OneCase – Implementing a Council Wide Casework Management System: 28th February 2020 Weeknote

Welcome back to the weeknotes for OneCase, Hackney Council’s new casework management system.

For those of you new to the project, the last weeknote we published was on the 7th February. As a bit of a recap, though, OneCase will be the software we use to manage all casework, freedom of information (FOI) and subject access requests (SARs) received to Hackney Council. This means every service in the Council needs to know how to and be able to use it. A big task!

We’ve had a name change, too! After a successful naming competition, the system will be called OneCase from now on.

Since you last heard from us, we have been performing our user acceptance testing (UAT) on the software. Colleagues from the Mayor & Cabinet office, parking, housing, housing needs, business analysis and complaints, children’s services, adult services, information management and building maintenance have all come together (physically as well as in spirit) to ensure that the system delivers what they need to do their job in an efficient and effective way. Thank you to colleagues in ICT who have afforded us some of their space so that we can sit as a team; It’s been an enormous help to have everyone co-located for the testing. I’m also delighted that some of the IT crowd were as excited about UAT as the testers! It made us all feel a little less stressed so, thank you.

All the preparation and planning we have done seems to have paid off. We’ve found 126 issues that we either need help with or that need system tweaks making in just 2 rounds of UAT. That is no minor achievement and the test team should be (and are!) very proud of themselves. We have 1 week of UAT left where our main focus will be verifying all the fixes, working out how to handle what can’t be fixed and double checking the more complex flows to make sure we didn’t miss anything.

We do have a couple of items which are of more concern that others and could derail us if we don’t keep a close eye. These are around saving changes to documents using Google Docs, saving changes to draft emails and uploading Google Docs. We’re hopeful that between us, Hackney and Civica can pool their knowledge to chase down the gremlins and get it fixed.

We’re working with integration experts too anticipation of environmental UAT when we can test single sign on (SSO), emails, data migration and our FOI submission form (provided by MySociety). Environmental UAT is due to start in the first week of March and run for 2 weeks

In the background, we have been planning for the roll out of the system across the Council. The approach we have decided to go for similar to that of the G-Suite roll out in Hackney. They used show & tells, user guides, floor walkers and team based experts to ensure staff had the support they needed to move over to working with Google tools.

We won’t have any formal, classroom style, training. We plan to have 16 ‘experts’ dotted throughout the Council to help within their own teams. We’ll also run show & tells on particular aspects of the system which we can record and put online afterwards for reference, produce user guides, hold ‘Ask us anything’ type sessions for any specific issues via hangouts and have floor walkers across the Council’s sites after launch who will be on hand to help in the first few weeks of go live.

As we need to cover the whole Council, we need to get this right so we’re working hard to make sure we have the right people doing the right things.

That’s all for this update. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any feedback!

Implementing a Council Wide Casework Management System – 7th February 2020 Weeknote

It’s the second month of a new year and the iCasework team can’t believe where the time has gone.

The past week has been about preparing for our user acceptance testing (UAT) if our iCasework system. It’s been a mammoth effort but 6 of our 8 most frequent service user groups have now had their preparation session and are feeling much more confident about what UAT is and what a good UAT looks like. We also had some pretty amazing LEGO creations along the way; This beach scene was particularly restful in a busy week

a LEGO beach scene

In the background, the team has been really busy providing information over to Civica in preparation for our UAT training and system set up. We’ve sent loads of templates, drop down selection options and clarifications of who will be managing cases when. We also provided our list of wards and, thanks to the wonderful GIS team at Hackney, we even managed to get the E-codes*

We also had our first integration call to start the ball rolling on getting iCasework to talk to our single sign on provider, calendar service, document storage and mySociety’s wonderful FOI form. Thanks to all those who made the time and came along to that. Here’s hoping it’s all as simple as we think it should be!

Next week we have our UAT training from Civica so that our testers will, hopefully, know iCasework inside out. We are also working on providing our user list, what teams they belong to and what role they will have in the system. Finally, we’re working on defining our classifications (which is how we define what a case is about) as they are all key parts of our testing.

*E-codes provide the geographic reference for a ward and was a thing we learned about this week

Implementing a Council Wide Casework Management System – 31st January 2020 Weeknote

The first month of the year has absolutely FLOWN by. From an iCasework perspective, it’s all been very busy. Personally, I have felt like I’ve been running to catch up most of the month!

Buster Keaton running after and catching a moving tram

Civica were with us for another day to wrap up the service workshops. The teams who will manage freedom of information (FOI) and subject access requests (SAR) were taken through the offer and let Civica know what needed to change to work for us and where.

Now that the service workshops are done, it’s full steam ahead with the functional user acceptance testing planning. We’ve made sure that the actions we took away from the workshops are all present and correct and started to dip our toes into preparing for UAT.

