30 January 2020

We’ve been working with Hackney Council and MadeTech, collaboratively redesigning their Benefits and Housing Needs. We’re inviting you to follow our work through shared sprint notes as we design a service which is easily understood, fair, accessible and beneficial to Hackney residents. These sprint notes were first published by Hackney. You can follow our process on HackIT, and the other great work happening at Hackney Council.

It’s been an exciting first month for the team as we continue to develop Information + Evidence, the Single View, the SMS tool and start work on Understanding Vulnerability. It’s great to have the team back together for 2020.

What have we been doing?

New Year, new plan. We’ve hit the ground running and all the things are starting to happen, it’s great to see so much activity.

The SMS tool pilot has begun with service staff, bringing them up to speed on the purpose and how to best use it. This meant we needed to think about the onboarding experience for the resident we’re communicating with, cue some quality time as a team to think about the best way to do this.

The Single View continues to be our favourite, with developers starting to add features requested by staff. One of them is DOCUMENTS! Users are now able to preview and view any document stored in any system when looking at a resident’s information. We’re also running time trials with test users, saving a service officer 25 minutes in collating information they need.

In these next few months, the team will be looking at how we can start to collaborate more with other services in the council, with a shared understanding of vulnerability. Already we’ve started to map out what this work is and isn’t.

Resident intervention service offerings

The team is starting to define the characteristics that could suggest a resident needs an intensive, holistic, multidisciplinary service as well as characteristics that could suggest a resident can help themselves with the right nudging/coaching. We’ll be focusing on how we best balance vulnerability with assets.

What are we learning?

As you can see, we’re working on a lot. Meaning our learnings must be a lot as well, right? Some of our highlights include:

Single View:

Makes work a lot easier to locate information, I think it is very efficient as it saves a lot of time.


It has saved me so much time and has created a clearer and more detailed picture on my client’s situation and history, allowing me to carry out better quality, more tailored, assistance and support.

SMS Tool:

  • residents are keen to be texted actions
  • officers believe the tool will help increase engagement
  • officers are keen to filter messages by teams
  • officers would like templates and mass texting
  • SMS contact increases awareness of data protection

Information & Evidence:

If we tell residents their wait time they won’t believe us, but when they see it on a computer they will.

The tool is useful for the team (customer services), it gives us more leverage to talk about the private rented sector.

This tool will encourage those in temporary accommodation to be more proactive in finding a property.

What’s next?

Over the next two weeks, we’ll be running workshops on understanding vulnerability and managing expectations through communication. We’re looking forward to sharing the findings in our next update.

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We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about FutureGov and discuss how we can work together.

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