A forest view of trees changing to gold in the fall
Burnt Mountain in northern VT Burnt Mountain is Vermont's first carbon project eligible for the CA Carbon Market © Eamon Mac Mahon/TNC

Agility Lab

A Sprint to Develop a Carbon Project Database

This is likely a familiar challenge to any organization working to address climate change: throughout The Nature Conservancy, there are multitudes of carbon credit generating projects and several carbon credit registries we transact carbon on. We recognized the need for a centralized place to store project information, track available credits, sales, and ongoing conversations with potential buyers. Previously, information mainly resided in silos within each business unit.  

Knowing that we wanted to tackle this project quickly, we enlisted the help of The Agility Lab. In just a three-day sprint we were able to develop a prototype of what a carbon project database could be and thus have now been able to move the work forward in a faster and more effective way. 

Our team knew a nimble, centralized place to capture data would allow an easier way to get a big picture view on carbon credit projects across the organization and keep critical data and information up-to-date. Our team decided to develop a system with an interface that would allow for centralized tracking of these projects and critical associated information; such as credit availability, sales conversations, and credit transactions. To tackle this project, we reached out to The Agility Lab to help guide us through this complex project. 


After just a three-day sprint, our team was able to develop a robust prototype of what a centralized carbon project database could look like...

After just a three-day sprint, our team was able to develop a robust prototype of what a centralized carbon project database could look like so that stakeholders had an interactive visual to respond to. With this prototype, we were able to identify and prioritize all the requirements of the system. The prototype was our North Star in helping us identify the type of tool we needed to build and what we wanted it to do.

The prototyping process enabled us to cut our design time in half. Without a “sprint” process, it would have been difficult to bring a team together to quickly make decisions about the direction and goals of the project. It could have taken months to develop a sharable deliverable otherwise.

There’s incredible value in creating a prototype and putting it in front of people early on. At the beginning of a project, a team might think everyone is on the same page, but until there’s something tangible to interact with, there’s no way to fully be aligned on vision. With a prototype, we were able to save time and money by making sure people were thinking and talking about the same thing and aligning around the vision of how the tool should function.

Now, the team is operationalizing a version of the tool envisioned during the prototyping process. Having clear insights into organizational information is key to reaching our goals. We're already reaping the benefits of being more organized around our carbon credit project information and data: responding faster to inquiries, strategically planning and analyzing historical trends.  Working through a “sprint” with the Agility Lab gave us the step up we needed to accelerate the build of this much-needed database.  

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What Is The Agility Lab?

TNC recently launched The Agility Lab to modernize the way we approach conservation, offering several tools to change the way we do business.

Learn more about The Agility Lab