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.

Thanks
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.

Weeknotes: Re-engineering Hackney Content w.c. 29/04/19

Hackney has a vast number of pdfs across its website and we spent time last week reviewing our options of where to put them. In an ideal world, this content would be in HTML and searchable and we will work with services to advise on this approach going forward. In the meantime, we still need to host them somewhere.

Contentful has a very clunky way of categorising content that is not particularly user-friendly and, at some point, costs may be incurred. Google Drive, on the other hand, allows categorisation ad infinitum and has a significantly easier way of uploading content. It’s also a step closer to encouraging services to create documents in Google Docs instead of PDFs; which, in turn, is a step closer to HTML. We’ll be looking closer this week at this option.

Working our way through Libraries, Archives and Culture has highlighted the fact that we pretty much need to design the entire site before we can launch any section. That means site-wide and page announcements, accordions, anchor links, newsletter sign-ups, contact blocks, iFrames for slideshows and videos, style sheets… all in desktop and mobile. The only design component that doesn’t feature in this section is tables, whose absence is not going to save us a whole heap of time.

For this reason, we’re not anticipating being able to launch the first section until the end of May.

Helping us with content population this week are Boo and Neelam from Skinners’ Academy. They are here on a work experience placement and, lest they fear the digital industry is all about copy and paste, they will be chatting through design, development, user research and delivery opps with Carolina Gaspari, Mohamed Mulla, Wingwo Kwai and Philippa Newis as well.

Following our belief that we can get the site down to a four-tier hierarchy, I won’t tell you how long I spent this weekend creating a Lego model of Hackneyville. This recreates the site-map of the existing website in glorious 3D Technicolor and highlights the towering scale of the regeneration ahead.

Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes w/c 23 April

Five things you need to know about Spacebank this week:

Sprint 3 is under way

We started the week with sprint planning. Our goal:

“Defining our measures for success, drilling down into what happens at the end of the library booking process, and sharing our progress with stakeholders via a show and tell.”

Paying for and accessing a library meeting room is the final piece of the puzzle in our user journey. This involves librarians, security staff, finance officers and the end user. To find out more, Winston has been out and about in the borough’s libraries armed with his trusty discussion guide, consent forms and a winning smile.

Mining the data

Joy, our service designer has been mining the data about library bookings. This is hard graft; I am suitably in awe of Joy’s eye for detail and rapid analysis. She’s been trawling through emails for information that will help us to understand:

  • Where we can co-design improvements which will smooth out the booking experience for users
  • What we can measure to determine whether or not we are making a positive difference

Preparing for show and tell

Seeking a bit of inspiration, we prepared for our show and tell by playing the anti-problem game. Planning for “the world’s worst show and tell” was a lot of fun, but importantly it helped us think differently about how we could communicate clearly and creatively. In particular, we are thinking about how to engage attendees more effectively so we get quality feedback on our progress.

Front end developer – unblocked!

I have written about recruitment challenges in previous weeknotes. I’m delighted to say that Sebastian will be joining the team on Monday. Getting this recruitment over the line has been a joint effort with Susan McFarland and Nic Teeman. A problem shared is a problem halved as the saying goes!

Testing, testing, testing

We are over half way into our prototyping phase. We’re getting ready for some rapid testing and iteration in sprints 4 and 5. Central to these early conversations is challenging ourselves to ask the right questions. These tests will put our assumptions under close scrutiny. What we learn over the next couple of sprints will be the foundation of our MVP.

Weeknotes Manage Arrears w.c. 22/4/2019

This week has been very busy for Manage Arrears. We are currently finishing up the last tasks required to release the new ‘Bulk sending’ feature for Leasehold Services next week.

Successes
*The developers have removed the stub and we are now pulling ‘real’ data into the system.
*Users have tested the Interfaces for the feature and the feedback has been positive.

In addition to the above, the Income Collection team have now been using the Manage Arrears system in production for 3 weeks. Friday’s feedback session was the most positive so far, as Credit Controllers are now seeing more cases relevant to them. During our feedback session we consolidated all of the team’s feedback, which included 25 user stories. We discussed and prioritised each feature. The three most important features that the caseworkers would like developed next are;

  1. Correct Algorithm
  2. Automation of arrears letters
  3. Ability to view UH Documents in the Manage Arrears system

Next week
We have an exciting week ahead of us next week. We plan to:
Complete the Bulk sending feature
Onboard Leasehold Officers to start using the feature for Service Charge Arrears letters.

Stars of the week
A huge thanks to my project team +Elaine Greeves, +Jermain Graham, +Mark Rosel, +Elena Vilimaite, + Alessandro De Simon, +Miles Alford and +Cormac Brady who have worked extremely hard over the last few weeks developing the above.