Hackney Works – Putting the user first

Digital Service Weeknotes W/e 19/06

Growing up, one of my favorite shows on TV was “Fraiser”. Most likely because I shared the same dry humor as the lead character played by Kelsey Grammer. He was the show’s creator, which he formed after coming away from a successful stint with the character of ‘Fraiser Crane’ in the hit sitcom ‘Cheers’.

The show was about the life of a Boston based celebrity talk show psychologist and his struggles with middle-age life. Fraiser’s famous catchphrase on the show was… “I’m doctor Fraiser Crane, I’m listening”.

DR Frasier Crane as seen on the hit comedy sitcom Fraiser

The concept of listening and understanding a problem in order to fix it is a concept that is logical yet overlooked in project development and is one of the main reasons why most projects fail after completion. The Hackney Works project has made it clear this week that they will not fall victim to this ill fate.

What we have achieved

This Sprint our team has really put into practice the HackIT Agile value,
‘Service people prefer’  via user-centric design. We adopted this approach within the project successfully by recruiting a member from our Adult learning team to join our team for the duration of the Sprint:

  • User-centric design| We are really using this Sprint to prove our commitment to a user-centric design approach. The best way we feel we can achieve this would be by bringing a member of the external team which we will be digitalising their current service to come on board to fulfil an almost micro product owner role for the duration of the Sprint. Leaning on their specialist knowledge and expertise will help reduce the potential to miss any of the micro details and potential pitfalls that might have typically been overlooked if such a role never previously existed.
  • Onboarding our other teams| As I have eluded to in previous week notes this project will touch on other services and teams within the Hackney works echo system. This initial meeting’s main focus will be to benchmark and formally announce our vision goals and objectives for our project to all the team leads. As we want to ensure we have an open discourse throughout the project lifecycle meetings like this are important to encourage two-way conversions between the teams working on the project and the teams on the ground.
  • Roadmap with a clearer picture| We managed to agree on the roadmap which highlights some of the key stakeholder engagement points throughout the lifecycle of our project as well as some of the milestones we hope to achieve during our project rollout.

What has been challenging

  • This week has been very much a tech-based challenge as we are finding the deployment of our current build into a Hackney ICT staging environment rather challenging due to some configuration issues. 

Next steps

  • Demo CMS current development to the Adult Learning team
  • Show & Tell
  • Begin to include other teams in our digital improvement conversations
  • Present our findings from the ‘Adult Learning’ workshop to the Adult Learning team
  • Fix current migration issues so we can enable continues deployment 


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