Manage a Tenancy: Weeknotes w/c 28 May 2019

A short update this week. Hi – my name is David Durant, I’m the new Delivery Manager for Manage a Tenancy here at HackIT. I’m still getting up to speed with MaT (and everything else) but here’s my understanding of where we are.

The technical members of the team, alongside our partners Made Tech, continue to work hard to deploy the Initial Tenancy Visit service to the cloud. This is a good example of Hackney’s current complex mix of legacy technology which makes this job particularly difficult. All defects including in the MVP are now complete so hopefully we’ll get some extra assistance with the last of the AWS issues next week and be able to make this available to our users.

From next week we’ve moving on to the ETRA process for the Housing team. This is going involve a whole new way of working – developing the front-end in React and working via Behaviour / Test Driven Development. This is going to be a great opportunity for a number of team members to learn new skills. I’m looking forward to being able to show off how these methods improve our software development process.

Next week we have the Steering Group and our next show and tell. Hopefully there will also an opportunity to discuss stepping back to look across the whole of the tenancy management piece at Hackney and discussing what a holistic service / data / new technology based design might look like and how we might construct a longer term road map.

As an old boss of mine used to say, onwards! 🙂

Manage Arrears weeknotes: w.c. 27.5.2019

This week, two members of GDS’ Gov Notify team visited our office to test a prototype for a new feature they are considering introducing. Many thanks to the Income Collection team for releasing two officers to assist with testing the development. They really appreciated the feedback.

The Leasehold Services Team have also continued to use Manage Arrears this week.

The current stats to-date look like this:

1203 – Total number of letters attempted to be sent

1,113 – Successfully sent letters – confirmed by Gov Notify

49 – *Validation warning – Gov Notify were unable to send due to format

33 – *Validation warning – Correspondence Line 2 missing

7 – Validation warning – International address

7.4% -validation warnings (letters not sent)

*These are bugs we are working to fix

Our developers have now adjusted the letter templates to ensure all correspondence names and addresses fit within the address guidelines specified by Gov Notify. 49/1203 letters failed this validation due to some Leases consisting of multiple names which just touched the red boundary area.

Nick Prince is kindly helping us out by fixing the validation warning relating to line 2, by adding the missing line into UH.

Gov Notify does not currently handle international addresses, these are handled by the team manually. Nick is also going to provide the team with a separate report for these.

Once these fixes have been addressed the validation warnings will decrease.

It took approximately a day to run the team’s 6 patches. We are hoping that this will also decrease further, as we have since increased the memory and number of workers in the backend. This will enable Manage Arrears to load more and send larger batches of letters.

In preparation for the next arrears run in a couple of weeks, we plan to run a test batch to look at the volumes the system can run and to allow us time to pick up any potential errors ahead of the team’s target date, enabling them to run their batches with confidence.

This will enable Manage Arrears to load more and send larger batches of letters.

Next week: We plan to continue to refine and size our backlog and will start to shape a high-level roadmap. Which we will share and adjust with our Product Owner.

Creating a Job Description Register weeknotes – Week commencing 27th May

From the User Needs we came up with User Stories, capturing likely journeys that Users may take when interacting with the HR process. We came up with User stories for HR Business Partners.

We then had a workshop with HR Business Partners to prioritise the User Stories, using MoSCow. The prioritised User stories are highlighted in Yellow, see below:

Must have Should Have Could HaveWon’t Have
As a business partner
I want to make sure the scoring is accurate  
So that the grading of the role is correct  
As a Business Partner I want to make sure I understand the actual changes being proposed So that I can decide if the Job Evaluation is neededAs a Business Partner
I want easy access to the most recent JDs during the disciplinary procedures
So I’m confident we’re making decisions based on accurate information
As a Business Partner I want to have enough information contained in a new JD So that I can carry out a Job Evaluation
As a Business Partner
I want to have the most up to date JD So that I can conduct a JD evaluation if requested by an employee
As a Business Partner I want to easily have access to the current JD So I can compare it with previous versionsAs a Business Partner
I want to automate the scoring method’s process
So that I can reduce human error

