Finding support services weeknote 14/09/20

30s read

  • Demo of front-end and admin interface went well
  • We need to keep a tight rein on budget
  • Service assessment on Tuesday
  • City has the formal go-ahead to join us
  • Funding sought for administrator
  • Lots of chatting to social prescribers, neighbourhoods, GPs, residents

3 min read

The assessors are coming

This week we’ve been busy prepping our ‘evidence’ for each of the 14 standards in Tuesday’s GDS Service Assessment. This process isn’t a gateway at Hackney but it is a vital part of our governance as we invite assessors to review and advise on our work. Thanks to Gill, Felix and our in-bound developer Hugh for ‘volunteering’. If we were in the office, I’d bribe you with crisps. You’re such a decent bunch I didn’t have to do anything but ask. 

While prepping for the assessment, we revisited our stakeholder map. We’ve always gone for core/consult/inform as, really, why obsess whether someone is in the ‘keep satisfied’ or ‘keep informed’ quadrant? We have 170 people on our weeknote distribution list plus whoever reads Google Currents and the HackIt Blog. If someone’s not ‘informed’ it’s not for want of trying. 

In other news, City has the official go ahead to add its services to Hackney’s; and we’ve finalised the verification resources for both City and Hackney so the administrator will know where to check whether the organisation is bone fide

One careful owner

Funding for the administration of this service is crucial. Though we’ve designed a model that requires minimal overhead, without what’s essentially a Product Owner, Find support services will suffer the same fate as every other directory and not be up to date. Indeed, any product or service without an owner will find its way to obsolescence pretty quickly. The role’s been graded, at PO1 and around £35k and we’re speaking to Comms and Public Health next week about where this role should sit. We’ve put a request out for a redeployed member of staff to cover the initial phase as it seems unlikely we’ll find someone by mid-October’s launch. 

Our digital partner Nudge demo’ed the admin interface and public-facing site on Thursday – the latter is looking very close to the mockups, which is always a relief. Writing the API and hooking it up to the database and front-ends is progressing also. 

Budget is getting extremely tight and we’re working closely with Nudge to make sure we don’t stretch those purse strings. We don’t have any more cash so that’s a good motivator for us all. We’ve moved to fortnightly sprints to limit the fixed costs of sprint-planning and demos, switched to a QA- rather than development-testing model to max out velocity; and deprioritised a couple of stories that could be a fast-follow if necessary. Hackney is a learning organisation and Nudge has suggestions for how HackIT could work more efficiently with agencies and we should take this advice on board. 

Talking heads

Meg’s been off this week so Kate and I presented to the North East London Social Prescribing Digital Technology Group instead. While NELSPDTG is not the easiest acronym, however, our work was very well received and we’re hopeful they’ll use our data, and bolt on any other functionality they require. Similarly, our own Front Door team (great Show and Tell, by the way) is finishing up the conversational prompts tool for customer services and we’ll be looking to incorporate Find support services resources into that as soon as our API is ready. 

I joined the London Fields Neighbourhoods team on Tuesday, and had a productive half hour with reps from voluntary organisations, Mutual Aid groups and social prescribers. It’s amazing what snippets of information you pick up in these calls and we’ll be running a similar workshop with the Shoreditch equivalent this week. Shame we couldn’t have actually had it in London Fields. 

As ever, we’ve been non-stop on the marketing. Emma’s been rocking the comms plan and has us in the GP Bulletin and our own staff newsletter. Meanwhile, I’ve taken 200 flyers over to Paul in Robert House so they can go out with Chromebooks headed to vulnerable young people and, right now, it’s off to Morrison’s to get flyers and posters in front of shoppers in Stamford Hill. And cat litter. 

Next week, once the service assessment is signed, sealed and delivered, we’ll be looking at metrics and how to visualise data best. Infographic, anyone?