Sprint Notes #69

Local Digital
Local Digital
Published in
7 min readAug 16

24 July to 7 August

Welcome to Sprint Notes #69! In this issue, read our recent update on the Future Councils pilot and find out how to feature your organisation in our Council Spotlight. Plus view the latest news from our funded projects.

Subscribe to our Sprint Notes to stay in the loop on all things Local Digital.

News from Local Digital

Local Digital Fund team in-person workshop

On 3 August, the Local Digital Fund team came together for a day of workshopping. The team carried out in-depth stakeholder mapping, ran a retrospective on Round 6 so far, reviewed project planning tools, and explored ideas surrounding what’s next for the Fund. More on that to follow over the coming months!

Read the latest Future Councils Update

Over the past month, we’ve had in-depth conversations with pilot councils about challenges they face and visited teams in person at their offices. In our latest update, read a summary of these discussions as the pilot continues to progress.

Shine a spotlight on your digital achievements

Our Council Spotlight blog series provides councils with an opportunity to showcase their digital achievements and contributions to the Local Digital community.

Recent editions highlighted:

  • Stockport Council’s digital journey developing their Family Context tool. The project explored how providing social workers with more complete and contextual information could lead to better decision-making and reduced time spent on finding information for cases
  • Rushmoor Borough Council user-centred approach to improving their elections service. Find out how the new digital service is already easing the pressure on their Elections team and leading to a more seamless and user-friendly experience for their customers
  • The story of Connected Places — a co-designed directory of services that connects people to services, information and their local communities. This open source platform was developed by a collaborative team from Kingston, Hounslow and Sutton Councils with Ayup Digital, and has been made available for other councils to adopt and reuse

Visit the Council Spotlight blog for more inspirational stories — or why not apply to take part in a future issue and showcase the achievements of your organisation?

News from our Round 6 funded projects

Improving social care hospital discharges (Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council)

The team have completed a number of training sessions with therapists, therapy leads and assistants, discharge coordinators and ward trackers. The sessions covered how to enter data correctly into the online form and what the data will be used for. Data is now available for the majority of beds, however there are a few data quality issues to resolve.

In addition to this, the team has also spent time ‘replumbing’ the dashboard from NHS to council infrastructure. Once the data has been fully populated and is updated regularly, trend information will be available to monitor changes over time and impact and identify improvements.

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

The team were pleased with the response to their procurement for user researchers, and have now held workshop-based interviews with seven of the user researchers that tendered. The decision will shortly be finalised, an offer made and the start date confirmed.

On 3 August, the whole project team came together for a workshop at the offices of Bath and North East Somerset. During the energetic session, Lambeth’s team provided insights from ongoing research with council officers. The group also debated evaluation metrics for the project and worked through a detailed assumptions mapping exercise with Lambeth’s in-house service designer.

In the next sprint, the user research will be shared with product owners and the team will prioritise their assumptions by risk and start testing them. This will build up a backlog for the user researcher when they start.

Digitising bulk waste collections (North Tyneside)

This sprint, the team had an interesting and productive initial benefits conversation with the Local Digital team. Next, they will further develop their benefits measures and outline the data required to baseline, as well as beginning recruitment for a user researcher.

Exploring Automated Health and Social Care Assessment (Royal Borough of Kingston Upon Thames)

Project roadmap shared in a recent Show and Tell (subject to changed based on feedback and learnings)

During the last sprint, Kingston held initial conversations with their partner councils, in which they walked through the discovery outcomes and outputs, before creating a high-level project plan. Their user researcher and service designer also carried out a number of site visits to care teams at Kingston and West Berkshire.

The team will now review data held within Kingston’s care assessment system, as well as seeking data from other councils, to help them identify patterns, and will commence their technical review of existing systems.

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

The South East London (SEL) team has recently defined the project requirements and completed the Digital Outcomes and Specialists (DOS) Outcomes Requirements template. Southwark has signed up to the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) Public Procurement Gateway and has begun uploading project requirements onto Lot 1 of the Digital Outcomes 6 framework.

Over the next few weeks, they’ll complete and publish the DOS requirements, along with supporting documents, and seek bids from suppliers.

Rapid identification of vulnerable households in an emergency (Westmorland & Furness Council)

The project team have developed a template data sharing model which will help to map out the organisations in the North East that hold data on vulnerable people, and their ability and openness to share this in an emergency response situation. They have also developed a communications plan for their first email campaign to a range of different audiences.

The project team’s next focus will be to continue developing their data mapping prototype to include stakeholder organisations and begin exploring options for the prototype VIPER solution.

Continuous funding model (CFM) projects

Low-code patterns for housing management (London Borough of Redbridge)

The Redbridge design team have now briefed PlaceCube on the various clickable prototypes that have been developed and work is progressing quickly on the first process to be built: anti-social behaviour management.

Over the coming weeks, the team will continue work on this, and will analyse the integration challenges they will face when building the change of tenancy services.

Housing management prototype homepage staged on Figma

The team are keen to find more councils to test their prototypes, with the hope to define common service patterns for their tenancy management processes. They are looking for contributions from a number of Housing Officers across a range of councils and anticipate this will require 1 to 2 hours of the officers’ time. Examples of the prototypes can be viewed on Figma. To get involved, email: tom.harrison@redbridge.gov.uk

Low code digital waste service (Dorset Council)

The project team have made good progress on their user stories for bin collection day and garden waste subscription renewal reminders and are on track for delivery shortly. They have also been delivering and refining user stories relating to commerce and business accounts.

Work has begun to test the prototypes (high fidelity wireframes) developed in Figma with users. Their feedback and any design change recommendations will be shared at their Show and Tell on 15 August.

In the next sprint, which will run for 3 weeks, the team will continue to deliver further user stories and continue development of the Bartec integration connector to enable use of API calls to Dorset Council’s back-office waste management system.

If you would like to attend the team’s next Show and Tell on Tuesday 5 September, please email sarah.goodall-smith@placecube.com.

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
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.