Modern Tools for Housing – Programme Week Notes 14/01/22

Our first full week back following the post-holidays firebreak and all the teams are getting back into full-stream working. The latest updates from them below.

Finance – Silvia – HackIT workstream DM

  • Celebrations:
    • Great progress has been made in our Programme Strategy and Planning meetings, with the Amido handover arranged for next week. 
    • PEN testing started at the beginning of this week
  • Challenges:
    • Additional effort is needed to ensure that all solutions (APIs and frontend) are adequately documented.  This will aid in sharing understanding of architecture, implementation, and approaches to problems needed to be solved.

Manage My Home – Yvonne – HackIT workstream DM

  • Celebrations:
    • Becoming clearer what team will look like with Nudge
  • Challenges:
    • Misconceptions and misunderstanding around data in the Person, Property and tenure Microservices and how other Housing services can access this data. 

Repairs – Sarah – HackIT workstream DM

  • Celebrations:
    • Onboarding for Mobile Working has kicked off to a very good start, with a good proportion of gas engineers and electricians now mobile, with the carpenters next up.
    • We’re no longer reading from the outdated API’s which were a snapshot of the pre cyber attack data. All property and tenure information is reading from the core data microservices, with contact names and numbers our next priority.
    • Challenges:
    • We’ve started the conversation about how the repairs team is going to evolve into a product team. There is inevitably going to be a period of time where we’re not going to be able to deliver value to users as quickly as we would like whilst we onboard new team members.
    • Devices.  We have been very fortunate to have been given new phones for the DLO reactive plumbers and drainage, but there are still many more trades to onboard

With the move to a single agency assisting HackIT across the whole of the programme it definitely feels like we’re in a period of transition. This is likely to last a little while as new folks come into the team, both to re-start MMH and at the programme-level, and we continue to rethink and discuss our overall shape and governance practices. This is combined with the overall current uncertainty around the impact of the “HackIT 3.0” department reorganisation. As always though the whole team is taking this as an opportunity to improve and is suggesting lots of great ways we can move forward.

Two of the things we’re discussing at the programme level are the introduction of some Programme Principles and / or a Programme Charter (based on the concept of a Team Charter).

For our governance we have a lot of things in the mix but we know we definitely want to revisit our roles and responsibilities definitions, particularly our Product Owners, and reexamine the purpose and execution of our Steering Group sessions which currently mostly act as reviews of recent work rather than forums addressing our difficult outstanding issues.

The good news is that I finally completed my self-imposed task to write up a full “state of the nation” document for MTFH. The bad news is that it came out to a behemoth of 14 pages which is too much for anyone in the team to need to digest. Instead I’ve almost finished pulling out the salient points into a draft public programme backlog (previously I just kept track of things in my personal one) which I’ll be circulating very soon. It also has a lot of items in it but I hope the way I’ve set it up will mean that it’s easy for us to slice it a number of ways including for highest priority things to cover in our new daily programme stand-ups, but also to have a new separate regular session to look at items that could delivery huge value in the long term but are unlikely to be started now as their benefits aren’t immediate.

There are many such items but one that I’m definitely keen to spend some time on is looking into how we can best support the new Link Work team that HackIT has put together. This is a multidisciplinary team from across our council service areas that is proactively supporting our most vulnerable residents.

As ever, a huge amount to do – both in the short term, but also making an effort on how we can help our staff and deliver excellent support for our residents by introducing new functionality that we’ve never seen before.

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