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.
Zing, zing, zing! Once again, more and more ideas are being created and tested by the team. We want to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the service staff who are doing great work and constantly delivering amazing outcomes for residents, especially with demand increasing.
We’ve now been working remotely for four months. A long time and it all seems normal now, but weird not to see any of the team's faces. Our team has definitely felt pressures and a variety of emotions over the last few weeks. And so, it’s great to be surrounded by such a supportive team on this project and even finding time to have some fun.
Here’s a bit of a different sprint notes update this week.
What have we learnt from working remotely?
Building and sustaining a team can be difficult when things change. Most of the team were extremely used to working in offices - with people. And so testing new things, workshopping ideas and collaborating on code and design has taken some adjusting.
But we’ve learnt a few things;
- make sure you have easy communication channels to ask any questions or share progress
- user research is a whole new beast, especially when a service faces increased demand during a pandemic
- ways of working are easy to change if you’re open to it
- fun can bring the team closer together
We’re sure there are so many more we can list, and perhaps we will start going through them in our sprint notes moving forward. But first, fun!
What kind of fun are we having?
Not engaging in social interactions or activities can really take its toll, this applies in delivery teams as well. How can you work with someone you never really talk to? How do you get to know people through meetings? Forced fun, of course.
A few weeks ago we forced the team to have some fun through a ‘Team Challenge’, bringing competition into the mix. Involving a drawing competition, a completely ridiculous scavenger hunt, an excel masterpiece and a tie-breaker maze. As you can from the pictures, the team got pretty competitive. It was great to get to know people at a more social level and continue to build those connections needed to deliver impactful work.