Manage a Tenancy Hub replatforming : Week notes 7/8/20

The team is continuing to make steady progress through our backlog. It’s a real gift to be working with a high-performing group of people slotted together so quickly.

We’ve sorted out the agreement between HackIT and MadeTech that the team will continue to work together until the end of September which has taken a lot of pressure off the project.

Getting off OutSystems also relies on the completion of the Manage a Tenancy process replatforming work and the second part of the My Rent Account replatforming work so we’ll need to keep an eye on what’s happening there.

Lots more conversations are taking place about other teams in the council who would like access to Single View – including the new “tenancy overview” that we’re building as part of this project.

One of the main things we still need to bottom out is how integrated we want Manage a Tenancy (and other future HackIT services) to be with Single View so we’ll be doing another round of mock-up based user research on that next week and discussing the outputs with the Product Owner and Relationship Manager for that product.

We’ve got some team changes coming up with Stu likely moving off now that the technical architecture work is mostly complete in favour of another more hands-on experienced developer. This should help us deliver more quickly – which is great given our hard September deadline.

We’re looking forward to our show and tell next week and again we’ll publish the video here.

Manage a Tenancy Hub replatforming : Week notes 31/7/20

It was show and tell time again this week.

We had a few folks away on things like other projects and recruiting this week so we progressed a little slower than planned – but we got so much done in the previous week that we still completed all our tickets by the end of the sprint!

We completed our work related to setting up the newly replatformed product to work with Google Authentication to give our users access. We also implemented browser-based automated testing so we can now quickly and easily write tests that simulate how a user would interact with the system. These are automatically run whenever we submit new code into our repository which means we can always be sure that anything new we do doesn’t break the work we’ve done previously.

We held our retro this week – the two stand-out issue were:

  • Understanding the relationship between Housing Officers and work items – do staff need to be strongly associated to a “patch” (an area of the borough) or should everyone be able to access everything (e.g. to cover for people who are off sick)?
  • How the new Manage a Tenancy replatformed product is going to fit in with our Single View product. Single view pulls in data from a number of Hackney’s legacy systems and makes it available in one place to give appropriate staff a much more holistic view of a resident’s situation before speaking to them. We had a good discussion between the two teams based on some great design work from Gill so we have a good way forward and will continue to iterate on this with feedback from all Single View users.

We still have some concerns about the amount of work left and the amount of time we have before we would need to renew the licenses for OutSystems so we’ll continue to keep a close eye on that.

All-in-all it’s been a great second sprint and we’re well planned for the next one and keen to crack on!

Manage a Tenancy Hub replatforming : Week notes 24/7/20

The team went above and beyond this week by finishing most of the work we’d scheduled for this sprint by the time we had our mid-sprint check-in.

Our major achievement has been enabling Area Housing Managers and Housing Officers to access Single View. Single View is a relatively new service in Hackney originally created in conjunction with FutureGov and MadeTech to enable council officers to see information help in a wide variety of existing services in one place. This makes it significantly easier for people to have a holistic view of the full situation of the residents that they are working with. We had a full review of the data currently presented by the system to confirm that AHMs and HOs should have access to it. We’re planning to put a system in place to give fine-grained control over that in the future if we, for example, are social services data that should only be seen by some council staff.

The delivery of the new work-tray functionality continues well and should be wired up to our data APIs soon. We’re looking forward to showing off the development work done so far, as well as the great design work being created to enable us to know exactly what we need to turn into code.

We’ve had a fairly ruthless comb of the backlog and factored out a lot of things that don’t need to be in the MVP to enable us to move off OutSystems. These items, along with some already great responses to having access to Single View, will be added into the appropriate roadmaps for future work.

There are some concerns about the amount of work left to do in the project given out time available, especially given a number of team members needing to spend time on other things. We’ll be digging into that more on Monday.

Overall it’s been very impressive how quickly the multidisciplinary team has come together to deliver real value. It’s a real testament to a number of things HackIT has gone over the last 18 months including work on or digital infrastructure and deployment pipelines, our front-end component library and our design library.

Next week will be the next show and tell (which we’ll add to the next week notes), our retro for this sprint and planning for the next one. We’re looking forward to it.

Manage a Tenancy Hub replatforming : Week notes 17/7/20

The team continue to do lots of great work this week. The best way to find out the details is to watch the video of our first show and tell below.

In addition to the topics covered in the show and tell we also did the following.

  • Planned our end-to-end testing (a subject for a future week-note)
  • Did a technical spike into how we’ll restructure our data
  • Continued to work with Hackney’s digital reports team to make sure that when we replatform our data they still have access to everything they need

The team is cracking on with the development sprint with work lined up to add Housing team members to Single View and much else besides. In addition to that we’re focusing on the following.

  • Getting the contract signed off
  • Finalising decisions about how some of the items we deal with (Housing processes, post-visit assigned tasks, etc) are related to others (individual staff members vs. “patch” areas of the borough, etc)

Before we wrap up I’d like to encourage you to also watch the latest video from the council’s Benefits and Housing Needs team about the work they’ve been doing to transform their ways of working. The “tubemap thinking” and variety of supporting software tools that are being put in place bring an opportunity to significantly help not just their team or even the wider council but, we hope, broadly across the local government sector.

Manage a Tenancy Hub replatforming : Week notes 10/7/20

This week has been about laying the foundations for the rest of the project. It’s been very impressive how quickly we’re not only getting the technical side of the work going but also discovering and digging into some of the knotty underlying problems and having some great discussions about them.

We’re again done a huge number of things this week but here’s some of the highlights.

  • Done 90% of the work to add our Housing Officers and Area Housing Managers to the current version of Single View
  • Delivered the skeleton versions of our new API and user interface into production
  • Updated our planned user journeys and design mock-ups and received feedback from our user group
  • Had a great conversation about defining our technical ways of working (branching strategy, etc)
  • Updated the Single View and Manage a Tenancy roadmaps
  • Kicked off the discussion about how our data will be structured – this may impact both the design or HackIT’s platform APIs and potentially some of the ways our Housing colleagues think about how they work. See gnarly problems above!
  • Held our mid-sprint check-in to make sure we were on track – during this we discovered we might be able to pull more work into this sprint

Next week we’re going to do the following.

  • Get the HOs and AHMs onto Single View
  • Raise the purchase order for this work
  • Speak to the Qlik team to ensure we continue to supply them with the stats information they need
  • Discuss how we’re going to do end-to-end testing
  • Have our first team retro second Agile planning session

Our first show and tell will be on 15/7/20 – we’ll include the video in the next week notes.