Finding support services near you: weeknotes 08/03/20

As we’ve previously mentioned, we’re running Finding support services near you under Agile principles. We recognise this may be a departure for some of you reading these weeknotes – though, if you’re reading weeknotes, I hate to say it but you’ve already departed! Agile, at its heart, is about collaboration and our aim is to make our comms sufficiently engaging and transparent that you feel connected to the project and know that your opinions, questions and input are valued. Indeed, we actively want you to help us to make decisions together. 

You don’t have to wait for the weekly missive to find out what we’re up to. You can check in on progress whenever you want via our public Trello board. Extensive user research has given us a good handle on what this product of ours is going to look like and you’ll see in Trello that we are breaking its delivery into fortnightly sprints. Again, this is an Agile concept; its aim is to deliver value early and consistently so that we can adjust and iterate as we go. We love a big ribbon-cutting moment as much as the next Project Manager but we also know that the continual check-ins and corrections of Agile pay off. 

The tasks we’ve set ourselves are in the current ‘sprint’ column and the ‘backlog’ is a list of things we haven’t yet scheduled. You may notice that we write our tasks to include the what, who for and why. For example, ‘Display categories on the front-end so that users can browse to a relevant service’ is written as a user story that helps us stay focussed on what we are trying to achieve. We don’t want to blithely crack on with a task without thinking because therein lies the ‘busy but not productive’ mantra.

Enough of the Agile re-run, what have you been up to?

The Readers

We hear you. See, we are listening! 

We’re halfway through sprint 1. We’ve created our advice for organisations on how to write good About Us sections and this will be reviewed this week with a content expert. We’ve also devised our first attempt at a categorisation to help organisations describe what they do, who for and why. It’s their own user story, in a way. Both the About Us and categorisation will help website visitors find services and organisations that are relevant to them.  

Following extensive user research, we’ve finalised our step-by-step guide to the admin interface of MiDoS – our database software – so that organisations can add their listing to our website. We’ll add the verification process once it’s built. 

We’ve also had a peek at the out-the-box MiDoS front-end so that we can better understand how it’s put together. Although we’re building our own custom front-end for the website, we may use this out-the-box version for early testing. We’ve also started mocking up wireframes (think architect’s drawings) of the custom front-end and we’ll start user-testing with those in future sprints. It’s our intention to use the existing Hackney WordPress theme for the look and feel of the website.

The team has carried out desk research to clarify how easy WordPress, Wix, Meetup and Eventbrite are to use. This information will feed into our upskilling piece for organisations who need to develop an online presence from scratch. We’ll be pulling this together in the rest of the sprint. 

That’s all for now. Please fire off your questions or feedback to us and, remember, Trello is round-the-clock if it’s 3am and you just really want to know what we’re up to. Though I can tell you: sleeping. Now go and count some sheep.

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