Local Digital
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Local Digital

Sprint Notes #48

Covering 26 May to 8 June 2022

Welcome back to our Sprint Notes! In this issue, find out how to take part in our fourth anniversary celebrations this July. We also have an update on our regional roadshow series and news from our Local Digital-funded projects.

News from the team

We’re getting ready for Digital Declaration Month 2022

This July marks the fourth anniversary of the Local Digital Declaration and once again we’ll be celebrating with a month-long campaign, Digital Declaration Month.

We plan to celebrate on social media throughout the month, highlighting the impact the Declaration has had on the Local Digital movement and sharing content from our signatories and co-publishers.

We want you to get involved and help us raise awareness of all the great work that’s taken place across the Local Digital community. There are a number of ways you can get involved in the campaign and promote your work across the Local Digital movement — download the digital campaign pack for more information, ideas, inspiration and graphics.

If you have any questions or trouble accessing the pack, please email campaigns@localdigital.gov.uk.

We’re halfway through our Local Digital Roadshow series

The team has now held three roadshows and we’re busy getting ready to host a further two this month, building on everything we’ve learned so far to continually improve the events.

On Wednesday 15 June we’re heading to Salford, Greater Manchester for the North West Roadshow. We’re delighted to be joined by Head of Data at Stockport Council, Craig Hughes, who will give a talk about their project to build family context in children’s services.

A South East Roadshow was organised for Thursday 23 June in London, however due to the planned rail strikes we’ve postponed this event and are exploring alternative dates. We’ll email all registered attendees as soon as we’ve confirmed a new date and share the news across our comms channels.

On Thursday 14 July we are heading back up north for the Yorkshire and the Humber Roadshow in Leeds. There’s still time to register if you would like to join us!

Lastly, it’s not too late to complete the form to tell us if you would like us to host an East of England Roadshow later in the year — we need your input to make this happen!

Tom Denman, Productivity Adviser at the Local Government Association, tells us what he enjoyed about the Local Digital Roadshow and why he believes councils should attend

More opportunities to join the Local Digital team

We’re growing the team ahead of our ambitious three-year plans and are currently recruiting for three roles to help us shape the programme:

Applications close on Tuesday 21 June 2022 at 11:55pm.

A tweet about job opportunities from the Local Digital team.

News from our funded projects

Don’t forget you can find information on all of our funded projects, including those mentioned below, on our website.

Digital Inclusion Toolkit (Leeds City Council)

The team has now scheduled all 10 of the user research interviews and are busy analysing the results of the recent survey on tackling digital exclusion. They plan to playback the findings to the rest of the team on Thursday 16 June.

The team’s developer has made several improvements to the search function on the Digital Inclusion Toolkit website, including highlighted keyword matches in results and improved search weighting options.

This sprint, the team held their first roundtable discussion with members from different councils. The purpose of holding roundtables is to get input on different digital inclusion topics, to help the project shape the website and its content.

A tweet about tackling digital exclusion from the Digital Inclusion Toolkit project.

Digital Waste Service (Rugby Borough Council)

In May, the team held a Show and Tell session to present their achievements from Sprint 8 of the project’s beta phase.

This sprint, the team has been focussing on building front-end forms and continuing integration work with the Echo Waste Management System.

The Sprint 9 Show and Tell is taking place online at 2pm on Tuesday 14 June — get in touch via the project website if you would like to attend.

Project Lead Mike Connell (Chief Officer — Digital and Communications, Rugby Borough Council) is presenting a talk on ‘Finding resources when you haven’t any — a funding story’ during the Digital Leaders Week 2022. Mike will be sharing his thoughts and experiences of being able to achieve more by collaborating with others to identify and solve shared problems. Make sure to register for the session which is on Wednesday 22 June at 2.30pm.

Future Work Design (East Riding of Yorkshire Council)

The objective of this phase of the project was to understand the use of Microsoft’s Viva Insights tool and whether the use of a daily diary could help support staff wellbeing.

While the results of the research were not conclusive, they did reveal some useful insights into the need for organisational change (including changes in management perspectives and the demands put on staff) in order to achieve positive outcomes for staff.

Microsoft has also said that they may use these learnings to make changes to the Viva Insights tool going forward, so the team is still optimistic about seeing a positive impact.

Reading the project’s report ahead of their planned Office 365 roll out to staff has also helped East Riding of Yorkshire Council to prepare and know what to include and exclude in the process.

Meanwhile, the University of Hull has narrowed down which method they will use for the digital risk management tool, and will go through the options during the next sprint. They have also been researching similar tools, but haven’t found one that is both digital and uses psychology inputs, as this tool will.

All the focus groups are now complete and the university has summarised the findings to share with the team.

On Tuesday 21 June at 10am, the team will be hosting a talk on ‘Tools to support staff wellbeing’ to share their learnings from both phases of the project. You can register for the talk on the Digital Leaders Week website.

The team will also be speaking at the Local Digital Yorkshire and the Humber Roadshow in Leeds on Thursday 14 July.

Housing Repairs (City of Lincoln Council)

The project team has completed Sprint 1 of their public beta and presented their achievements during a Show and Share session on Tuesday 7 June — watch the recording on their website.

The London Borough of Camden may be in a position to collaborate with the project team on the NEC Housing integration. Camden is already using NEC Housing as part of their Housing Repairs service, so could provide insight and experience if they involve members of their development team in the ease of replication activity.

This sprint focused mainly on user research activities with residents of Newark and Sherwood District Council, which is the next local authority to adopt the Housing Repairs Service.

Meanwhile, this sprint the team has:

  • created a first prototype for Newark
  • drafted the phase research plan based on research aims
  • scheduled and planned the first research days with Newark tenants
  • prepared a second prototype for Newark for the research days

Newark has also made progress with the technical set up requirements for linking the services.

A tweet about MadeTech’s case study on the Housing Repairs service from Local Digital’s Leon Ackie.

Revs and Bens (Teignbridge District Council)

The team are racing towards the final week of development, with the final Show and Tell organised for Wednesday 15 June. Get in touch if you would like to join the session.

An article from the Project Lead about the Revs and Bens project has just been published in INSIGHT magazine.

As part of this alpha, the team are now focussing on reporting on:

  • headlines and goals for the project
  • key workstreams and activities
  • learnings and recommendations
  • key outcomes, outputs and deliverables

Task Management for Neighbourhood Planning Services (Colchester)

The team is working through one of the most challenging aspects of the project: overcoming issues raised by trying to balance the best possible features within the app, while keeping to an affordable licensing model.

It’s a critical time and everyone has an eye on the upcoming delivery date, considering what they can deliver for version one and what they can improve for version two after launch.

The team is keen to keep pushing the TaskSmart model to get the best possible experience for app users. They are still working on task filtering by keeping a flexible model and offering multiple choices to users to help users to get to the tasks they need quickly and without working through multiple app screens.

SEND top-up (Bristol City Council)

The team have now made their SEND repository code public in GitHub, which is an exciting milestone for the project.

The team continues to work through their sprint card tickets, including bread-crumbing and testing.

That’s it for this sprint, thanks for reading! For the daily download on all things #LocalDigital, be sure to follow us on Twitter.



Supporting the national #LocalDigital movement and championing #FixThePlumbing across #localgov.

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The Local Digital team is part of the UK Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities. Read more about our work: https://www.localdigital.gov.uk.