Sprint Notes #65 — read about the latest progress from our funded projects, watch recordings of our programme evaluation webinar, Declaration discovery project and more

Sprint Notes #65

Local Digital
Local Digital
Published in
8 min readJun 21

31 May to 12 June

Welcome to Sprint Notes #65! In this issue, you can watch a recording of the Local Digital programme evaluation webinar, read an update on our recent user research and the Local Digital Declaration discovery project, and view the latest progress from our funded projects.

News from Local Digital

Watch the Local Digital discovery project update

Digital Leaders Week, 20 June 2023, Local Digital Declaration discovery project with Pippa Savill, Communications Lead at DLUHC Local Digital

On Wednesday 20 June, Pippa Savill (Communications Lead) presented an update on our Local Digital Declaration discovery project as part of Digital Leaders Week. We appreciate that technical issues stopped many of you from joining us, which we apologise for.

You can watch the recording on our YouTube channel to learn why we carried out the discovery and what we’ve found.

We’re currently writing a blog post to wrap up what we’ve done and what happens next. Please email any questions about the discovery project to campaigns@localdigital.gov.uk.

Watch the Local Digital programme evaluation webinar

Measuring the impact of the DLUHC Local Digital programme, with DAINTTA, PUBLIC and Socitm

On Wednesday 7 June, PUBLIC delivered a webinar for councils on the Local Digital programme evaluation study.

You can watch the recording on our YouTube channel to hear more about the study, how we’re measuring impact and the benefits to councils.

Socitm has now sent out the first survey to invited councils. If you have any questions about the webinar, study or survey, please email hello@socitm.net.

Listen back to Minister Rowley’s keynote

On Wednesday 24 May, Lee Rowley MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Local Government and Building Safety opened the inaugural Local Public Services Innovation Summit.

In his key note speech, Minister Rowley focused on the importance of transforming local government services. The minister celebrated successes to date and called for conversation to keep driving transformation in the sector.

We’ve completed our website user research interviews

We’re looking at ways we can improve the Local Digital website.

Thank you to everyone who kindly volunteered their time to take part in our user research interviews. We’re currently working on analysing and synthesising our findings and will be using these to identify opportunities to improve the Local Digital website. We’ll continue to share updates on our progress in Sprint Notes and in our newsletter.

News from our Round 6 funded projects

Despite the recent half term holiday, many project teams have made significant progress with procuring delivery partners, finalising team structures and implementing plans for their project.

Improving the recruitment of adopters for children who wait the longest (Nottinghamshire County Council)

The project team has been focussed on completing procurement and setting up the project. This includes reviewing the Data Protection Impact Assessment (DPIA) and testing how data is being brought into the system.

The team will officially begin the project on Tuesday 20 June. They will start engaging with subject matter experts to gain understanding of how data analysis may help to inform recruitment practices and their initial data exploration.

Improving Local Authority Building Control Services (London Borough of Lambeth)

The Lambeth team recently participated in a 3-day workshop on Agile in Teams. They have been planning the structure for their project and deciding which exercises and workshops to begin with.

In the next sprint, they will be meeting with an internal service designer to discuss the most effective facilitation approach for the project kick-off.

Improving housing advice services to prevent homelessness (London Borough of Newham)

On Wednesday 7 June, the Prevention and Advice to Tackle Homelessness (PATH) project team received the initial responses (stage 1) to the Technical Competence questions for procuring a supplier. This supplier will carry out the discovery project as part of the CCS Digital Outcomes framework. The team has been assessing these responses and met on Friday 14 June to finalise the shortlist for the second round of procurement.

A dedicated project Teams site has been created, where previous research and findings can be uploaded and organised.

In the upcoming sprint, the team will publish the stage 2 procurement, inviting suppliers to submit their proposals. Members of the project team who are involved in other local government projects and have progressed further in their procurement process are sharing their experiences. This knowledge should help ensure a smooth process for the next stage of procurement.

Digitising bulk waste collections (North Tyneside Council)

In this sprint, the North Tyneside project team completed their final draft of the user researcher job description based on guidance from Local Digital.

