Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes w/c 23 April

Five things you need to know about Spacebank this week:

Sprint 3 is under way

We started the week with sprint planning. Our goal:

“Defining our measures for success, drilling down into what happens at the end of the library booking process, and sharing our progress with stakeholders via a show and tell.”

Paying for and accessing a library meeting room is the final piece of the puzzle in our user journey. This involves librarians, security staff, finance officers and the end user. To find out more, Winston has been out and about in the borough’s libraries armed with his trusty discussion guide, consent forms and a winning smile.

Mining the data

Joy, our service designer has been mining the data about library bookings. This is hard graft; I am suitably in awe of Joy’s eye for detail and rapid analysis. She’s been trawling through emails for information that will help us to understand:

  • Where we can co-design improvements which will smooth out the booking experience for users
  • What we can measure to determine whether or not we are making a positive difference

Preparing for show and tell

Seeking a bit of inspiration, we prepared for our show and tell by playing the anti-problem game. Planning for “the world’s worst show and tell” was a lot of fun, but importantly it helped us think differently about how we could communicate clearly and creatively. In particular, we are thinking about how to engage attendees more effectively so we get quality feedback on our progress.

Front end developer – unblocked!

I have written about recruitment challenges in previous weeknotes. I’m delighted to say that Sebastian will be joining the team on Monday. Getting this recruitment over the line has been a joint effort with Susan McFarland and Nic Teeman. A problem shared is a problem halved as the saying goes!

Testing, testing, testing

We are over half way into our prototyping phase. We’re getting ready for some rapid testing and iteration in sprints 4 and 5. Central to these early conversations is challenging ourselves to ask the right questions. These tests will put our assumptions under close scrutiny. What we learn over the next couple of sprints will be the foundation of our MVP.

Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes w/b 15th April

As it is a short week, here’s three things you need to know about Spacebank

Putting aside niggling doubts
When someone wants to do “a thing” and needs somewhere to do it, what’s their first step? We did a Twitter poll this week to find out the answer as well as some guerilla research at Hackney Central Library.

We found that that the vast majority of people turn to Google as a starting point. A significantly smaller minority of people would ask a contact or visit the Council website. This nugget of information will shape how we construct our user journey.

Shifting our focus
In this phase of the project we are looking at how people access and book space at libraries. We’ve found out that of our three user groups it is voluntary and community organisations who are most likely to book library rooms for meetings or training.

Why is this important? Up until now we’ve been focused on a different set of users – resident groups. Despite some excellent contacts from colleagues and ruthless detective work from Sam Whitlock and Winston Mullings this group is very difficult to reach. Combined with the new information about library bookings and a review of our Discovery findings we’ve decided to shift our focus onto voluntary and community organisations.

This is a larger, more accessible, group with almost identical needs and pain points to resident groups. The key difference is that residents groups experience the difficulties more acutely because of a lack of time and resources. Our assumption is that if we improve access to library space for groups who use space now, we add value to a larger number of users quickly and we could help a brand new audience (resident groups) access library space in future.

Having more conversations
This sprint has shown us again the value of having good quality conversations early and frequently. It can be hard to challenge the ideas of others and to be open to other ways of seeing things. The team has handled this with honesty, good humour and integrity. We’ve agreed steps to make sure this keeps happening in a positive way. We’re changing the way we organise sprint refinement (a planning exercise) and how we use Trello cards (a way of tracking the granular work we do each sprint).