Making Hackney works, Works

Hackney Works Digital Service Week notes W/e 29/05

It’s been an interesting few months as we now ease up on lockdown I can’t help but reflect over the period and have a strong sense of gratefulness. Like for so many of us, this period has allowed me to reflect and find newfound gratitude for some of the more important things in life such as good health, family, friends and my job.

As part of the panel reviewing the bids for contractors for the new Hackney Works website improvement project, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to be a part of the “whole” conversation from conception right through to delivery and all the sticking points in between; thereby removing the ambiguity which a DM typically experiences at the beginning of a project. This has allowed for a
ready to go’ confident mood, shared not only by myself as a DM but also the service team I will be working closely with as well. Yet another reason to be grateful.

Background

Hackney Works is a free employment support service run by Hackney Council designed to supports people who live in Hackney residents to find employment. The proposal for this project is to further enrich the digital experience. 

This proposition was put out to the digital market place for which the team received some really good applicants from some of the UK’s leading public service digital transformation agencies. After reviewing the bids from the digital marketplace, Future Gov was our successful agency.

The primary objective of this project is to add more value to our service not just by helping our residents find employment but also providing a service that changes the conversation to thinking longer-term; helping more people into new and better employment opportunities (including apprenticeships, training, etc.). The process for development is very much a user-centric. We are hopeful that this approach will result in a good outcome for residents. 

There is also a need for the service to cater for those close to the labor market, with easy to use, self-service routes to support future opportunities, and those who want personalised support from an advisor. Expanding the service to include adult learning will maximize opportunities to reach and assist residents who want to improve skills and progress in their careers.

What we have achieved

Since the kick-off, the Hackney Works team have accomplished the following:

  • Induction for the Hackney Works team into the new Agile way of working
  • Defined the backlog for our project
  • The first draft of a proposed roadmap
  • Begun the work around the discovery of the user needs and requirements with our first Sprint goal being to establish the building blocks which we become our technical approach

What has been challenging

  • Our teams have expressed their excitement about our new project however because Agile is a new way of working for most of the teams involved they all have concerns around the challenges this may present. 
  • Understanding all of the user needs and excepting that managing different teams’ expectations will also come with its inherent challenges

Next steps

  • Finish the first draft of the project roadmap
  • Present our findings from the scheduled ‘Adult Learning’ workshop to the Adult Learning team
  • Align Future Gov dev team with HackIT dev team to begin to establish our technical approach
  • Begin the discovery steps for the overall project vision

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