Sprint Notes #66

Local Digital
Local Digital
Published in
9 min readJul 6

12 June to 26 June

Welcome to Sprint Notes #66! This month marks the fifth anniversary of the Local Digital Declaration, and in this issue you can find out how to join the celebrations. You can also read an update on our Declaration discovery project, and view the latest progress from our funded projects.

News from Local Digital

Celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Local Digital Declaration

Join us in celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Declaration by sharing your stories and digital achievements on social media over the next four weeks.

We’ll be using our channels to showcase the work of our signatories and highlighting the impact the Declaration has had on the local digital community.

If you would like to take part, download one of our social media graphics to include in your celebratory posts. Take a look at our #LocalDigital4Years and #LocalDigital3Years hashtags on Twitter for inspiration from previous years.

Reviewing the Local Digital Declaration 5 years on: Update on the discovery project

The world of digital is ever evolving, so five years felt like a suitable point at which to pause, reflect, and consider what’s next for the Declaration. That’s why we recently conducted a discovery project to assess the impact of the Local Digital Declaration and offer recommendations on how to use it going forward.

Read our latest blog post to gain an overview of how we carried out the discovery, what it identified, and what’s next. Alternatively, you can sign up for our upcoming webinar, a repeat of the talk delivered as part of Digital Leaders Week which will offer the opportunity to put your questions to the team.

Measuring the impact of the Local Digital programmecall to all councils

As you may be aware, we have commissioned an independent evaluation of the Local Digital programme to better understand the challenges faced by councils in digital and cyber security and measure the impact of the programme.

We’re now inviting all councils to participate in our user research.

We believe this evaluation will have lots of benefits for your council, including:

  • providing a snapshot of your digital and cyber maturity against other councils
  • sharing your best practices and successes across the sector
  • building an evidence base to help you to make digital and cyber decisions
  • capturing your feedback to make our support more relevant, effective and targeted for your council

The survey consists of 37 questions about your council’s digital and cyber posture and should take no more than 40 minutes to complete.

If you have any questions, please email hello@socitm.net.

Meet the Local Digital team: Izy Champion

In our Meet the Local Digital Team blog series, we’re shining a spotlight on different members of the Local Digital team to showcase just some of the incredible expertise and hard work that goes on behind the scenes.

In this issue, Izy Champion discusses her varied role as a Collaboration and Engagement Manager within the Local Digital team and the development of our newest programme, Future Councils. She also talks about the importance of communication across the team to best support local government. Read our latest Meet the Local Digital team edition.

News from our Round 6 funded projects

Our Round 6 projects are making great strides forward. Many have now completed or scheduled their kick-off meetings, completed crucial recruitment campaigns and began key workshops for their project.

Planning consultation data sharing (Epping Forest District Council)

The Epping Forest project team held their inception meeting on Monday 19 June, where they discussed the project’s objectives. To begin the discovery process, they have confirmed the assumed problem and hypothesis with Stantec (the consultants involved in the project).

The first sprint of the project began on Monday 26 June, where the team have now finalised the job description for the Digital Delivery Manager role and began procurement of a Local Community Partner. Additionally, workshops have been scheduled with internal officers to identify and understand user needs.

The upcoming sprint will involve creating a briefing pack and recording a presentation for these workshops. An internal officer survey will also be developed to support this user research.

Delivering an infrastructure mapping platform (Kent County Council)

In the past sprint, the Kent project team has been busy reviewing applications for positions that will speed up the delivery of the project. They received a huge number of applicants, with over 60 applications for the Data Coordinator and Communications role, and 250 applicants for the Data Analyst position. Interviews for these roles will begin on Monday 26 June and finish on Tuesday 18 July.

Development progress of the platform has slowed due to the time-consuming task of reviewing applications, their ICT partners not making significant progress and a Project Manager being reassigned at the last minute. The project team has been informed by the new Project Manager that the technical resources should be gathered by now, and they are awaiting a kick-off session with the wider team to move things forward.

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

The Lambeth project team held their kick-off session on Tuesday 27 June at their partner’s office in Bracknell Forest. Throughout the discovery phase, the team will rotate venues to ensure fairness for all team members.

They recently collaborated with Kish Wright-Twene, Service Designer at Lambeth, to develop exercises to support the creation of vision statements and stakeholder mapping. They’re very pleased to have Kish join the team, and he will help facilitate these exercises at the kick-off session.

