Repairs hub, weeknote 11/09

We’ve had some developer involvement this week which is super exciting! Evangelos joined us on Wednesday, to bring him up to speed we had a session with design to run over the contractor journey’s, the existing repairs hub, and what we’ve discussed in the previous tech workshops. Alex and Bukky our Hackney devs also came although officially won’t be on the project until next week, this was just a chance to give them a refresher and to meet with Evangelos.

We ran a co-design workshop and invited a few contractors that we had been speaking to in interviews to join us in coming up with some concepts for the improved workflow. We wanted to run a workshop like this to validate some of our thinking so far with our main users – contractors- as well as involve them directly in the creation of ideas that would help solve their current issues in their workflow.

There were some challenges in being remote – historically co-design sessions are held in person and ideas are sketched quickly on paper. Instead, here an online whiteboard tool was used to draw interfaces, which actually resulted in some great concepts, but took a bit longer to get everything up and running. Dawn, Boris and Lawrence were very patient, taking the time to give tutorials and ensure that everyone felt comfortable using the tools. The next step is to build on these ideas and conversations into a working prototype we can test.

Lindsey and I also attended the UH decommission steering group today. We presented an adaption of our show and tell slides discussing what we have so far discovered and future plans. The questions and suggestions that followed from that were really useful. It was also interesting to meet with other colleagues who are also working behind the scenes on the decommission work. Our relationship manager Jasmeen and Paul Fowler (comms) are working closely together ensuring the message on this work is reaching everyone in housing. Early engagement is really key to ensure we have buy-in from the people who will be directly using the new service, plus supporting that on a project level we are inviting as many people as possible to the fortnightly show and tells.


– Prototyping following on from the design workshop

– Prototype testing with contractors

– API analysis

– User interviews: Finance, Contractors: Axis, ELA, Alphatrack

Change Support Team – Weeknote 11/9

Welcome to our latest weeknote!

What progress did we make this week? 

Coronavirus Front Door 

  • We completed this phase of the Coronavirus Front Project with a final show and tell showcasing our latest research as well as the newest features to the Snapshot tool. 
  • Sam conducted research to get feedback on the new conversational prompts and outlined next areas to research – at present, we haven’t really researched the customer experience of using the helpline, and this is potentially something we look into over the coming weeks
  • Speaking of conversational prompts, Andy, Kyle and Maysa continually iterated this aspect of Snapshot throughout the week and we now think it’s in a position to add significant value for call agents when they’re speaking with residents.  
    • As this phase ends, agents now have tools which enable them to record resident information, prompt them to have strengths-based conversations, highlight resident needs and easily finding appropriate services in the community. 
    • Also, the prompts are stored in an application called Airtable and are organised by tag. As Airtable is easy to update it means that we can continally change the existing prompts and add new ones, making the tool incredibly flexible and easy to adapt to the needs of the current users, as well as future users too (if the tool is adapted for use by other council services)
  • Siobhan, the team’s Product Lead from Futuregov, did excellent work to set out future areas of work to develop the tool. 
  • Although this project has been tough at times it’s been great to work with talented people from across Customer Services, HackIT, Futuregov and Madetech and to deliver value for advisors on the Coronavirus Helpline

Public Health 

  • We’ve made progress on creating prompts for our upcoming welfare calls. We’re looking forward to integrating this with the new conversation prompt tool that the team is developing.

Kings Park Moving Together

  • We have now finalised the report on this project with our partners at Autonomy, proposing a range of changes to public space to encourage active lifestyles in Kings Park ward. The report looks great – we’ll share once it’s gone to the project oversight board next week. 

What’s gone well? 

  • It’s been a really nice week for sharing and learning from our partners at other councils. In thinking about how we evolve the 3111 Coronavirus helpline we’ve spoken to colleagues at Haringey, Islington and Camden in the last two weeks – amazing how helpful it is. 
  • We’ve been able to create more opportunities to come together as a team (even though we are still remote). We had our first afternoon working session, and are also working on our first team project where we all have a part to play in supporting the welfare calls. 

