Report a Problem Weeknotes : week ending: 2019-12-06

Weeknotes are a way for us to keep people informed about progress on the project.

The problem

  • 8 business areas (breaking out Markets from Parking and Estates Cleansing from Waste), approximately 60 high level problem types that can be reported in a variety of different ways 
  • A reporting approach that is structured around the service areas rather than the problem, for example if I want to report an issue of drug paraphernalia I can report it differently depending on if I am on the street, on an estate, in a park
  • Some of the online mechanisms for reporting problems fail or are not joined up to enable efficient recording / resolution 
  • Very few of the reporting mechanisms offer any explanation of the process or next steps live tracking – this generates repeat calls as the reporter doesn’t know if the item has been received, progressed, resolved, will generate no further action due to process 

Project goals

  • To enable Hackney residents and visitors to be able to use a single digital service to report a variety of issues that the Council is responsible for solving
  • For our call centre staff to be able to use the system to record issues raised by citizens via phone calls
  • For these issues to be routed to the appropriate part of the Council for actioning without the citizen needing to know the internal structure of the organisation
  • Through user research to be to demonstrate that citizens and staff are comfortable using the service
  • For the service to be integrated to our existing back-end digital services
  • Being able to report on our overall service metrics and specific information related to each integrated service area 

Sprint goals:

We aren’t sprinting yet :-). We’ll probably start doing that after the kick-off meeting (see below).

Good things

We have picked a partner to deliver this service. There has been a lot of great work by Louise Woollard who led an assessment of potential digital products to deliver this service.  We have picked FixMyStreet from mySociety and Louise and Matthew have lined up the procurement. We’re now building up to a kickoff meeting on 8/1/20 including representatives from Hackney service areas that are lining up to use the system and HackIT representatives who may need to be involved in the technical integration.

Many service areas in Hackney are lining up to use the service. The teams include the following.

  • Enforcement Officers in response to Noise and Antisocial Behaviour reports
  • Highways Engineers in response to Highways and Street Lighting reports
  • Parks Officers in response to Green Spaces, Ground Maintenance and Playground reports
  • Regulatory Services Officers in response to Commercial Noise and other Commercial reports
  • Housing Officers in response to Housing related reports
  • Environmental Operations Officers in response to Environmental reports
  • Parking Officers in response to parking / abandoned vehicle reports

Learned things

So much learning about what the council does! Some of the team have had to very quickly start to get up to speed with the many and varied service areas in the Council that the service will be integrating with.


We haven’t signed the contract yet. We don’t foresee any issue with this – we just need to get it over the line.

We’re still on the lookout for an excellent Service Manager. The remit of the service is very broad across a large number of council service areas. We need to have an enthusiastic Service Manager who has the time available to make the service a success.

We need to define service area Product Owners. Each of the service areas that are looking to use the service have a number of enthusiastic members of staff.  We need to work with them to identify who the key points of contact are.

We need to prioritse which service areas will be integrated first. Our contract with mySociety allocates us three free integrations with the Council back-end system. We’re currently developing some criteria to create an initial list of which systems will be integrated first so we can give everyone in the team realistic expectations.


We had a smaller team this week than we normally do. Thanks to everyone who worked on the project this week – Chris, David, F, Gill, Mirela, Richard.  

What’s next

In the next week we will do the following.

  • Deliver the criteria by which we’ll order the service area integrations and a draft list to discuss
  • Plan the kickoff meeting and send out invites
  • Continue the discussion around choosing a Service Manager

The following people will be working on the project:

  • David
  • Louise
  • Matthew
  • A number of people from Hackney service areas
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