As a Business Partner
I want to make sure the decision letter and the Job Evaluation is stored in the agreed place after the evaluation So that everyone knows where to access it

As a Business Partner
I want to publicise the organisation structure
So that anyone can access it

As a Business Partner
I want to make sure I can find the correct versions of JDs
So that I can give them when they are requested by staff

As a Business Partner
I needed a completed questionnaire with the JD
So that I can make a decision quickly whether the JD need evaluating

As a Business Partner
I want to easily access the current JD
So that I can refer to it at employment tribunals and other purposes

As a Business Partner
I want the finalized JD to be saved in an agreed place
So that new recruits and their line managers don’t have to ask me for the JD

As a Business Partner
I want easy access to the most up to date JD when supporting service area managers on HR issues
So that I can perform this administrative task quickly

As a Business Partner
I want to have easy access to the most recent job descriptions when I am participating in service reviews
So that I am making decisions based on accurate information

As a Business Partner
I want to save JDs quickly during Service Review process
So that I can complete this admin task quicker

Next week we will be emailing other councils to understand their process and extract and analyse eDOCS data related to Job Descriptions. Thank you for reading.

Submit my Planning Application weeknotes – Week commencing 27th May 2019

Hello all,

Welcome back to Submit my Planning Application weeknotes.

We are now in the final phase of work on the minimum viable product. This is where we’re going to wire together all of our moving parts and get it all working seamlessly.

There’s been a bit of a change in team to do this. Emma P, Victoria and Wingwo are no longer on the project team and we have been joined by Mathew Trivett from Snook. Welcome!

We’ll still be sending you weeknotes and having monthly show & tells. New to this phase too is a monthly blog post so keep your eyes peeled

For more general updates, continue to check our project site; showing all the great stuff we’re doing and key information about the project.


Huge thanks to Emma P, Victoria and Wingwo for all of their time, effort and commitment to this project. We still look forward to seeing you at whatever show & tells you can come to! Also thanks to those of you who came to the end of phase show & tell in March. You can see the slide deck here if you want to catch up.

What we did this week

  • Kicked off the project by:
    • Agreeing scope
    • Planning work order into sprints
    • Moving over to using JIRA to track progress
    • Integrating JIRA to GitHub so that developers can update comments and status’ via commit messages
  • Started work on Sprint 1 which will focus on getting all data from the form a user fills in successfully saving to the back end in a wonderful, organised way.

What’s next:

  • Sprint 1 will run for 2 weeks
  • Sprint 2 will focus on accounts
  • We need to decide what URL our service can be accessed from
  • We need to source a transactional email provider (initially looking at Gov Notify)

What are we keeping an eye on?

  • Other planning projects that may impact on ours (namely the replacement of Northgate M3 with Tascomi for planning applications)
  • Other ICT projects that may impact on ours (namely the API factory which is re-engineering Hackney’s environments and development processes)
  • Progress on the Addresses API at Hackney as or project is dependent on this


  • The go live scope is strictly fixed and will deliver ‘Must Have’ Stories

Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes w/c 28 May 2019

Five things to know about Spacebank this week:

Working collaboratively with libraries

We considerably closer to pulling off a co-design workshop with library colleagues. A huge thank you to Sue and her team for juggling rotas to help us get this over the line.

Our MVP is emerging

My favourite moments this week have been the conversations about our MVP. Some great debate about what’s minimal vs what’s viable, and what’s achievable in a time-boxed build phase. It’s exciting to watch our list of user stories mature and grow as a result of all the hard work over the last 10 weeks.

Working out where our service starts and finishes

Sebastian has been looking into where our service starts and finishes. Yet again, GDS as come up trumps with some really solid guidance on the use of subdomains and URL naming conventions.

We are mystery shopping

Liam has been looking again at our “competitors” – aka other Councils and their booking processes for libraries and community halls. Our MVP will be based on our user needs and tested workflows, and early signs are we can add value to other councils by sharing what we are developing and making our code available.

We are (almost) ready for our service assessment

Our service assessment is in a couple of weeks. We’ve been building in preparation to our sprints, which is paying off. It’s a great opportunity to look back over the last couple of months and reflect on how far we’ve come and what we’ve learnt.