What’s been challenging? 

We have a great plan to share the KPMT report with the oversight board by taking them on a walking tour of the ward next week, so we could look at concrete (literally at points) examples of where we could make the changes. Unfortunately the new coronavirus restrictions mean we’re… back to Google Meet. 

Star of the team? 

Andy (FutureGov) Kyle and Maysa (MadeTech) were joint winners for delivering so much value in the last few days of the coronavirus front door project

What are we focusing on next week? 

  • From 21st September, the Coronavirus Support helpline will be making outbound welfare calls to residents who need to self-isolate including helping them to make a plan for how to manage in self-isolation. Before the 21st launch we need to ensure that we further test and get feedback on the call script; brief 3111 agents on the format of these calls; and plan reliably track performance data on the calls. 
  • We have a good opportunity next week to showcase the Snapshot tool to colleagues across the health and care system. We’ll be presenting Snapshot at the MECC Steering Group on Tuesday 

What we’ve been reading 

  • Reimagining Help guide that applies insights from the field of behaviour change research to help people reach their goals in a way that feels right for them.

Bit of a stretch to claim any of us has read it, but I went to the launch zoom of this report Welfare 5.0 by Hillary Cottam which was fascinating

Thanks! Chris, Jun and Zoe

Multifunctional devices: Out with the old, in with the new Weeknote 11th September 2020

I’m going to say this is the first weeknote because I don’t think last week’s monthnote counted

It’s been another busy one with the main headline being that we have Canon devices successfully installed in three of our core campus buildings!

The rollout went pretty well overall but in the spirit of continuous improvement, we held a retrospective with Canon and worked out our Good, Bad and To Do Better things for our next set of deliveries. It was a great session that really cemented how we want to work together going forward (which is open and honestly as one team).

We suffered a blow at the start of the week when we had to delay the delivery of the remaining devices for core campus by at least 2 weeks. This is due to a much larger than previously anticipated backlog of devices which is a shame.

We don’t have the new dates scheduled yet but we be getting them sorted early next week.

We progressed great guns with planning our satellite site fleet design despite being terrified at the scale and scope of the thing. We came up with a really clear way forward on how to assess if a device is a candidate for removal or not. We’re going to be looking at the following to inform our proposal:

  • Average monthly print volume pre covid
  • Number of printers at the site
  • Geographic closeness to other potential printers
  • The type of printer in use
  • Approx volume of staff at site
  • Number of ‘unique’ staff printing

We have access to all of this data but we need to collate it into a single place to make a reasonable assessment and proposal.

The geographic element of this is quite important but we were floundering with how to work this out. Fortunately, we were saved by Marta in our fabulous data and insight team. She whipped us up a map which plots all the satellite site locations, lets us measure the walking distance between them and tells us how many devices they have there currently when we hover over. Arfan and I were delighted about this.

emma with two thubs up and arfan smiling on a virtual meeting

Finally, we held our 4th show and tell. You can find the recording and slides to peruse at your leisure.

We’re going to be putting most of our efforts next week into getting a proposal together for our satellite site fleet design so that we can share it with our colleagues and start to get some feedback.

Onecase: Return of the implementing a Council Wide casework management system project

I know you will all have been waiting with baited breath for a restart date since we announced we were pausing this project (I know I have). Well, happy day everyone. It’s here.

If you don’t remember, here’s where we left things:

  • 3 of 4 rounds of UAT complete
  • Integration with MySociety planned
  • Environmental UAT planning well under way
  • Administrator training due to take place
  • Train the trainer sessions due to take place
  • Roll out plan formed

We’re picking back up where we left off but reviewing as we go. As you can imagine, we need to validate to make sure that what was planned before is still viable and makes sense. Some of it does, some of it doesn’t e.g. part of our roll out plan was to have floor walkers and champions who would hold ‘drop ins’ for people to come and learn how to use Onecase. In COVID world, that’s not possible. We’ll be reviewing and re-planning as and when we find we need to rather than spend weeks upfront identifying everything that needs to change.

