Local Digital
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Local Digital

Sprint Notes #49

Covering 9 to 22 June 2022

Welcome back to our Sprint Notes! In this issue, catch up on the action from the last Sprint including recordings of our project’s talks during Digital Leaders Week, the latest on our regional roadshows, upcoming events and progress updates from our funded project teams.

News from the team

Are you ready for Digital Declaration Month?

There’s just over a week to go until we kick off Digital Declaration Month 2022, our month-long celebration of four years of the Local Digital Declaration.

There’s still plenty of time to join the celebrations by sharing your digital stories and achievements with us. For instance, you could:

  • download one of our social media graphics and use it to post about your achievements on social media — or simply wish us a happy birthday!
  • write a blog post about your local digital journey and publish it on one of your channels
  • film a short video testimonial and send it to us to include in our compilation video

Download the campaign pack to find out more or email campaigns@localdigital.gov.uk if you have any questions.

We’ve published a Council Spotlight on the Task Smart App funded project

In our latest Council Spotlight, find out how the Task Smart App funded project (led by Colchester Borough Council) is developing a platform that will help councils to tackle more than 160 common tasks, by routing requests directly to council officers working in the field. Read the Task Smart App Council Spotlight.

A tweet about the Task Smart App blog post from Local Digital

We hosted our fourth Roadshow in Salford

On Wednesday 15 June, members of the Local Digital team headed to Salford in Greater Manchester for the fourth stop in our regional roadshow series.

Our Deputy Director of Digital, Lawrence Hopper, kicked off the day with a presentation on what we’ve learnt from our Local Digital journey so far and our exciting plans for the next three years.

We were then joined by guest speakers Craig Hughes from Stockport Council, who gave a presentation on the Family Context project, and iNetwork’s Shelley Heckman, who talked us through the SAVVI project’s three phases.

We also had plenty of lively and interesting discussions with councils around common digital challenges and possible solutions to these. We plan to share an overview of what we’ve heard and learnt at the roadshows in a blog post next month.

A tweet about the Local Digital North West Roadshow from Local Digital

We’ve decided to host a virtual roadshow for the South East

Due to the rail strikes and difficulties finding a suitable alternative date and venue ahead of the school holidays, we’ve decided to run the South East Roadshow as a virtual event.

The virtual South East Roadshow will be held on Wednesday 6 July from 10am to 12.30pm. Due to the interactive nature of the roadshows we still have an event capacity limit, so initially we’re only inviting those who registered for the original event. If you didn’t register for the original event but would be keen to attend the virtual roadshow, please email events@localdigital.gov.uk and we will add you to our waitlist.

Lastly, if you would like to attend our final in-person event in this roadshow series, you can still register for the Yorkshire and the Humber Roadshow on Thursday 14 July in Leeds.

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)

It’s been a busy sprint comms-wise, with the comms team starting to encourage conversations on Twitter and a new article entitled ‘How to involve third sector organisations and find them money’ going live on the website.

The team is planning to host another roundtable on Thursday 30 June to gather input on different digital inclusion topics from other councils.

The user research team has shared a slidedeck and Miro with the group with their research findings. The user researchers are in the process of pulling together their findings in a blog post, as they did last time, which they plan to share publicly.

The team are also hoping to hold a retrospective during the next sprint, which Local Digital’s Sarah Deignan has volunteered to facilitate.

Digital Waste Service (Rugby Borough Council)

The project team held their Sprint 9 Show and Tell on Tuesday 14 June, during which they shared a demonstration of the fly-tipping form and modifications to the ‘subscribe to a garden waste collection’ form.

Councils will be able to easily configure these low code forms to meet both the specific delivery needs of their local services, as well as their current waste management system requirements. Existing PlaceCube customers will have access to the Lowcode Digital Waste Service forms through the Form Manager, and PlaceCube will be available for support and/or training.

Alternatively, the code can also be downloaded from BitBucket and configured to work with a council’s implementation of LifeRay.

