Hackney Spacebank: weeknote, w/c 12th August

Meet the unicorn of omniscience – handsome isn’t he.

Three things you need to know about Spacebank this week:

1. The end of our discovery is looming

We are aiming to finish our discovery work on community halls by the end of August. There’s nothing a deadline to help us focus on what’s important vs. what’s nice to have. The trick is finding the sweet spot of knowing enough to make a decision about what to do next, rather than chasing the unicorn of omniscience. 

2. Observation of community halls team

Our researchers Sam and Winston spent a few hours observing the community hall team this week. They shadowed colleagues who are responsible for one-off and repeat bookings. It was great to experience first hand how the team deals with enquiries and handle bookings. This extra detail really adds to our understanding about the process. Thanks to Coralie and her team for giving us their time and insight. 

3. Up next

We’ve got a feedback session next Tuesday with stakeholders. We’ll be sharing what we’ve learnt so far and what we’re planning to do next. Hearing what they think is really important to us – good or bad. Their feedback will help shape where we focus our efforts in the next couple of weeks.

We’ll be analysing all the data we’ve gathered from our interviews with the community halls team and existing bookers. We are looking for themes within and across both groups and using the information to build journey maps. We’re also organising interviews with colleagues who use community halls and “non-bookers”. 

Submit My Planning Application weeknotes – Week commencing 13/09/2019

Welcome to Submit My Planning Application weeknotes. 

For more general updates, continue to check our project site; showing all the great stuff we’re doing and key information about the project. Alongside the project site, also be sure to check out our blog post

KEY DATE: We will be having our final Show and Tell next week on Thursday the 22nd August, from 1 – 1:30 PM. We hope to see you there, please try your best effort to attend as it’s our final one!   


A big thank you to Peter N (the Applications team manager M3) for helping us understand the payment process more. 

What we did this week:

  • Testing the ‘Reset Password’ feature to ensure it works 
  • Testing the verification process when a user comes to use the service via the account creation email 
  • We’re identifying and fixing minor bugs as we go through the different processes within the service
  • We’ve completed the integration to Gov.UK Notify 
  • We have completed the copy and the testing for the ‘Confirm your Submit my Planning Application account’ email 
  • We are finalising the copy and setting up templates for 3 more emails 
  • Our notification emails now have a reply-to address 
  • We’ve now understood validation for disabled applicants is done by the Planning Team. No validation or process is required in the SMPA product, if payment process incomplete, it should be flagged as a disabled applicant 
  • We’ve fixed all payload generation issues, the information entered was sent back for users to review but we spent time on improving the formatting 
  • We did a hard reset in our database due to rogue data being submitted to the database, We had to recreate our accounts and submit applications again. We’ve added extra validation and better error handling to ensure this doesn’t happen going forwards
  • We’re working with the development team at Hackney to deploy the service onto Hackney infrastructure 

What’s next:

  • Hackney will manage data in accordance with their privacy policies – this is data from SMPA
  • Working with Sarah to approve Woopra  
  • There will be further testing to ensure no major bugs are present within our service 
  • Continuing with the General To Dos; Error 404s and any session timeouts – to ensure all functionalities of the service are working
  • Ensure front end bugs are addressed 
  • Test the ‘Payment receipt’ email 
  • Ensure that we’re complying with GDPR 
  • Carrying out Quality Assurance testing 

What are we keeping an eye on?

  • Integrating with Tascomi 
  • Address API which is due to go live on Monday the 19th of August 


  • None this week!

Thanks for reading!

Planning Applications Team

(AKA Emma H, Andy B, Andy E, Ana, Mathew T, Nic and Hidayat).

Manage a Tenancy : Weeknotes w/c 12th August 2019

Another week skipped – I was away in lovely Norway taking trains through the mountains and cruising through the fjords (taking photos like this) which was super relaxing.

Manage a Tenancy continues apace along multiple strands. We’re continuing to close a significant number of bugs in both existing and new code and our latest feature release should be ready to go very early next week.

At the same time I’ll be reviewing the detailed submissions for our piece of “replatforming” work (moving away from our experiment with a “low code” platform) on Monday. We should be meeting the shortlisted vendors very shortly after that then hopefully be starting the development work in early September.

As if that wasn’t enough we’re also also delighted to be working with the HackIT Service Design team to plan out our next round of new development. The scope for that should be defined by the end of next week and we can look forward to getting underway.

Have a great weekend all.

Manage Arrears weeknotes: w.c. 12/8/2019

This week has been a positive and productive week, for Manage Arrears. We have;

*Shortlisted Digitalmarket place bidders, and reviewed their proposals for Phase three. The outcome will be published shortly.

*+Trish Hadden shared some positive feedback relating to service charge arrears. Last month the team saw a huge reduction, approximately by 10%, in their arrears which is a result of their arrears letters being sent. Contributing factors from our project include;

  • The improved content redesign of the letters
  • The improved accuracy which comes from the bulk sending feature providing the ability to provide and send accurate and timely information.

*Many thanks to +Cate McLaurin for assisting with discussions around the Letter before action (LBA) and Ministry of Justice (MOJ) conversations. The Letter before action is a 14 paged letter sent to Lessee has part of the Service Charge escalation policy. We are investigating the possibility of an alternative solution to enclosing paper forms. Which will determine how these letters will be handled e.g. via Gov Notify.

*Also many thanks to +Carolina Gaspari for providing +Elaine Geeves and I with advice and guidance on UI and UX design. We learnt a lot. Particularly relating to simple tips about making use of lines and space and grouping text. We have since adjusted the layout of our wireframes to reflect the advice. Our Product owner was shown the example of these and he is in full support of us user testing these with his team next week.

Next week we will be:

  1. User testing case details layout designs with the Income Collection team
  2. Working to resolve the Hackney API/ Hackney action diary bug.
  3. Continuing to finalise LBA stories.