The Challenges of and Solutions for Combining Cocreation and Agile in the Development of Health Information Technologies

Kasia Tabeau*, Marleen de Mul, Mathilde Strating, Laura Fiorini, Filippo Cavallo, Eloise Senges, Denis Guiot, Estibaliz Arzoz-Fernandez, Daniele Sancarlo, Isabelle Fabbricotti

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Working paperPreprintAcademic

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Background: Involving users has become a prominent principle in the development of Health Information Technologies (HIT) and has led to an uprise in agile and cocreation methods. Previous literature shows how the two can be combined in one method, but also suggest that using such a method may come with challenges, for which a solution is unclear.

Purpose: To identify the challenges of using a method that combines agile and cocreation, provide solutions for these challenges, and evaluate its usage.

Methods and Materials: The setting for this research was the Agile Cocreation of Robots for Aging (ACCRA) project. The research consisted of three phases: 1) evaluating the Agile Cocreation method to identify challenges in its usage, by analysing documents from the project (e-mails, meeting notes), 2) solving the challenges to improve the method, by designing solutions in a co-creation session; and 3) evaluating the usage of the improved version via a survey among engineers and user researchers involved in the project.

Results: We identified three main challenges and developed three solutions, which were used in the next phase of the project. First, to engage all stakeholders in cocreation, we implemented more fun and playful materials. Second, to bridge the differences between engineers and user researchers we invested in face-to-face meetings. Third, to manage knowledge in the project we intensified our meeting schedule too weekly meetings. In the quantitative evaluation of the improved cocreation method, the engineers and user researchers were positive about the agile cocreation method and about our improvements.

Conclusion: When developing HIT, a method that combines agile and cocreation is useful because it helps to identify user needs and to translate these needs into technology. To identify the needs of these users and other stakeholders it is important to involve them as active partners in cocreation using fun and playful materials. Engineers and user researchers should bridge their differences and meet face-to-face as much as possible.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 18 Oct 2023


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