Two members of the team successfully completed the Agile and Digital training course which has proved very useful. The team is also beginning to collaborate with their engagement colleagues to understand the audience they should target and engage with.

In the upcoming sprint, they plan to finalise their initial data assessment to identify any additional information they may need to collect. If any additional data is required, the team is prepared to introduce methods to gather it.

User journeys into adult social care (ASC) (London Borough of Redbridge)

During this sprint, the project team has signed off and published the procurement bid to the five suppliers they have met and discussed the work with. In preparation for the discovery phase, they have been updating their data regarding Adult Social Care and comparing it with last year’s dashboard.

Through this data analysis, they have collated information from all the critical entry points to create a toolkit for the successful contractor.

In the next sprint, the team’s objective is to award the contract. They will continue their preparations, including checking for any missing journeys, finalising user groups for interviews, and coordinating with key staff members from Redbridge and partner councils.

Improving the automation of the Starters, Movers and Leavers processes (Southampton City Council)

A Business Analyst joined the Southampton project team on Monday 12 June and is currently going through the induction process to learn about the project. Additionally, an Analyst Developer resource has been identified.

On the Thursday 8 and Tuesday 13 June, the team held planning meetings with Portsmouth City Council and briefed senior management about the project.

In the upcoming period, a more in-depth planning workshop is scheduled for Tuesday 20 June. This workshop will cover various topics of project delivery, including the schedule, governance, team structures, as well as risks, assumptions, issues, and dependencies (RAID) items.

Improving social care hospital discharges (Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council)

Due to the school half term holiday, progress for the Stockport project team has been slower compared to previous sprints. However, they have been focussed on ensuring social care and Transfer of Care Hub colleagues can access the online form to begin capturing the necessary data from the three remaining sites. They have also been working on Information Governance (IG) aspects, including drafting the DPIA, which is currently under review by colleagues.

To build a data history for future planning, the team has developed a method to archive the captured data. They are also providing health colleagues with access to this data, ensuring compliance with IG regulations.

During the next sprint, the dashboard will be used for the time during a weekly system steering group, where senior health and care colleagues will provide valuable feedback.

Scaling a rapid identification tool for vulnerable households in an emergency (Westmorland and Furness Council)

The project team had their second meeting on Thursday 8 June, with representatives from partner councils. Their project lead shared the timeline for procuring suppliers and discussed an upcoming workshop event scheduled for Monday 10 July at Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue.

Continuous funding model (CFM) projects

Low Code Digital Waste Service (Dorset Council)

In the past two weeks, the Low Code Waste Service project team completed Sprint 1 and began Sprint 2. They are currently focused on further discovery to determine priorities and detailed requirements for the partners involved.

The team has begun initial design work by developing process flows and wireframes for waste services in two delivery workstreams: Customer Notifications and Commercial Waste/Traded Services.

They reviewed five customer personas representing typical Commercial Waste service users, highlighting their behaviours, frustrations and goals.

The project has also started planning for user testing in Sprint 5 and are creating a Participants Recruitment Guide for gathering feedback from service users. This feedback will inform the next iteration of the digital service design.

Children’s placement portal (Birmingham City Council)

Birmingham have completed their planning for Sprint 0. They have begun their technical design work and they are currently assessing the outputs of the alpha phase with NEC Software Solutions.

Their project kick-off meeting is scheduled for Monday 19 June.

Children’s Social Care Demand (East Sussex County Council)

This project is currently on hold due to resource constraints within the contracted partner. The team have successfully delivered a minimum viable product (MVP) of their web-based placement demand modelling tool and are gathering user feedback.

The team are continuing conversations with regional partners prior to pursuing the second phase of their work to develop into a multi local authority capability for placement modelling. Their next steps will be to reform the funded project team with the contractor in the coming months, and outline their vision for how the multi local authority capability will work.

Income Management System (Dorset Council)

In the last sprint, the Income Management System project team held discussions with Medway Council and provided a demo of LocalGov IMS alongside Barnsley Council colleagues, who shared real examples of how they use the system.

They have also spoken with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) and will be attending their Public Finance Live event later this month.

In the next sprint, they plan to continue conversations with Medway and potential support providers, as well as attend the CIPFA event.

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

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Local Digital
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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.