Zing, zing, zing! Once again, more and more ideas are being created and tested by the team. We also want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the service staff who are doing great work; constantly delivering amazing outcomes for residents especially with demand increasing.
We have now been working ‘remotely’ for 4 months. A long time, it all seems normal now, but so weird not to see any of the teams faces. Our team has definitely felt pressures and a variety of emotions over the last few weeks. It is great to be surrounded by such a supportive team on this project, and even find time to have some fun! A bit of a different sprint note this week. (Don’t worry updates are still here!)
What have we learnt from working remotely?
Building, and sustaining, a team can be difficult when things go belly up. Most of the team were extremely used to working in offices; with people. Testing new things, workshopping ideas and collaborating on code and design. It has taken some adjusting too!
We have learnt a few things ….:
- Make sure you have easy communication channels to ask any questions or share progress
- User Research is a whole new beast, especially when a service faces increased demand during a pandemic
- Ways of working it’s easy to change if you are open to it
- ‘Fun’ can bring the team closer together
We are sure there are so many more we can list – and perhaps we will start going through them in our Sprint Notes moving forward; but first, fun!
What kind of fun are we having?
Not engaging in social interactions or activities can really take its toll. This applies in delivery teams as well. How can you work with someone you never really talk to? How do you get to know people over just meetings?
Forced fun, obviously.
A few weeks ago we forced the team to have some fun through a ‘Team Challenge’, bringing the competition back into the mix. Involving a drawing competition, a completely ridiculous scavenger hunt, an excel masterpiece and a tie-breaker maze. As you can from the pictures, the team got pretty competitive. It was great to get to know people at a more social level, and continue to build those connections needed to deliver amazing work.
Of course, working remotely also means you can just wander over to someone and ask them random questions or spark off general thoughts. Interestingly… Developers and Designers don’t really get each other sometimes. Who knew?! A lot of questions and, maybe, misunderstanding occurred when we all jumped to working remotely.
Running a ‘Lean Coffee’ can really help here. Why not just bring everyone together, get them to post their questions and then take turns as a group to discuss them for 3 – 5 minutes. Allowing everyone to learn at the same time from each other. These quick 30 minute sessions has allowed the team to understand what everyone does, and how they are currently doing it. Easy!
Now… onto the main event!
As you know we are working on building a bigger picture of the resident’s situation when they contact any part of the service.
Last time we showed you some prototypes we are testing with the service. We learnt a lot about the best way to visualise the information, and we are now feeding this into a platform that the service uses every day. Bringing together our knowledge bank of resources and next steps to deliver the best outcomes for residents.
Although we have it ‘designed’ we now have to go build it and make sure it all works. So, what’s next?
- Test the tool with staff: Does surfacing vulnerability and assets in Single View add value for staff and residents?
- Build ‘suggested next steps’ based on vulnerabilities / assets
- …and link the tool to the guidance for having quality conversations, and knowledge bank
Going to be a very exciting two weeks!
What is an Evidence Store? If you are a follower of the Sprint Notes… you may remember something called the ‘Doc Upload’ Tool. That’s right, we have renamed it and are starting to build a much larger and more stable platform for residents and staff to use.
Introducing the Evidence Store…
- A simple, fast way for staff and customers to upload and manage evidence documents, improving efficiency and user experience.
- Once uploaded, staff will have the ability to easily manage the documents and attach to a resident’s case.
So, why are we now creating the evidence store?
- Currently evidence documents are stored in a number of different systems (UHW, Comino, Jigsaw) which leads to confusion about which documents are held for a customer.
- Documents are often duplicated across multiple systems to try and solve the discoverability issue but this leads to more work for officers.
- We believe that being able to store the documents in one place and to add and view them via Single View will mean that there is less duplication and that documents are easier to find.
- We believe we will be able to prevent officers asking customers for documents we already have.
Naturally, we needed to start the work off with a discovery into the technology – making sure it is feasible that we can even do it!
What is the plan then? Well…
- Go and build the reusable evidence store API!
- Integrate it with the existing “customer document uploads” project
- Add integration to Single View to improve the document upload experience for officers
- Test and see if it adds value, then explore other places where it makes sense to integrate
Keep your eyes on this one – it is going to be spicy.
In case you have forgotten: How might we design interactive web-based tools for residents to help themselves, to reduce demand and save staff time?
Well, over the last month we have run a number of workshops with staff (yes, all remote!). Working out where the gaps are in the self-service process and starting to imagine what tools may fill these. At the last Show & Share we got the service to vote on a number of ideas to help us prioritise what we should look at first.
The top 3 ideas:
- Self-service Plan: with steps, links and resources for finding a private rental property
- Automated SMS Reminders: to nudge residents along their self service journey
- One bank of resources: for all the useful tools, links and services to share
All these ideas though, have many parts to them. So we want to try out some prototypes that could form parts of them. Like calculating what you can afford and finding a private rented property.
Over the next sprint we will be testing these tools with staff. As well as testing designs with residents; working out what works for them. Looking forward to sharing back what we learn!
That’s all folks! Want to know more?
Here is the link to our most recent Show & Share Session 24/06/20.