What’s new in Sprint 7

At the end of every sprint one of our team posts about the work we’ve completed. This time round, dear reader, that honour falls to me.

A few people were on holiday this sprint, but it was still pretty action packed:

  • We’ve built a private beta for schools admissions and intend to show it to a group of parents next sprint. Right now it allows them to add children and pick 1st, 2nd and 3rd place preference schools. It also shows schools in your catchment area, and the nearest school based on walking distance
  • Our new parking zones map got a few tweaks. In addition to search for a zone by postcode, it’s now possible to see the map of all zones up front and click around the zones to get useful information. These new features will be live very soon
  • Our blog (as in this page you’re reading) got a facelift. It now looks like our new work-in-progress website design, and we’ll keep tweaking based on your feedback
  • Garden waste now has a new suite of reports showing, primarily, new customers and renewals. Our team and Cityclean colleagues are working closely together to get the most out of the numbers we collect. That’s worth a blog post of its own
  • While we’re talking about Cityclean, there’s now a new kanban wall at the Hollingdean depot (see a pic below). It’s part of our plan to co-locate with our services as far as possible. We’re breaking down silos, but adding walls *gets coat*
  • Getting the right working environment is really important to us, and we took a small step forward this sprint. Our digs at Jubilee Library now has more stools to sit on, and a huge whiteboard for collaborative working. We ran our first session around the whiteboard yesterday and it worked really well

That’s all for this sprint, so see you in two weeks. If you’re finding these updates useful or would like us to change anything please post.

Our new wall at Cityclean

What’s new in Sprint 6

We’re posting updates here at the end of every sprint, and here are our previous instalments.

Like most UK organisations, a few of our team are taking holiday this month. But, we’re still busy and here are the highlights of the last fortnight:

It’ll soon be really easy to find your parking zone
    • We built an alpha allowing residents to quickly look up their parking zone and find out how much a permit costs. Previously residents would need to cross-reference web pages, PDFs and a map to get the same information
    • Our Pest Control app has been live for a while, and we’ve been adding features based on genuine feedback. Now colleagues can do quick risk assessments in the app rather than on paper – a time saving bonus.
    • We want the Digital First team to be positive and productive, so over the last few weeks we’ve talked about team values. We’ve now got a few short statements to live and work by, and you can see them below.
    • Universal Credit is being rolled out in Brighton & Hove this autumn. We have been doing discovery work alongside the Welfare Reform Team on how best to direct potential claimants. In the next sprint, we’ll start building an online filtering app to help people work out their eligibility and get the help they need.

That’s your lot for sprint 6. We’ll back in a fortnight with another update.

Digital First’s new team values set out how we work

What’s new in Sprint 5

Our team now works in two week blocks (called sprints). After each sprint, one of us will post an update here. I seem to have drawn the short straw!

After Sprint 4’s action packed instalment, we’ve followed up with a fortnight of smaller products, bug fixes and discovery for future releases.

It’s now much easier for carers to make a back up plan

Here are some of the highlights:

  • In Adult Social Care, we’ve made it much easier for carers to make a backup plan in case something happens to them. Previously it involved Word docs and a lot of downloading/ uploading
  • Cityclean’s report a problem app has been live for a couple of weeks and we’ve acted on feedback from the team and customers using the service. It’s good to be able to iterate products after they go live, and we expect to make more tweaks in the future
  • Also in Cityclean, we’ve created new reports for the Garden Waste service, so our colleagues can keep tabs on progress
  • We’ve built an alpha of how the schools admissions service could work. It’s been tested with users and we’re just about ready to start on a beta version
  • Beckah and Khalid on our dev team scaled a mountain of job applications for our new Junior Digital Developer role and met some great candidates. We’ll be in touch with the successful ones shortly

We count story points every sprint and are starting to get a pretty good idea of what we can achieve in a couple of weeks. This is really handy when it comes to planning future work.

Hope you’re finding these release notes useful. Sprint 6 started on Wednesday and we’ll update you in a couple of weeks.