Life Events Project Proof of Concept – Sprint Zero

Life Events Project Proof of Concept – Sprint Zero

Summary

We have just completed the first two weeks of the Life Events Proof of Concept (PoC) Project, which is Sprint Zero. 

The Life Events PoC Project is a research-driven project that is investigating and providing recommendations on a citizen-centric service delivery approach for all 22 local authorities. We’re aiming to understand how citizens interact and engage with their local authority over the course of their lifetime and how changes in their circumstances impact this engagement. For instance, if a user loses their job or becomes disabled, this may mean they need their local council to provide more services, and different services, than before. This is different to the usual approach of requesting services from Authorities and receiving these in a linear and siloed way, e.g., applying for a blue badge, applying for a fixed parking space outside your house, applying for a ramp to approve access into your front door. 

Once the project is completed, there is the potential for local authorities to proactively offer residents a holistic and more joined up support after certain life events. This fits into the Welsh Government’s push for a more collaborative and joined-up service delivery approach which puts users at the centre. 

The project team will be working closely with a number of Subject Matter Experts (SME) across all 22 local authorities and will seek their support and contributions in helping us to achieve the goal of the project.

The Life Event PoC project is scheduled to be completed at the end of March 2022.

Project Management

We started the project on Friday 7 January and have completed our first 2-week Sprint. We’ve ensured that the scope, vision, goal, objectives, and aspirations of the project are clearly defined and understood by the team. We’re using an agile delivery approach and using Trello as the primary planning and collaborative tool, and we’ll be running the project in four Sprint phases, starting with Sprint Zero.

In the light of the challenging delivery completion deadline of 31 March, we’ve put together a dynamic and collaborative five-person team. The delivery momentum is being maintained by having regular Sprint meetings, and we’ve done a Sprint review and retrospective meeting. 

We’ve started Sprint 1 on Monday 24 January with a Sprint planning session, and we’ll be blogging about our work in this sprint next week. 

One key issue identified in this last Sprint session was the lack of WLGA email credentials required by the team to communicate with the local authorities. As this is still the case, if you’re in a local authority, you may be contacted by Gloria Williams (Business Analyst) and/or Mike Holcombe (Delivery Support) who won’t have WLGA email addresses. If you have any questions, please feel free to email digitalteam@wlga.gov.uk.

User Research

For this project we want to ensure that we are focussing on citizens’ needs, as the end user of the local authority services. We do also want to engage with the local authority staff that are involved in the delivery of the key services offered to support someone going through a given life event, to help us understand their own experiences, needs and processes.

At the end of Sprint Zero we sent a survey out to over 200 local authority staff, across all 22 local authorities, to get their input on the life event they feel this project should focus on. We also asked whether or not they would like further engagement in the project so that we could develop a list of keen stakeholders. The next steps, as we head into a new Sprint, are to collate and analyse the survey responses to understand what life event we should focus on, and to begin some desk-based research to better understand the services on offer to support a citizen who is going through that life event.

Business Analysis

A communications strategy was drafted together with goals and measures setting out how we will work with the business stakeholders going forwards.  

The strategy is also a first step in gathering contact details, names, and roles of our Local Authority stakeholders so we can understand their impact and influence on the project.

There are some interesting data and facts published by the press so the next step is an analysis which would give us a contextual view of some case studies and real-life events within poverty in the UK. 

We’ll be blogging about Sprint 1, and it’s work and outcomes once we’ve wrapped it up after Friday 11 February.