Manage a Tenancy : Weeknotes – 30/8/19

Many things coming together for MaT – but lots still to do! I’m drawing all the different parts together into one “Hub document” intended as a central repository of everything about the service for both team members and stakeholder. Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing that.

The status update in that doc currently says the following.

  • ETRA will go live on 4/9/19 with some post-live updates to follow shortly afterwards
  • Following the great project-retro with Emma H. last week we’ve completed a first draft Team Charter which we’ll continue to iterate in future retrospectives. Currently we are aware we need further sections on impact mapping, metrics and our service design work.
  • We had the initial meeting with DXW on 29/8/19 which went well. Contract still to be signed so start date still not decided but hopefully it’ll hopefully be less than two weeks away.
  • The full set of user journeys and user stories that will serve as the initial agreement for that work still need to be completed but we’ve had some great meetings with our Product Owner that have got this well under way
  • We’re starting work on significantly improving the quality of the backlog
  • In general we’re lining everything up to make sure we’re good to go for when DXW arrives – there’s a lot to do!
  • There was a very thought-provoking and productive meeting with our team’s new Service Designer and the Head of Digital about the SD work that will be undertaken in September. This turns out to be more ambitious and far reaching than I had understood. It’s looking like it may be just the preamble to another round of discovery rather than the lead-in to immediate new digital features for MaT. This is going to involve some very interesting and positive conversations in the near future.

At the same time there’s a lot of other great things going on in HackIT from the experiments in team structures to the DevOps work – onwards!

Manage a Tenancy : Weeknotes w/c 19th August 2019

Lots going on in Manage a Tenancy land as ever. This week we have…

  • Lined up the ETRA process to go live on 4/9/19 with some post-live updates to follow shortly afterwards
  • Awarded the contract for the replatforming work to DXW and will be meeting with them on 29/8/19 to start high level planning
  • Carried on working on the full set of user journeys and user stories that will serve as the initial agreement for that work
  • Starting work on significantly improving the quality of the backlog
  • Arranged a meeting to talk to management about the new service design work that will feed into the next round of new feature development – especially around the scope of the content and timeline
  • Started discussions with the Qlik (metrics dashboards) team on the work they are producing for MaT and how we can work well with them

The best thing this week though was the project-end retro organised by fellow HackIT Delivery Manager Emma Harley. Emma did an excellent job coaching the MaT team to think about things have gone over the last few weeks under the headings of liked, learned, lacked and longed for. This led to a number of really good insights – including that we need to “be more bold” and address sticky problems much sooner.

One of the main outcomes of that will be the team working together to create a team charter detailing how we are going to work together. More on that to come!

Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes w/c 28 May 2019

Five things to know about Spacebank this week:

Working collaboratively with libraries

We considerably closer to pulling off a co-design workshop with library colleagues. A huge thank you to Sue and her team for juggling rotas to help us get this over the line.

Our MVP is emerging

My favourite moments this week have been the conversations about our MVP. Some great debate about what’s minimal vs what’s viable, and what’s achievable in a time-boxed build phase. It’s exciting to watch our list of user stories mature and grow as a result of all the hard work over the last 10 weeks.

Working out where our service starts and finishes

Sebastian has been looking into where our service starts and finishes. Yet again, GDS as come up trumps with some really solid guidance on the use of subdomains and URL naming conventions.

We are mystery shopping

Liam has been looking again at our “competitors” – aka other Councils and their booking processes for libraries and community halls. Our MVP will be based on our user needs and tested workflows, and early signs are we can add value to other councils by sharing what we are developing and making our code available.

We are (almost) ready for our service assessment

Our service assessment is in a couple of weeks. We’ve been building in preparation to our sprints, which is paying off. It’s a great opportunity to look back over the last couple of months and reflect on how far we’ve come and what we’ve learnt.

Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes w/c 20th May 2019

We are in the final two weeks of the prototype phase. It’s like Christmas Eve – everyone is excited, nervous and a little bit over tired!

Our sprint goal is:

“Define our MVP, co-design a workflow with library colleagues, get ready for our service assessment and tie up our loose ends.”

We welcomed Emma Lewis into the team this sprint. She is a front end developer who joined Hackney this week. We’re already benefiting from a fresh pair of eyes on our work.

Things I am excited about:

  • Emma and Sebastian are coding a calendar which will show the availability of library rooms. There’s some great open source options and also the potential to build our own.
  • A workshop with library colleagues to co-design their work flow. We’ve been itching to collaborate more closely and can’t wait to make something together! I get to join in this time and I’m looking forward to delivering this workshop with Joy and Sam.
  • The final decision on what our MVP is going to look like. We’ve come along way from our “three experiments” at the end of discovery. Richard, our Product Owner is on the case, and will be presenting his proposal to the team at the end of the sprint.

Things I am nervous about:

  • The decision to do a workshop with library colleagues is the right choice, but it’s the harder option. We could have pulled together a prototype based on evidence alone and done some testing to validate it. This didn’t feel right. To get this done, we have hefty dependency on whether duty managers can swap shifts and redraft rotas. It’s a big ask in a small amount of time.
  • We’ve only got 9 days this sprint, instead of 10. Every day matters at the moment. I love bank holidays, but it’s a delivery manager’s nightmare when there are 4 in 7 weeks. I have more grey hairs as a result.

Hackney Spacebank: Weeknotes, w/c 8th May 2019


We started our week with sprint planning. Our goal for sprint 4 is:

“Testing our early prototype with users, pulling together initial recommendations on our tech stack, completing accessibility testing on our three experiments and taking our first look at the service assessment.”

We hit the ground running this sprint. We completed two days of testing by the end of the week. Joy put in some serious leg work to get our prototype test ready and Richard and Sam whipped up a discussion guide. We’ve learnt a lot from these first two rounds and we’ve got two more days of testing next week.

Sebastian is putting our early experiments through some accessibility testing. We want to have an idea of where we might run into accessibility issues and start thinking about how to address these as early as possible.

Liam is kicking off our tech review. He’s been gathering up background material and talking to other project teams. Last, but never least, Winston’s been doing battle (and winning) with the research findings from interviews with library staff and security officers.

From a delivery perspective, a late Easter break and two May bank holidays in close succession is putting a squeeze on our time and capacity. That said, we’ve all benefited from some extra rest and it’s prompted some good conversations about how to prioritise work.