During Sprint 10, which will last three weeks, the team plan to focus on:

  • developing the back office system integration of the Mayrise connector
  • drafting the service implementation guide
  • producing the Phase 1 final report

The Show and Tell for Sprint 10 will take place at 2pm on Tuesday 5 July — get in touch with the project if you would like to attend.

Project lead, Mike Connell (Chief Officer — Digital and Communications, Rugby Borough Council) presented a talk on ‘Finding resources when you haven’t any — a funding story’, during Digital Leaders Week 2022. Mike shared his thoughts and experiences of being able to achieve more by collaborating with others to identify and solve shared problems. If you missed it the first time round, you can still sign up to watch a recording of the session.

Future Work Design (East Riding of Yorkshire Council)

The team is continuing to work on the discovery phase of the project.

All of the method validation workshops for the digital risk management tool have now been arranged and the first one took place on Monday 20 June. These sessions will allow the project to sense-check the methods that have been chosen (following research by the University of Hull team) and to gather feedback on any challenges they can foresee as well as what worked well.

A digital platform planning session has been arranged for the team to discuss what platform the tool will be on — for example, an app or a link to a website — and how people will access the tool on that platform.

The team is also preparing to present the project at the LGA Conference 2022 on Thursday 30 June, on the Spotlight Stage. Find out more and register for the LGA Conference.

Project lead, Eddie Niblett (East Riding of Yorkshire Council), hosted a talk on ‘Tools to support staff wellbeing’ on Tuesday 21 June, which shared learnings from both phases of the project — register to watch a recording of the talk.

Housing Repairs (City of Lincoln Council)

On Monday 20 June, Kristin McIntosh, Dave Richardson and Wendy Banks presented a talk at Digital Leaders Week, and a recording is now available to watch online.

The team held their Sprint 2 Show and Share session on Tuesday 21 June. During the session, the project team demonstrated:

  • the Terraform implementation, which enables the automated deployment of all the infrastructure required for the Housing Repairs Service
  • analysis and findings from the first round of user research
  • a form enabling users to upload an image

An overview and recording of the Show and Share session will be available on the project website shortly.

LocalGov Drupal (Cumbria County Council)

On Thursday 9 June, Will Callaghan, project lead for the LocalGov Drupal project, delivered a talk outlining his team’s approach and thinking about future steps to other DLUHC funded projects.

During the session, Will provided an overview of:

  • the LocalGov Drupal governance model
  • how the project team has evolved their community from one to 28 councils
  • the team’s plan to create a legal entity

LocalGov Drupal is a prime example of what local government digital collaboration can achieve. Newcastle City Council has just joined the project, bringing the total to 28 UK councils. This number is growing rapidly as more organisations learn about the opportunity that LocalGov Drupal offers.

On Tuesday 5 July, the team will be hosting a free event at the Amazon Headquarters London. Join speakers including Will Callaghan and Kate Hurr (Head of Digital at Cumbria County Council) to hear how using LocalGov Drupal can help councils publish better web content and reduce the cost of management. Find out more and view the agenda, then email fardarre@amazon.com to book your place.

A tweet about the LocalGov Drupal project from Local Digital

Scalable Approach to Vulnerability Via Interoperability (SAVVI) (Tameside and Sedgemoor Councils

Shelley Heckman, Project Manager, presented at our North West Roadshow on Wednesday 15 June, which received some great feedback from attendees.

The first SAVVI leadership meeting took place on Tuesday 21 June and was led by Phil Swann, Head of Great Manchester Combined Authority. The project team is really pleased with how this went, as having such a senior and geographically-dispersed group of people who are keen to drive forward interoperable data for vulnerabilities suggests a movement bigger than the project or standard.

The team is also planning to reach out to their working groups and stakeholders to shape their understanding of what software is already available, before they begin creating a bespoke solution.

A tweet about the Local Digital North West Roadshow from Local Digital

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

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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.