Our first hurdle was to agree a way to process Mayor’s Office enquiries through iCasework. It doesn’t support as many levels of approval as we need for services and the Mayor’s Office but, thanks to fantastic collaborations between Civica and Hackney, we’ve found something that we think should work. That is our crowning achievement of the past few weeks.

There’s lots of things we need to collate and provide to Civica to facilitate UAT so, like Father Christmas, we’ve made a list, checked it twice and prioritised it. I’m confident the team will get everything to Civica on time with the help of our colleagues in various services; The levels of dedication are very high!

We are still struggling with the ‘upfront’ nature of the preparation we need to do rather than the iterative that we’re used to but, we’re getting there. The prioritisation we’ve done on the long list of actions has helped and the team now feel better able to focus and attack in manageable chunks.

The UAT journey is going to be interesting for the the whole team as many service colleagues who will be partaking in testing have not tested software before (much less thought about testing in a structured ‘traditional’ software UAT). I am a big advocate of UAT and the value it can deliver and I like the way this BugWolf blog lays out the benefits (all be it from a commercial perspective).

To try and help with this, I’ve designed and am delivering a preparation session to any services interested on how to go about getting ready for UAT (separate blog to follow on this). I am sincerely hoping we can reap the reward of preparing well come 17th February when we start testing!

Stay tuned for updates on how it’s all going

Implementing a Council Wide Casework Management System – 10th January 2020 Weeknote

Welcome to the new decade! The Y2K bug is making a comeback so I’m going to keep the theme of this weeknote distinctly 00’s.

Now that's what I call 00's album cover

We were stoked* to have Civica with us for 2 days. They ran workshops for colleagues across the council who will use iCasework to manage enquiries and complaints. Civica had the unenviable task of finding ways to meet all service needs which were all slightly different. I’d like to thank the teams (Adults, Childrens, Housing, Housing Needs, Corporate complaints, Mayors office and App support) for being engaged throughout both days before they bounced*.

The workshops got us 80% of the way there, and Civica now have a long list of tweaks they need to make, but we still have a couple of large puzzle pieces to work out:

  1. Approvals

Because of the way responses to complaints and enquiries can be drafted by multiple services before being sent to the overall ‘owner’ of the enquiry, we need to be able to manage and track approvals at both individual service and overall case level. This is something iCasework doesn’t typically support but that Hackney really needs. Civica are busy looking into a bit of bling* so that we can do this.

2. Google Calendar Integration

iCasework has a calendar feature that lets you see the due dates of tasks and cases plotted on a calendar. We need this to work with Google Calendar so that our staff can see what’s due for what case without having to use the calendar feature inside iCasework. This is especially important for users who may not use iCasework as part of their day to day work but on a less frequent basis. Civica are going to work on getting this implemented for us. They seem pretty chillax* about it.

Hackney have a lot of work to do too. We have decisions to make and documentation to prepare for almost every case type; They’re keeping us on our toes.

Next week is our final workshop focusing on Freedom of Information (FOI) and Subject Access Requests (SARs). Hopefully, once this is complete, we’ll be able to start thinking about and planning UAT.

That’s all for this week! Peace out*!

* Hope you enjoyed the 00’s phrases

Implementing a Council Wide Casework Management System – 20th December 2019 Weeknote

It has been a very busy week.

First of all, congratulations to the team for managing to get the information Civica requested over to them exactly on time. Great effort to pull all that together from so many different services (Adulst Social Care, Childrens Social Care, Mayors Office, Corporate complaints and Information management and communication). Thank you for your dedication and here’s hoping the collaboration continues!

That’s right,. Just like an oiled machine!

We had our overview workshop on Wednesday where three of the team from Civica joined us at Hackney to whistle stop through iCasework. The workshop was incredibly helpful (we appreciate the patience and focus the team had with us). We were left utterly drained; It was a lot of information all in one go.

We realised quite quickly in the workshop that we hadn’t really hit the nail on the head with our afore mentioned information prep. What we’d provided didn’t really fit in the structure of the software so we’ve got to revisit our business structure. That’s a strong learning point for us, and our partners, that just a short demo prior to preparing the documentation would have resulted in a much better quality specification from us and therefore less questions and rework for them. We’ll be making sure that we take this forward and learn from it through the rest of the project.

Up next is the Christmas break but…there’s still 2 business days before then! We have a clarifying call with Civica on Monday to get the idea of structure and classifications really embedded and then will be working our socks off to get our revised business structure, outstanding decisions and assests over to Civica by 6th January.

After Christmas, we hit the ground running with for our first service specific workshop on 8th January! Don’t expect another weeknote before Christmas but keep your eyes peeled in the new year.

The team wishes you all an incredibly Happy Christmas break and a brilliant New Year!

The tree is iCasework and the cats are the team 😀