Week 2: Choosing projects, creating systems

Onyeka Onyekwelu
Jul 26, 2019 · 4 min read

LOTI here again, with our second weeknote, and what a week it’s been!

Project Workshop

On Tuesday 23 July, we hosted our first official workshop with our member boroughs (the full agenda was shared in last week’s weeknote).

Our objectives for the workshop were to:

  • Introduce the LOTI team
  • Clarify what Year 1 success looks like
  • Agree our ways of working
  • Find out where the four initial projects had got to
  • Agree the next wave of projects
A workshop attendee suggesting how LOTI might enable Digital Leadership across member boroughs in Year 1.
A workshop attendee suggesting how LOTI might enable Digital Leadership across member boroughs in Year 1.

It was the first of many ‘hottest day[s] of the year’, so we cooled our borough representatives down with an ice-breaker exercise thinking about what success might look like for LOTI at the end of Year 1. (We’ll publish the results next week.)

We also shared with the boroughs our Pre-Mortem of LOTI (imagining how this new venture might fail) and invited them to think about ways in which we can all help the collaboration succeed.

We spent the rest of the workshop sharing the tools and processes we will use. All member boroughs have now registered onto Basecamp, which we are using as our primary communications and project management platform.

One thing that we were particularly keen to test the temperature on was our six-step framework and project phasing process. Explained simply, this is our proposed process for how projects will go from idea to dissemination. Typically, projects are expected to be delivered over 6 weeks. Our aim is to deliver 3 projects at any one time, staggered over a 10-week period.

Our intention is to adopt an outcomes-based methodology, as LOTI’s Eddie Copeland discussed in his recent blog.

Eddie Copeland (Director, LOTI) explains the possible tools and processes LOTI would be piloting to the member boroughs.
Eddie Copeland (Director, LOTI) explains the possible tools and processes LOTI would be piloting to the member boroughs.

Workshop Outcomes

By the end of the workshop, we agreed to run 3 main projects between now and our next workshop in mid-September.

  1. Digital Apprenticeships: Based on a model developed by Hackney, this project involves supporting LOTI member boroughs to create and offer digital apprenticeships within their organisations to help build and diversify London’s digital talent pool. The target for this scheme is to have 100 digital apprentices actively working in London local authorities by September 2020.
  2. Pan-London Information Sharing: This project involves exploring how information governance can be standardised across London boroughs (and potentially other parts of the public sector) to make it easier to share data ethically, legally and securely.
  3. Seamless wifi access: This project aspires to enable Govroam wifi and GovWifi across all member boroughs. This means that public sector staff and councillors will have access to wifi using the same credentials no matter where they work from. This is especially important for emergency incidences where public sector staff are deployed to different boroughs and need access to all their systems.

In addition to the projects above, we also agreed to work on a few other initiatives:

4. Audit of blocked applications: Complementing our work on seamless wifi, we will be scoping out which cloud applications LOTI member boroughs need in order to be able to work seamlessly in other locations. We will then work with each borough’s infrastructure team to ensure those applications can be accessed on their respective networks.

5. Guidance on the responsible use of Artificial Intelligence (AI): We will work with our member boroughs to refine a first prototype set of tools for the responsible use of AI.

6. Pipeline: We will be encouraging our member boroughs to participate in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) discovery workshop on Pipeline, which is set to take place over the summer. We will also be embedding the use of Pipeline in the dissemination phase of our projects.

7. London Data Store 3.0: We will be encouraging our member boroughs to get involved in the upcoming discovery phase for the new London Data Store, hosted by the Greater London Authority (GLA).

8. Discoverable information: LOTI will be researching and drafting a brief overview on how to make each borough’s information on current and future projects relevant, timely and searchable. This will help inform the approach we take to future information sharing initiatives.

We will be sharing our experiences and lessons learned as we go. We’d love to hear your initial thoughts on our summer projects.

What’s next?

Next week we have three priorities:

  1. Start work on planning each of the three projects and five initiatives described above, including holding a series of kick-off meetings.
  2. Continue to develop and refine our project management processes in light of our new work plan.
  3. Map out LOTI’s key stakeholders and how we’d like to engage with them.

Thanks for reading!

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London Office of Technology & Innovation

Onyeka Onyekwelu

Written by



London Office of Technology & Innovation

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