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Digital Customer Programme Discovery Phase: Show & Tell #10 with Newham Council

Graeme McCubbin, Nov. 25, 2016

The Digital Team have reached a milestone Show & Tell in their Digital Customer Programme Discovery Phase with Newham Council - Sprint 10. With a buzz across the room, spirits are high as it reaches 11am – the time for the Show & Tell kick-off.

Newham Council Show and Tell 1

Digital Discovery - Sprint 10

Show & Tell duration: 20 minutes

Martyn stepped up to the plate to recollect and share the progress achieved by the Digital Team across Sprint 10, including:

  • The Show & Tell roadshow – delivering a series of Show & Tell sessions by going into each relevant service department (including Housing, Homelessness and Children’s Services) across the borough to share progress with a much wider audience and gain more stakeholder buy-in
  • Further iterations of the current eight user personas (including our old friend Jenny – the original Newham persona)
  • Visiting a parent’s group to further share the latest prototype of the Local Offer service
  • Initial planning for the upcoming Alpha phase, following this Discovery, to take each prototype further and identify any risks involved within each service
  • Addressing the smooth transition into this Alpha phase

Newham Council Show and Tell 2

Progress reflection

The Newham Council team reflected over the last 10 weeks, sharing their learnings and what they have achieved so far from undertaking this Discovery phase:

  • It’s all about finding out what people want from our services
  • Our current Local Offer service ticked a box, but when sitting down face-to-face and talking to real users, it was soon realised that some requirements just couldn’t be met with the current system
  • The learnings of user interviewing – it’s not just about asking a large list of questions but engaging constantly in conversations with users and taking away even the smallest of insights and comments they may share during this time
  • There is so much more to addressing online user behaviour than just using systems such as Google Analytics

Newham Council Show and Tell 3

Agile reflection

Also reflecting on the new experience of the Newham Digital Team working in an Agile environment for the first time:

  • Breaking down the work into short sprints has created more focus
  • Daily standup has reduced the time taken to address any issues and blockers – whereas before, it might have take weeks to unblock progress, it can now be addressed daily
  • Agile has now been introduced and begun to be embedded into the Newham Council team
  • It’s all about building and embedding our digital expertise now and progressing into the future
  • The next steps are about bringing more and more capabilities into the team

Slack also received a special mention as being “revolutionary” in cutting down email communication and opening up more necessary and easier group and one-to-one conversations.

The Digital Team then wrapped up this Show & Tell by summarising the overall Discovery phase so far, including:

  • Any initial nervousness of stakeholders has now been reduced through seeing multiple prototypes come to life over this 10-week period
  • These individual service area stakeholders can now see how their services can help more people
  • The task now is to build up on the progress already made, keeping up the Discovery momentum and carrying this through to the Alpha phase

Newham Council Show and Tell 4

Newham Council is going through a step-by-step change, with this Discovery phase being the first step in this journey to Agile. It’s a very exciting time for the Digital Team, and wider overall team. So, Sprint 10... That's a wrap!

So what’s next for the team?

  • Heading into the Alpha phase of selected services
  • More Discovery work on services still at early stages

Newham Council Show and Tell 4

A quick team de-brief and it’s onwards and upwards to the next challenge - the Alpha phase.