Sprint Notes #71

Local Digital
Local Digital
Published in
9 min readSep 13

21 August to 4 September

Welcome to Sprint Notes #71! In this issue, find out how you can join our Future Councils Roundtable series and read the latest news from our funded projects.

Subscribe to Local Digital’s fortnightly Sprint Notes to get the latest news direct to your inbox.

News from Local Digital

Join a Future Councils Roundtable

Over the last few months, we have been working closely with our 8 pilot councils to explore the root causes behind what’s blocking them from becoming modern and resilient. Together, we have developed 6 problem statements which summarise the systemic challenges councils are facing.

This Autumn, we’re inviting councils to join our Future Councils Roundtable series. At four in-person events, we’ll share more of what we’ve learnt through the pilot, and talk through the problem statements in detail. We will then invite councils to share their experience, including whether they face similar challenges, and discuss potential solutions.

Find out more and register for one of our Future Councils Roundtable events:

The Roundtable events are open to anyone working in digital and cyber roles in councils, as well as council senior or strategic leaders (CEOs, Directors, Heads of Service, and other senior leaders).

If you are part of the wider sector, or cannot attend one of our events, you can share your feedback on the problem statements via the forms on our website.

Watch the recordings from our Executive Education Programme

In February and March, we partnered with AWS and Socitm to deliver our Executive Education Programme in Digital Transformation for UK Local Government.

The programme was designed to equip senior local government officers with the confidence and expertise they need to lead the successful digital transformation of public services to better meet the needs of their citizens.

The three modules included:

  • Digital transformation: the story so far
  • Upskilling and future-proofing your organisation
  • Digital transformation in practice

You can now watch the insightful keynote presentations and panel sessions from sector experts, including council leaders, on our website.

News from our Round 6 funded projects

Improving social care hospital discharges (Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council)

The team have now delivered several training sessions, and most of the required data has been successfully entered. This has enabled the team to establish a baseline assessment for all available beds. Regular data updates are ongoing, with summaries presented at weekly meetings for senior colleagues’ review.

With most of the essential data now available, the project team plans to gather initial feedback from senior stakeholders on the new intelligence. They are also preparing for the analysis phase, where they will collect more detailed feedback from all team members involved, including those entering the data and customers of the data. This feedback gathering is scheduled for the next 4–6 weeks.

Additionally, they are scheduled to meet with colleagues from Manchester and Oldham to confirm the usefulness of the prototype and dataset. This will inform future phases of the project, assuming the prototype proves to be beneficial.

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

The Lambeth project team have been focussed on procurement paperwork for their new User Research, including contract preparations.

They continued their data analysis, reviewing information from their all-project meeting in Keynsham and individual discussions with Lambeth officers. Data from partners at Bath and North East Somerset Council has been shared and the team plans to examine this for valuable insights.

Looking ahead, the project team will meet with their partners in the upcoming sprint to discuss progress and plan the next project meeting. This includes drafting preliminary questions for a nationwide survey.

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

The project team’s recent sprint focused on technology, with their Solutions Architect concentrating on automation possibilities within Adult Social Care.

To provide a baseline for the Solutions Architect, they engaged in discussions with social workers, stakeholders, and partner councils, identifying challenges within the industry. They documented these and partner councils were invited to share feedback and add any additional challenges they face.

Using this data, the Solutions Architect analysed potential solutions and evaluated market services for compatibility with their existing case management system.

The team has decided to extend the discovery phase by two weeks. This will provide time to dive deeper into their data analysis, and create empathy maps and logical decision flows to streamline the prescribing process.

Prototyping a digital taxi licensing service (Rushmoor Borough Council)

The Rushmoor project team has conducted their initial research and begun analysing key themes, including licence management, council communication, and attitudes towards digital services.

As they enter the fourth of six sprints, their goals include planning the second round of user research and creating a prototype to envision the new service. To achieve this, they’re aiming to meet again with licence holders, specifically low digital users and licence holders with English as a second language. They plan to visit council offices and ranks in each area as many licence holders can’t attend remotely.

The team will also develop a prototype to gauge user interpretations and understand potential service variations among licence holders.

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

The South East London (SEL) team published the requirement for a partner on the Digital Outcomes framework. They received 30 supplier bids, however 29 of them lacked responses to essential Technical, Cultural, and Pricing criteria. They’ve raised this with the Crown Commercial Service (CCS), which will provide guidance on the next steps to take. This may cause a slight delay in procurement.

