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

Sensors and sensibility

Hello, my name is Neil and I’m an enterprise architect at Digital First. Part of my role is to come up with new ways for the council to meet its business and technology objectives.

I’m currently working with the Housing department to see how Internet of Things (IoT) sensor technology can benefit some of our social housing tenants.

Over 60s who live in colder temperatures during winter months, or in homes with black mould caused by high humidity, are more vulnerable to infection, respiratory illnesses and chronic fatigue.

To help them, we are running an exciting pilot scheme in one of our sheltered housing developments.

Firstly, we plan to put environmental sensors inside and outside our residents’ homes before, during and after building work so that we can measure the results of the work and improve our approach to future building work. The sensors will measure humidity and temperature, and connect to a private, secure low-power radio (LoRaWAN) network via a gateway.

The Digital First development team will create a mobile app for residents to monitor current and past temperatures and humidity outside and inside their homes.

Data captured by the gateway could send an alert to council staff – for example, unusually low temperatures over a long period could be an early sign of fuel poverty.

Recently we also started working with Everynet, a local community group set up to create a free, public IoT network. The group has some very innovative ideas, which I will write more about in this blog very soon.

We’re sprinting!

We’re coming up to six months since the Digital First team moved to Jubilee Library and started transforming the council’s services.

We’ve taken on a lot of projects since then, are learning more about the city’s residents and businesses, and are going faster than ever before.

Digital First is also sprinting now – as in we’re running the Scrum framework. This video about Scrum explains more.

We got to a point where there were many projects running at any one time and it was becoming difficult to keep track. Now we’re using Scrum, it’s really clear to see what we’re working on now, what’s next and the role everyone should play.

We’ll be sprinting all summer

Like everything else we do, the way we manage our projects is a work in progress. No doubt we’ll learn from this and improve.