Hackney Re-Platforming Weeknotes Week ending: 2019-11-15

Weeknotes are a way for us to keep people informed about progress on the project. Given the technical nature of the re-platforming work we will use them to explain technical choices that we are making, including the benefit and impact of these choices. 

Project goals

  • Enable housing officers to use MaT offline when there are mobile coverage blackspots
  • Enable Hackney to decommission OutSystems, saving £80,000 per year
  • Enable Hackney to support, develop and deploy future improvements to MaT more quickly, at lower cost

Sprint goals:

The goals for Sprint 2 are to:

  1. Finish putting everything in place to deploy code we’re working on. We’ll do this by setting up the cloud infrastructure and updating the pipeline. 
  2. Be able to demo how Tenancy and Household Check will work offline in a browser. We’ll do this by:
  • Rebuilding some of the process steps in React
  • Putting in place a simple API layer to demonstrate that we’re getting data out at the right points

Good things

User research and design. Gill continues to do sterling work with the Housing Officers and Area Housing Managers both for getting continuous feedback about the page designs for the replatforming work but also in relation to potentially raising issue tickets on the current system. 

Backend work is in a good place. The infrastructure and CI pipelines are nearly complete in AWS. We’re in a good place regarding our API design and implementation. 

Clear sprint goals that we achieved. We’re doing well burning down our work tickets. It might be a bit tight between now and the end of the sprint but we’re confident we can get everything done.

Learned things

We need to undertake a full Privacy Impact Assessment. David spoke to Katharine this week and she indicated that, given the level of changes in the service since the last PIA, we need to do a new one. David’s filled out an initial draft and sent it around the team for review. 

Setting up infrastructure and CI pipelines is tricky. We’re definitely getting there and it should be finished this sprint but it’s been a learning journey. What we’ve learned will definitely help other projects doing the same thing in future.

Emma L.s time is at a premium. Emma’s input on the front-end development for the replatforming work is vital but she’s spread across many other projects so it’s important that we manage our time with her well.

Flexibility with incoming issues on the existing system. We need to be able to cope with high priority defects in the existing system as well as the new feature development work.

Creating a system from feature end-to-end (front-end) testing is hard. We have some idea of how we’re going to do this but need to get it finalised and agreed with Emma and Rashmi before we start implementing it next sprint (and ideally turning it into a new HackIT standard).


Knowledge transfer (especially for the front-end work). One of our project goals is to enable Hackney to support, develop and deploy future improvements more quickly.  We’re actively planning how to mitigate this. We have a number of ideas we’ll be discussing next week.

Helping the team focus. We’ve had a walk around the HSC and found some quiet spaces on other floors that the team can use when they need some focused time. 

Managing scope and workload for the team. This is still an issue. We’re still flat-out Monday to Thursday delivering the features for the replatforming work but at the same time we’re receiving high priority issues in the existing system that need to be addressed. These are still interrupting allocated feature developer time rather than coming in via Planning. This is something we need to discuss again in our next retro.

Involving the rest of Hackney.  We’re going to send the invites to the next show and tell invites out on Monday. We’re hoping that by being in Queensbridge more Housing Officers and Area Housing Managers will attend. We’re also going to ensure that the video of the show and tell is of a much higher quality.


  • Thanks to Matt for helping us with Terraform
  • Thanks to Emma L. for continuing to help us with the HackIT front-end component library
  • A huge thank you to Shweta for everything she’s done on Manage a Tenancy over a long period of time. You’ll be very much missed!
  • Thanks to everyone else who worked on the project this week – Chris, David, F, Gill, Liudvikas, Lorraine, Mirela, Richard and Shweta  

What’s next

Next week we will be:

  • Wrapping up the current sprint
  • Having our first demonstraightable product!
  • Starting to test offline working
  • Continue adding components to the React component library
  • Complete the Terraform and CircleCI work needed to push both front-end and back-end components into production
  • Staring to put our front-end testing strategy in place
  • Doing our second show and tell – this time at Queensbridge

The following people will be working on the project next week:

  • Chris
  • David 
  • F
  • Gill
  • Liudvikas
  • Mirela
  • Richard
  • Lorraine : only Monday, then on holiday
  • Shweta : only Monday then leaving HackIT 🙁
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