Getting Back In The Groove

Week notes Network Redesign 10/01/2020

Background & Recap

Let me start by welcoming everyone back after the Christmas break. I hope you were all able to get some rest and quality family time. It’s always a bit challenging getting back into the groove of things after some time off. However, there’s no time like the present so let’s get things underway.

For my new readers, the aim of the ‘Network Redesign’ is to enhance and future proof of the council network infrastructure. This will happen through the architectural redesign of the current council network and upgrading of associated hardware, (network switches & cables).

The new infrastructure design will have a ‘Web First’ strategy at its core and enable users (Council employees and members of the public to access council online services, from any of our offices without being bound to a local server but connecting directly to the cloud.

Last Sprint Goal

  • Complete cost estimates for potential firewall solution for the first quarter of 2020 (This has partially been achieved however due to sick leave elements of this task have rolled over into the upcoming Sprint)

Objectives for 2020 first quarter

Since the beginning of this project, I have had to up-skill my understanding of the different components which go into Wi-Fi installation and infrastructure redesign. From broadband cable installation, ‘Wayleave’ licensing to hardware purchasing of switches, to understanding the difference between these types of switches and their functions between a distribution and core levels. (See more on Core & Access Layer switches with this useful one-pager here)

The objective of our first quarter in 2020 will be to get the team and stakeholders for our project in a world where their understanding of our teams recommended solutions provide enough insight that they feel comfortable enough in their understanding to be able to order the relevant hardware solution fit for purpose and to meet a majority of our briefed requirements.

Sprint Goals

  • This current Sprint will see the team take a deeper dive into the requirements for purchasing a firewall for the data center and the distribution level.
  • Set up a Firewall test lab and review the results before submitting recommendations
  • Now that we have the ‘Wayleaves’ license approvals we are now doing the actual installation of the fiber optic cables for our identified sites.

Pipeline Project Week Notes

Background & Recap

‘Pipeline’ is a government platform, which can be used by anyone working in digital from central or local government. Created to encourage sharing of ideas and best ways to do all things digital from a public servant perspective.

This project main goal is to make Pipeline into a valuable portfolio-reporting tool, which will serve these dual aims. The main focus of this Sprint is to complete the re-skimming of the front-end interface with a goal to make it more users friendly.

Sprint Goal

Last year we had reached a stage in development where we now wanted to deploy the work carried out into a live environment following on from the testing and some bug fixes.

Challenges

Since the completion of the work, we have been experiencing some issues with deployment due to some internal bugs within Pipeline.

Next steps

  • Bug fixes to remedy the issues with deployment into a live environment
  • Further talks with the ‘L.D.C. Unit’ (Local Digital Collaboration Unit) to sync up and unpack future developments for the Pipeline platform

DXW Cyber Security By Design Week notes

The DXW Cybersecurity specialist team is currently working with the ICT team to help to tease out a bespoke approach for ensuring we have put security in the workflow of our DevOps team.

Last Sprint Goal

  • Facilitate and successfully complete the DXW workshop session with the Universal housing team

Sprint Goals

  • Capture the outcomes from the workshop and circulate the tasks amongst the Universal Housing team

Network redesign and implementation for webfirst – Weeknotes

WC: 07/05

Where we are
We are halfway through sprint 5 which is the sprint before last in this discovery, learning and gathering information phase.

Last sprint: Sprint 4
We made significant progress in the sprint 4, achieving our sprint goal which was to begin surveying users, selected from 10 proof of concept sites, on their current experience of our network services.
We also kicked off work to set up a lab in our communications room, from where we will test new, pioneering network devices, loaned from reputable suppliers of network devices. The aim is to learn from these tests and gain insights on how to design a pioneering and fit for purpose network service for all our users.

Looking ahead:
Our hope is that sprint 6 will be the last of this phase and that we we would have collated enough learning and isight about our current network, user pain points and needs to allow us to begin to enter an exploratory phase to start working out a network design that will be fit for purpose and reasonable for implementation.

What have we learned:
Liked: The team is working better together, user research is amazing, there is a sense of progress on the project.
Learned: Show and tell is good and should be done more often – every other sprint
Lacked: Pressure on engineers time impacts projects. Infrastructural managers will work closely with team to mitigate this where possible.

This Sprint: Sprint 5
This sprint, we have continued with setting up of network devices for testing and we are also collating feedback from our survey of over 240 users across 10 sites. We are excited to have received over 50 responses to the survey in the first couple of days of launch.

Everyone has been amazing. So special thanks to Gillian Newman, Henry Lewis, Isaiah Oketola, Chidi Oko, Shafiq Ahmed, Mal Morris and Lindsay Rex

But I think star of the sprint is Gillian Newman for getting the user research surveys out.