“Single View for Housing” week note : 11/6/20

We’re in the process of starting a new project here at HackIT. It’s tentatively called “Single View for Housing” (or SV4H). The plan is to build on top of the excellent Single View project that has been delivered by a partnership of FutureGov, MadeTech and the council’s Benefits and Housing Needs team. The service links together information from many disparate council systems related to a specific resident and allows staff to have a much more holistic view of someone’s situation before contacting them about a specific issue. We’re going to record a demo of the product as it is currently and make that part of a future week note.

At the moment this project is in what I would call the pre-discovery phase. We’re thinking about what kind of team we will need and what initial questions we need to ask when the project gets properly going. Many things are on our minds, including the following.

  • We know we’re carrying over some user research from a previous project – what’s the best way to confirm that that’s still accurate when working with a group of highly distributed users all working from home?
  • We know that one of the primary intentions of the project is to move our users off their current expensive platform to Single View so we don’t need to renew the existing service. What’s the best way to work with our users to ensure the new service does at least what the current one does and ideally take the opportunity to improve things along the way?
  • The Single View product has it’s own existing roadmap – what’s the best way to fit in this work with that?

Plenty to be going on with!

As a Delivery Manager my first though is how can we give this work some structure? We’re a while away yet from starting doing Agile sprints but there’s still a lot we can do. These are some of the things we’ve already put in place.

  • A Hub document for the project which contains our vision and goals for the work and from which we will link to everything else related to the work
  • A Trello board to track team tasks (we’ll discuss potentially moving to Jira when the development team joins later in the project)
  • A high level roadmap of this work (mostly to catch things we know we want to do but won’t have time to complete in the MVP)
  • The start of a business case for the work
  • Create an initial high level timeline for the project (very little on that at the moment as we’re at such an early stage)
  • Put together our initial list of unknowns to dig into before discovery starts

My hope is that we can start a two week discovery period in a week or two so it’s definitely time to get cracking!

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