Verification Hub: Weeknotes 15/05/19

We’ve been working this week on the spec for the development required from Farthest Gate to bring the Verification Hub in to the parking permit verification process in Liberator. In the first instance, it’ll be (after testing in the test environment) put in front of the existing verification steps including the current Citizen Index. This means we can watch how the VH performs and tweak our matching rules without creating any unnecessary extra effort for either residents or parking staff. We’re still not sure when Farthest Gate will be able to prioritise the work so we may have to consider pausing the project until we get the work scheduled in.

Matthew Keyworth and Tom Clark have managed to successfully connect and authenticate the API to the new ClearCore 5 web service but are still working through the search, possibly because some field names have changed between version 4 and 5.

Steve Farr continues to work to automate and clean up Housing Benefits and housing tenant data to bring it into the VH hub. Our testing has shown we’re already hitting around 57% verification based on Council Tax alone and we’re confident that the inclusion of these data sets will push that up considerably.

Creating a Job Description Register – weeknotes

Good afternoon all,

We ran two User Journey mapping sessions:

HR Business Partners: We created a persona ”Gloria” who is a HR Business Partner,  wants all the documents to be available for review and fairly evaluate the Job Description to grade it.  We created a User Journey Map of the Job evaluation process. There are 4 main steps within this process: ‘Receipt of Job Description and Questionnaire’, ‘Review the documents’, ‘Evaluating the Job Description’ and ‘Implementing the decision’. We captured what each Business Partner was doing, thinking and saying/feeling.

Business Managers: We created a persona ”Mohammad Hussain” who is a Business Manager, wants to easily create a Job Description with guidance given by the HR Business Partners, so that he can get the grade for the Job Description. They want to make sure that the finalised version is stored into an agreed location. There are 5 steps within the process of creating a Job Description: ‘Identifying the need’, ‘Scoping out the role’, ‘Creating a Job Description’, ‘Job Evaluation process’ and ‘Finalising the Job Description’.

From the sessions’ outcomes, we came up with the User Needs (as below). We presented them to the Business Managers and HR Business Partners and ran User Needs Prioritisation Workshop. The prioritised User Needs are highlighted in ‘Yellow’.

Business Managers User Needs:

‘Having building support’  

‘Gathering a business case’

’Managing my time’

‘Getting Sign off’

‘Create a role that’s fit for purpose’

‘Support from others’

‘Process’

‘Consistency in JD Storage’

‘Finding out the result of Job Evaluation’

‘Job Evaluation’

‘Organisation Structure’

‘Job Families’

‘Where do I find the Job Description template’

HR Business Partners User Needs:

‘Understanding context’

‘Understanding the actual changes being proposed’

‘Process’

‘Resources’

‘Managing expectations (the outprocess)’

‘Do I have enough info/is there sufficient info to progress?’

‘Transparency in outcome’

Where is the current JD?

‘Understanding the actual changes being proposed’

‘Managing my time’

‘Ensuring fairness’

‘Have a clear Job Evaluation Process’

‘Scoring methods’

‘Organisation structure’

‘Questionnaire’

‘Storing, versioning and linking Job Description with Job Evaluation’

‘Communicating the outcome of Job Evaluation’

Next week, we will let you know about how we have created User Stories based on these prioritised User Needs. We will also discuss how we used MoSCoW to prioritise the User Stories. Thank you for reading.

Weeknotes: Manage Arrears w.c. 6/5/2019

Following last week’s launch of Manage Arrears new ‘Bulk sending’ feature. This week we fixed two snags highlighted by the Leasehold Services Team.

These included;

  1. Adding Page Breaks to the letters
  2. Recording Gov Notify status’ on each letter saved in the Manage Arrears system

The ‘Bulk sending’ tool is available for the Leasehold Services to send their letter 1 and letter 2 service charge arrears letters. The tool is very easy to use and my team have made themselves available to support the on-boarded users.

Next week, we will be working on the Manage Arrears backlog and holding a workshop with the Income Collection team leads to gain an insight into how they want their cases to be ordered in their work trays.

Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes, w/c 8th May 2019


We started our week with sprint planning. Our goal for sprint 4 is:

“Testing our early prototype with users, pulling together initial recommendations on our tech stack, completing accessibility testing on our three experiments and taking our first look at the service assessment.”

We hit the ground running this sprint. We completed two days of testing by the end of the week. Joy put in some serious leg work to get our prototype test ready and Richard and Sam whipped up a discussion guide. We’ve learnt a lot from these first two rounds and we’ve got two more days of testing next week.

Sebastian is putting our early experiments through some accessibility testing. We want to have an idea of where we might run into accessibility issues and start thinking about how to address these as early as possible.

Liam is kicking off our tech review. He’s been gathering up background material and talking to other project teams. Last, but never least, Winston’s been doing battle (and winning) with the research findings from interviews with library staff and security officers.

From a delivery perspective, a late Easter break and two May bank holidays in close succession is putting a squeeze on our time and capacity. That said, we’ve all benefited from some extra rest and it’s prompted some good conversations about how to prioritise work.

Re-engineering Hackney Content: Weeknotes w.c. 06/05/19

This week’s big story has been our pivot from Contentful. There’s a HackIT blog post where you can learn the details but the take-home is that we don’t believe the software is yet ready for a large, content-heavy site such as ours just yet.

Myself and our tech lead, Mo, laboured over WordPress versus Contentful back when he first started at Hackney. And, although it’s ultimately proved a detour, we’re not sorry to have made our journey into unexplored territory. The switch to WordPress API has created a small technical debt but we’ve been able to repay it within a week as WordPress has so much capability out-the-box.

Making this decision was not easy but, now it’s done, it feels like a great weight has been lifted off the team’s shoulders. And velocity is now really getting somewhere.

In other news, we held a metrics workshop with our Head of Digital and the Relationship Managers, as reps of the services. You could really go large with metrics on this project so we’re taking a measured approach with a suite of standard metrics; plus a couple of specifics tailored to each service’s needs. We’re meeting up with Libraries, Archives and Culture this week to discuss their requirements.

The standard metrics will gather data including mobile usage, customer satisfaction and page readability. We’ll likely need to add to our research toolbox with HotJar, Site Improve and Readable to test our hypotheses.

Our designer, Carolina, ran a navigation workshop on Friday with some of our design apprentices. We’re looking forward to sharing our progress on this with you next week after our show and tell.