The team have received multiple applicants for their User Researcher position, and will now proceed with forming a panel, reviewing applications, shortlisting, and conducting interviews.

Alongside their kick-off session, the team will also be conducting an Assumption Mapping exercise in the upcoming sprint.

Exploring barriers to online engagement (South Ribble Borough Council)

The project team has now onboarded a Business Analyst who is actively engaging with project stakeholders through workshops. A high-level scoping document is being updated and reviewed by the main councils involved. Finalising the project team and defining the governance structure is underway.

Additional kick-off meetings with internal and external stakeholders are planned to ensure alignment, review the scope, and establish effective ways of working. A meeting with Reading Council is also scheduled to explore potential collaboration as they have shown interest in the project.

Digitising bulk waste collections (North Tyneside Council)

During this sprint, the team faced some delays in completing their initial data assessment. They are currently in the process of reviewing the data to gain an understanding of what is already included in their data collection. The aim is to identify any gaps or missing elements that need to be addressed.

In the next sprint, the team is focussed on finalising the data set and making any necessary adjustments. This step will ensure the date is accurate, and aligned with the project’s requirements.

Investigating a digital support hub for carers (London Borough of Southwark)

The project is currently in the planning and initiation phase. The team has successfully accessed the Crown Commercial Service Digital Marketplace, which will assist in the procurement of a discovery partner.

Over the next two weeks, the team will prioritise defining the project requirements in close collaboration with the project steering group. This collaborative effort will ensure that needs and expectations are outlined to guide the upcoming stages of the project.

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

In the past two weeks, the project team has been preparing the start of the discovery phase in September. They have gathered data and insights from user groups, and also completed benchmarking exercises to identify common areas of concern.

During the next sprint, the team will focus on reviewing the bids for the discovery work and scheduling a workshop with the First Contact Team in early July. This workshop aims to ensure accurate mapping of user journeys for the successful progression of the discovery work in September.

Continuous funding model (CFM) projects

Children’s placement portal (Birmingham City Council)

The team has successfully completed the planning for Sprint Zero. They have commenced the technical design phase, and began assessing the outputs of the alpha phase conducted by NEC. This assessment includes completing a gap analysis and planning necessary governance measures.

The team is now actively planning for Sprint 1 and 2, which will involve further user research. Additionally, they will conduct a review of the technical design, ensuring it meets project requirements, before gaining the necessary sign-off.

Future Work Design (East Riding of Yorkshire Council with North East Lincolnshire Council)

The project team are coming to the end of their phase 3 funded project with Local Digital. Led by East Riding of Yorkshire Council, along with its partners and the University of Hull’s Centre for Human Factors, the team has developed the wellbeing management tool, Forward Together.

The Forward Together tool has now been rolled out to the partner project councils for initial use, and will soon be made available for all councils to use. The tool is designed to be part of a council’s organisational toolkit to promote a healthy and safe workplace. Forward Together is an interactive platform that supports a manager and their team member through a guided discussion about the challenges the team member faces in their work.

Last month, some of the project team attended the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) awards where the team were nominated for the Forward Together tool in the ‘Digital Impact’ category. It proved a fantastic opportunity to promote the tool.

Meanwhile, the team also spoke at the Local Government Association (LGA) conference in Bournemouth on Wednesday 5 July, where they will be talking about their work to date as well as the Forward Together tool.

Greenwich Community Directory (Royal Borough of Greenwich)

The team has made good progress with data migration, successfully completing pilot testing with organisations such as Shrewsbury House and Reflections. Valuable feedback was gathered, including the importance of splitting listings with multiple activities.

Technology-wise, the team have decided to use Wingsuit for component development and explored integrating LocalGov Drupal Directories with Outpost. Important features for the minimum viable product (MVP) were reviewed this sprint, with a potential reconsideration of using Scout.

The team is continuing to build key MVP components and managing the data migration pilot tasks.

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.

Local Digital Sprint Notes

Subscribe to Local Digital’s fortnightly Sprint Notes to stay up-to-date with our 17 new funded projects as well as previously funded projects.

You’ll also be able to hear our latest team news and share your feedback.

Subscribe to Local Digital Sprint Notes



Local Digital
Local Digital

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.