Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes w/c 28 April 2019

We’ve been living our best agile life this week! A fully staffed team, buzzing with the anticipation of testing next week and glowing from a successful show and tell. The tenacious conversations and hard graft of the last couple of weeks is really paying off.

A couple of specific things to highlight:

Changing up the way we do show and tell

Show and tell is one of our forms of governance at Hackney. For it to be effective, we need not only articulate our progress but to proactively offer means of gathering feedback. Here’s what we tried:

  • Offered sticky notes and sharpies to every attendee when they arrived – setting the expectation that they would be making a contribution to our show and tell
  • Provided a feedback flipchart where participants could add their sticky note (important for people who don’t like speaking up in groups)
  • Broke down the show and tell into small interactive chunks and asked for feedback at the end of each section
  • Kept our content down to three key messages, including talking about the hard stuff (not just the shiny things)
  • Only used slides when absolutely necessary (additional slides were added afterwards for stakeholders unable to attend)
  • Every member of the team spoke
  • We practised beforehand
  • Every question answered honestly, even if that meant saying “we don’t know”

None of this is rocket science, but by the end of 30 minutes we had the most feedback from a show and tell to date. It wasn’t only the quantity but the quality improved too. Some great challenge offered in a positive way, really helpful signposting and the offer of collaboration from another team.

It definitely took more thought to organise, but not much more time in the grand scheme of things. The added value was worth the time investment.  

Meeting with Councillors Selman and Kennedy

On Thursday we met with Councillors Selman and Kennedy, the Cabinet members with overall responsibility for this project. We look forward to these conversations. It helps to understand things from their perspective and to hear what they need from us to support their conversations at Cabinet level.

They track our progress closely via weeknotes (we use these as a governance tool too). This means their questions and feedback is robust and well informed. These conversations keep us on our toes, which is good, and we appreciate the spirit and enthusiasm in which this regular scrutiny is offered.

Show & Tell: Re-engineering Hackney Content w.c. 01/05/19

Thanks to all who came to our May Day show and tell on Wednesday. There was no civil unrest, in fact, everyone was very helpful with their feedback. Here are the slides.

Headlines are:
– UI toolkit is ready to share with 3rd parties now
– Moving to GDrive for assets like PDFs
– Design almost finished for the content template and now moving onto navigation
– Technical limitations we’ve encountered with the CMS

Verification Hub: Weeknotes 03/05/19

We have now had confirmation that we can include data on our Housing Tenants in the VH which will expand the data core but also mean a bit more work to get the data into ClearCore over the next couple of weeks.

Tom Clark has built initial data hub in ClearCore version 5 using data Council and Parking Permits. Next steps are to load Housing Benefits data and run some analysis around how well VH would have performed on recent permit applications.

Matt Keyworth has deployed the new VH API into AWS, this will make it much easier for Parking supplier Farvest Gate to access. We had call with Farvest Gate to start planning the next steps for them to start work on connecting the API and how we can proceed with a phased deployment of VH in Liberator Permit system.

We have taken some time to map out the outstanding questions we have about how we treat parking data in the new world and this is now with Charlene, our product owner, to discuss in more detail with Parking colleagues and take some decisions. This is going to be important for the coming weeks as Steve Farr starts to work on the data engineering processes for Tenants, Benefits and Parking data.

The project team have been suffering a bit again this sprint with conflicting priorities – we are all working on this for only a small portion of their time and over the last few sprints, attention has been waning. We are all going to try and commit some more time and focus over the next few weeks as we get to deploying and live testing our prototype.

Our previous project weeknotes are available on our project page on Pipeline.

Managing people data project – weeknotes

Where are we?
We are four weeks into our discovery phase and we are on target of the scope. We have interviewed just under 50% of our selected participants, including users from HR policy, corporate property, security, payroll and facilities management parts of the organisation, people who collate, process and report on people data within the organisation.
Some strong themes have already started emerging, confirming some of the things that we identified as possible problems with the way people data is managed in the in the council.
Themes around data quality, data sources, system processes and reporting are some of the strongest themes emerging.

How we do it
We strongly believe that user research is a team sport, so to ensure our collective learning, through this discovery phase, we have a “wash-up” session after each research interview. This involves the research interviewer(s) playing back from their notes and recordings, all their findings from the just concluded interviews, to the entire team.
We are enjoying working in this way because it means that we are all always on the same page in our learning journey on this project and also able to offer, each one of us, our views on what our users might be saying.

Looking ahead
The next few weeks will be exciting as we draw discovery to a close and prepare to enter exploratory phase.

We have also kicked off the process of recruiting a service designer to join the team. Fingers crossed, we’ll be welcoming someone in a couple of weeks.

Special thanks to everyone who has given us their time throughout this process and particular thanks to our awesome participants. We value all that you have helped us to learn.