Benefits & Housing Needs Service Redesign Project – Sprint Notes 8: Reflect, Sync, Go!

After an incredible Show & Share with over 100 people, and a number of stories being shared, the team were very energised to get started and plan our next phase of work. As we have moved with pace over the last few weeks, it became apparent that we needed to take a breath and ensure we are laying sustainable foundations.

What we are going to deliver over the next 2 months
SMS Tool & Document Upload

The SMS tool continues to get some great feedback from the service, and numbers are ever increasing in the amount of texts being sent to residents. At this very moment the service is sending an average of; 180 texts per week. With 30% of residents engaging and replying to a message.

“I’m using it a lot and in light of what’s going on at the moment. [It] is a superb tool in getting documents from the claimants quicker” Benefits and Housing Needs Officer

As above, the tool is proving itself effective in checking in with residents and nudging them to complete actions and provide information quicker.

We have continued to test the Doc Upload Tool! The tool allows a resident to take a picture of the required evidence and share it with the service. Information uploaded by residents in testing has included Universal Credit documents and medical information. There have been more and more documents being uploaded, and we have learnt a lot about what needs to be in the next iteration.

“The uploader is a quicker way of accessing documents from our claimants… it would be great if there was some way to differentiate between which documents are for other officers” Benefits and Housing Needs Officer

Stay tuned as we start to implement some changes over the next two weeks to provide staff with a much improved experience. 

Shared Plan

The main focus of this sprint was to make sure the Shared Plan had a stable base to build off. During the last phase we were making very light prototypes so we could test and iterate rapidly. Now we have to lay the groundwork to make sure the Shared Plan meets privacy and data requirements, as well as making sure we have a proper process to squash bugs.

Therefore there was a lot of amazing work happening behind the scenes. Re-building the technology so the experience in the front is usable and polished. The team also started to turn the vision into a minimum viable version; prioritising the features that had to be there first and we hope to start testing the new design with staff over the coming week.

Understanding Vulnerability

If you remember a few sprint notes ago, we were talking about Understanding Vulnerability! If you have been wondering where those updates have gone… the team decided to pause the work to focus on iterating and scaling the SMS Tool and designing the Doc Upload tool due to the pressures of Covid-19. But we are happy to welcome the work back!

How does everything fit together? Just like this!

As a recap, we believe understanding a resident’s level of vulnerability at any contact will:

  • Stop things escalating
  • Understand what level of intervention is suitable
  • Free up time to work with those most in need

Over this next sprint we will be starting to take what we learnt before and designing the next version of our Understanding Vulnerability tool. We are very much looking forward to continuing this work and sharing it with you all.

Information and Evidence & Single View

As mentioned last time, we have now completed the work on the Information and Evidence and Single View tools. We just wanted to mention that the Information and Evidence tool can be found here. This tool is complemented with updated waiting times for those residents who are considering joining the register.

These two things together can support the Council to deliver consistent and accurate information to residents about their chances of getting a property through the housing register. They can use this information to set residents’ expectations; encourage residents to consider other options; and to self-source their own properties.

Big congratulations to the team for making this happen!

Want to know more?

Here is the link to our most recent Show & Share Session 13/05/2020.Keep following our notes and posts, and feel free to get in touch with Claire or Scott if you’d like to chat through any of the work.

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