Next sprint, the SEL team will evaluate the supplier bids through a panel process. Their objective is to select 5 suppliers for the next stage, which involves presentations and proposals.

Sharing data to safeguard missing vulnerable adults (Greater Manchester Combined Authority)

The project team has recently notified stakeholders that Glue Reply has been selected as the chosen supplier for this discovery project.

The team is actively working with Glue Reply to draft necessary contracts and the Project Initiation Document. These documents are essential for outlining the project’s scope, objectives and expectations.

To ensure effective collaboration and document management, the team has created a shared Microsoft Teams folder for a centralised area of project-related information.

Despite recent progress, the team has faced a challenge in planning a Sprint Zero kick-off meeting due to stakeholder availability.

Delivering an infrastructure mapping platform (Kent County Council)

The Kent project team has been preparing for their new Data Analyst and Data Coordinator officers joining in September.

Alongside this, testing of the initial platform is underway. The team has enlisted colleagues as testers for various functions as they’re developed, providing valuable feedback.

For their graduate role, the team has shortlisted applicants and extended interview invitations to successful candidates.

In the next sprint, the team’s primary focus will shift to onboarding new members. They plan to deliver introductory sessions, facilitate interactive sessions on the current platform, provide internal training and share project management materials. Once the new team members are settled, they will explore agile working principles that align with corporate governance and work towards implementing them.

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

The Redbridge project team has completed a review of all mapped user journeys and preparation of their idea-focussed meeting ready for DXW to join. They are now moving into the first sprint of the discovery phase with planned Show and Tells from week 3 onwards. Several key partners are actively involved, providing important insights for the project.

The team will conduct a thorough analysis of the front door process, ensuring that background mapping and tackling key issues are central to their discovery efforts. They will also schedule research slots and design sessions to engage with key stakeholders who can support their work.

Exploring barriers to online engagement (South Ribble Borough Council)

Over the past two weeks, the project team have been clarifying queries that have been raised in response to their user research procurement.

Due to holidays, the team granted an extension for submitting quotes, now set until 15 September.

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

A key achievement of this sprint for the team is the completion of their visual mapping tool designed to identify data linkages and sharing between organisations in North East and Cumbria. Although it still requires the population of accurate data, the tool now has the security capability to safeguard sensitive information.

To improve project visibility and support, the team has produced a briefing note and prepared a letter from the three North East Local Resilience Forums to go out to all councils in the North East.

Looking ahead, the team is preparing for an in-person workshop scheduled for 25 September. During this workshop, key stakeholders will make decisions on hosting, funding models, and aligning the project with user requirements.

The team also plans to add live data to their data mapping tool, so stakeholders can see what type of data is being shared between organisations.

Continuous funding model (CFM) projects

Income management system (Dorset Council)

The Dorset project team’s main focus has been assessing user feedback gathered during prototype testing. They’ve also considered UX/UI recommendations following the feedback. Some of these recommendations are set to be introduced into the design, while others won’t due to business process requirements or technical limitations.

In the coming weeks, the team plans to explore and clarify the final elements of the quote-based journey to enable user stories to be written, refined, and estimated by the team.

In terms of quality assurance, the team has started accessibility and mobile device testing, which has highlighted a few issues that will be addressed in the next sprint.

Greenwich Community Directory (Royal Borough of Greenwich)

The Greenwich project team have now completed several key tasks including the manual transformation of over 400 service listings to meet modern content standards. However, breaking some of these listings into multiple entries isn’t a sustainable solution, especially for Children’s/Local Offer content, so a solution is being explored.

While refactoring the Outpost Docker image, a new bug was discovered, but the project team is currently working on a fix.

Lastly, updates to the Localgov Drupal Directories have enabled it to consume data from Outpost, ensuring efficient data flow between systems.

Community Grants Service (Newcastle City Council)

The Newcastle project team have made strides forward this sprint. In the Ward Grants program, payments are now streamlined, and they are improving notifications for Councillors.

For the Newcastle Fund, development work continues while awaiting a scoring matrix.

The Youth Fund has received all grant applications and is currently assessing them, with a focus on reporting needs. Netcall is also in the final stages of bank account Modulus checking.

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.