Improving the Repairs Hub 18th October Weeknotes

For those of you who don’t know, Hackney built a service which allows repairs call centre agents (RCC) to raise repairs. It’s called the repairs hub and it works in conjunction with the neighbourhood contact centre customer relationship management service (NCC CRM) and Universal Housing (UH) to raise repairs against particular properties.

The service has been live long enough now for us to have gathered good feedback on what works, what doesn’t and what would be really useful to have. That means it’s time for some iterative improvements! Luckily, we have a support agreement we can draw on with the wonderful Unboxed and some in house expertise who can help us out with this!

After reviewing feedback from agents, HotJar and by working with Lindsey (the product owner) and Barnes (the service expert), we were able to really clearly articulate and prioritise the improvements that would have the most impact and value for both staff and citizens. We also identified and prioritised features which warrant a more holistic assessment and so are progressing these outside of this round of improvements.

So, we’ve got priorities, we have colleagues ready and willing to work on the improvements so we got cracking!

This week we have been busy tackling (and making great progress with) the top two issues:

  • Connection issues
  • Missing SOR codes

Our intrepid developer, Bukky, has updated the SOR codes identified as missing and they have been added to the live service. We’ll be keeping a close eye out for feedback or any more missing codes.

He’s also been doing his best detective work to find and diagnose connection issues.

So far, it looks like we have some problems with a connection to a third party. This isn’t helped by the fact that we aren’t providing a useful error message to front end users meaning the true cause of the connection problem is being misrepresented. We will need to pick up with our colleagues at Unboxed as to how we can make this more informative for users (and us!) and also with app support to get to the bottom of the third party connection problem.

Our show & tell will be over in the Repairs Contact Centre on Friday 25th October at 12:00. It’s listed on the Open Events calendar so, do pop a long if you want to know more.

Submitting My Planning Application weeknotes – week commencing 02/09/2019

Welcome to the final Submit My Planning Application weeknotes.

This is the last weeknote for this project! We will be showcasing our service on The Third Thursday of PlanTech Week 2019. Our project site won’t be going anywhere so if you’re interested in what we’ve done and how we did it, do check it out.


We’d like to thank everyone who has been involved in this project with us. You’ve all greeted our efforts with open mindedness, constructive feedback and endless amount of advice and help. We could not be more grateful to anyone who’s ever asked a question, attended a show & tell or engaged with us in any way. If you’d like one last shot at getting involved, make sure you go along to The Third Thursday of PlanTech week 2019 where you will be able to see our service and ask any burning questions. We hope to see you there!

What we did this week:

  • Getting the final legal agreements sorted to use Woopra. We’ve very nearly there with just one query remaining on the data processing agreement before we get the green light
  • Successfully converted our GOV.UK Pay account into the live version so we’re all ready to take our first payment
  • Finalising the privacy agreement for the service which will be updated to correctly reflect what the service collects and processes and why
  • Mopping up the last few bugs on the front end
  • Made fantastic progress deploying the back end onto Hackney infrastructure. We’ve got one bug left to tackle
  • Set up our chosen address which our service will be accessed via

What’s next:

  • Clear the last few bugs on the front and back end
  • Get the new privacy policy updated to
  • Security test the service
  • Close the project
  • Showcase at PlanTech Week 2019

What are we keeping an eye on?

We’ll still be keeping a close eye on progress with Tascomi to make sure that our service is connected to theirs as soon as possible.

One last time, thanks for reading!

Planning Applications Team

(AKA Emma H, Andy B, Andy E, Ana, Mathew T, Nic and Hidayat).

Submit my Planning Application Week notes 23rd August

Welcome to Submit My Planning Application weeknotes. 

For more general updates, continue to check our project site; showing all the great stuff we’re doing and key information about the project. Alongside the project site, also be sure to check out our blog post. 


Thank you to everyone who came to our final show and tell! Special thanks to Chris MacNamara from Wigan who patiently waited out our technical issues.

