS Programme Manager sought support for the development of organisational thinking around a Digital Transformation Programme and approaches for implementation across the Department.

This required RESAS to transition from a static data collection and analysis approach to a more flexible, adaptive, and iterative approach, and required teams to be equipped with the skills to work effectively in a new, dynamic environment.



We engaged with the Programme Manager in one-to-one sessions to draw out reasons for transformation, and to develop delivery approaches and an effective means to obtain senior stakeholders buy-in to radical change. Following up, we later delivered tailored training to the leadership team, followed by tailored training workshops for the implementation teams, to equip the transformation team with the necessary agile thinking, technique, and common terminology.

Follow-up aligned and contextualised team workshops to embed agile thinking and digital delivery, identify requirements, refine and create backlogs and prepare the team to commence implementation.

Ongoing coaching with the implementation teams as they began to deliver and produce tangible value for the organisation and its users. This involved working with the teams, facilitating and coaching them through sprint planning, sprint execution, sprint review and retrospectives. This ensured that skills were transferred and, going forward, teams were confident and knowledgeable enough to work autonomously, and ultimately help to develop more agile ways of working right across the organisation.



Development of an effective transformation strategy and implementation plan, the recommendations from which were duly agreed by key stakeholders, gaining implementation go-ahead.

A cultural shift has been achieved, with a deeper, more pragmatic understanding of agile iterative incremental ways of working within the whole of RESAS.

Feedback from the Programme Manager & Senior Statistician, “The work that the Scottish Digital Academy has supported us with has been vital in teasing out the complexities and understanding the scales of work that will be required to be undertaken. The support has also helped provide the tools and methods to clearly state the case for change and agree a programme of work that can now be undertaken. In particular the support you have provided my unit has been invaluable in providing staff with the skills to navigate the future work and embed Agile principles into the future activity. You have also been excellent at facilitating difficult conversations and helping to forge a successful path forward.”

Work has expanded across the whole of Statistics and Data Access Division and now includes Administrative Data Research Project, The Future of Data and Analytics Toolsets, and ongoing work with the Office of the Chief Statistician (Scotland).


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