The core team has reconvened and will, for the most part, be the same as it was before. The wonderful Mandy has retired so we’ll have to cope without her. Another change will be that Darren McCormac (of Platform API Project fame) will be running the project through to live. Emma is covering the kick off whilst Darren is on leave recharging his batteries.

The Civica team is rejoining us on Monday (14th September) to kick their part of the project back off again.

This is how I imagine our reunion on Monday

Colleagues in adult social care, children’s social care, mayor and cabinet office and the business analysis and corporate complaints team have been busy making sure all the issues at the end of the third round of UAT are re-tested and ready to go back to Civica.

We don’t have a new go live date but you can bet your bottom dollar it’ll be in a weeknote when we do.

Until next week…

Future Homeworking weeknote 5: w/c 07/09/20

fat girl GIF

For the ease of not having to again repeat previous messaging about this project, last weeks weeknotes detailing the trial process and who’s involved is here:

The team is still hugely under-staffed but they have worked so brilliantly this week. Anwar, Shazna, Sandeep, Colin have been valiantly keeping the multi-layered complex wheels turning with the systems and logistics and Indran and Nigel have been driving all over London delivering. 

The pilot phase will end this week, and we’ll start reviewing how it’s gone, and how we might need to improve and adpart over the next couple of weeks. We’ll be doing this with those we’ve delivered to, those who are still signed to be delivered to, with the service coordinators of the teams in the pilot, with our partner teams such as Health and Safety and as well within ourselves as a team. 

We know we’re not getting everything right and there are bits we’re missing. We’re really having to re-iterate to staff that we’re a pilot service and learning how to best do things and develop processes as we go, so we’re not going to get everything right the first time. But each thing we don’t get right we log and adapt to make it better the next time. 

We’ve also got extra people coming to work with us next week! We’ve got another five people starting at different points, so this will help massively in spreading the workloads of all the system and delivery admin, batching and driving that we’re juggling at the moment. Also to help with the constant onslaught that is the mailbox. I’m trying my best to cover this and some days it just feels like I’m trying to push back the tide…it just keeps coming! 

We’ve not been able to publish intranet content yet. This is because we’re waiting until the review has been done to know what our wide roll out process will be. Please bear with us and it will be with you in a couple of weeks.   


  • Responses received back = 656 = 55%
  • Happy with current equipment = 11%
  • Some or all of standard offer = 68%
  • Some = 68%
  • all = 31%
  • Non-standard request = 20%
  • second monitor/dual screens = 66%
  • chromebook/laptop = 32%

Sandeep made great progress this week in getting our systems and processes in place and working so we can start to accept those who don’t have equipment into the pilot. This means we can now close the gap we had and staff can request the equipment we’re offering via this project. 

For sake of not making these weeknotes more War-y & Peace-y with all the detail, but enabling you to find out how to do it if you, your colleagues or member of your team needs it; you can find it here: 

The link to the form to request will not be published on the portal, intranet or here in case you’re looking for it or anyone asks! We do still need to manage this process so the link is only available by receiving an email from us. 

Those who had requested a laptop/Chromebook through the lockdown process will be emailed and invited to apply to the new service. 


  • Deliveries made: 307 = 47% (this fluctuates daily depending on requests in and deliveries out) 
  • waiting to be geo-coded = 28 = 5%
  • on hold = 81 = 12% ( 24 outside london)
  • waiting to batch and deliver = 36%

We will, fingers crossed, have more delivery capacity from the middle of next week and this will help reduce the wait time between requests and delivery for staff. 

One issue we do still need to resolve is the fact we can only deliver within the London boroughs so far. We’ve been getting requests to deliver chairs etc as far afield as Bristol, the Hampshire coast, Kent, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire. In some cases, the cost of delivery exceeds the costs of the goods being delivered, so these have to be held while we work on how best to manage these and how we’ll do that as part of a wider roll out.