What we did this week:

  • Delivered our final show and tell 🙁
  • A full QA run was completed; We’re confident we’ve caught as many bugs as possible
  • Continued fixing bugs we already knew about and investigating new ones
  • Updated the copy for all transactional emails and get it all working in Gov.UK Notify
  • Tried to deploy onto Hackney’s infrastructure but were not successful
  • Integrated against the new live version of the Addresses API
  • We met with Sarah and Tom from the Information Management team to discuss GDPR compliance; we’re not a long way from being compliant but there are a few tasks:
    • Update the existing Planning Privacy Notice to include info re Analytics
    • Ensure links are in the correct place linking to the Privacy Notice
    • Do we have a Data Processing Schedule to save data in Amazon RDS?
    • We need a Processor Agreement (DPA) to be signed by Woopra to be compliant with Article 28.

What’s next:

  • Waiting for the right person from Hackney to return from holiday to finish deploying to our infrastructure
  • A full copy review to correct the last few typos and bits of jargon
  • Planning our launch at PlanTech week (19th September 2019)
  • Mopping up the final bugs we’ve found during our QA run
  • Finishing up work to secure the login process prior to our full security test (scheduled for 11th September)
  • Update Planning Privacy Notice
  • Contact Woopra to request signed DPA
  • Contact other teams to see if we have a contract with AWS for them to act as a data processor for Hackney.

 What are we keeping an eye on?

  • Integrating with Tascomi 


  • None this week!

Thanks for reading!

Planning Applications Team

(AKA Emma H, Andy B, Andy E, Ana, Mathew T, Nic and Hidayat).

API Factory – Final Week notes 23rd August 2019

In this final edition of the API Factory week notes we have EXCELLENT news and also sad new.

Let’s start with the EXCELLENT:
The Addresses API is fully, completely and totally LIVE! We cannot say a big enough thank you to the data and insight team in collaborations with Marta, Anna, Steve and Tom too who helped with UAT. Getting the API live has been the definition of a team effort. Well done all! It makes us have this happy face

And now the sad:
This is the end of the API Factory project. It has been wrapped up as we’ve got as far as we practically can with the current team set up. It’s been a fantastic project which has pushed many boundaries, surfaced important questions and innovated at the bleeding edge of technology. It’s now time to take a step back from the Factory and have a broader look at what we’ve done, how that fits into the bigger department and the best way to keep moving forward.

The Google site for the project will remain in place so if you ever want to go down memory lane, it’ll be there.

This is goodbye. So long and thanks for all the fish!

API Factory Weeknotes – 9th August

Welcome to the penultimate weeknotes of the API Factory. Written weeknotes are a change to our regular scheduling but, it’s never too late to try a new thing, right?

We’ve been very busy bees over the last week attacking the task of getting the Addresses API into production on 12th August. This has involved Sandrine doing a lot of testing and raising some bugs. Liudvikas, Bukky and Matthew fixing the bugs with gusto and handing them back to Sandrine to test. We are 80% there and feeling optimistic about what’s left as it’s tasks like renaming things which, typically, aren’t too back breaking.

On the flip side of the coin we have been looking at how we control access to our APIs in a secure way that doesn’t cause massive admin overheads. I know it feels like we’ve been saying this for weeks and weeks but that’s because we have. Cloud infrastructure is a *really* complicated thing to get your head around and make choices about when you are learning everything as you go.

We have to give huge thanks to our colleagues from the infrastructure department of ICT who have given us as much time and expertise as they possibly can on the subject and also to our friends at AWS who have now run 3 workshops for us to help us get our heads around everything. We think we have a plan for the now and some great knowledge to share with our friends in infrastructure about what the tools AWS have can do and how Hackney might benefit from those in the long run.

Selwyn has been working hard to implement our plan for ‘now’ but, as with all new things, it’s been taking more time and faffing (he had to create a whole new AWS account because we didn’t want to risk breaking production services) than we would have liked but he’s made stunning progress. We’re still hopeful that a production Addresses API than can be controlled on a per API, per environment level is totally within our grasp.

And on that bombshell, I leave you in suspense and eagerly awaiting the final episode of ‘The API Factory’. A drama that has given us, highs, lows, twists turns and many good times. Here’s to the last week of the project and our most collaborative delivery yet.