Newsletter September 2022

Newsletter September 2022

Welcome back – we’ve had a busy summer working on projects and have included updates below. If you’d like more information, please email digitalteam@wlga.gov.uk 

Team Update 

Over the summer, we’ve had some changes to the team. Jo, our Head of Agile Delivery has taken up a new role in CDPS leading on User Centred Design, and Sam has announced she’ll be leaving the team to become Director of Primary, Community Care and Mental Health Digital Services at Digital Health and Care Wales. We’re currently hiring for a new Head of Agile Delivery with interviews taking place this week, so we’ll update you in the next newsletter. You can keep in touch with Jo and Sam on Twitter. We’ve got our new Delivery Support Officer and our new User Experience Designer joining at the end of September and the start of October respectively.  

Learning Frameworks

We’re getting ready to launch our learning frameworks which will be happening on Tuesday 18 October 11:00-12:00. The Learning Frameworks provide a structure of topics for self-guided learning, with a resource list and support for learners to collaborate, gain and develop new skills in digital roles. The first two roles covered are User Research and Content Design. If you’d like to come along to the Show and Tell, please email digitalteam@wlga.gov.uk and we’ll add you to the invite.  

Life Events Service Design

The project has completed its 4th sprint and has successfully developed a prototype for a Council Tax Reduction service. This has been iterated following a series of user research sessions and has now been baselined. User research feedback was very positive and has proved one of our main tests for Alpha: can we produce front end services that are better for citizens than what they currently use?  

The project is now looking to work with one or more councils to implement the prototype into a live environment. We will also be looking at other outputs from the Discovery phase to select another area of improvement we can work on. Further details are available on the Life Events Service Design blog

Local Government Transformation Fund

We’re now at a stage in the Fund process where we’ve received submissions, sifted against our commissioning model, held a Panel session to discuss the shortlist, and notified the successful and unsuccessful submission leads of the results. You can see the update on the Panel and the results here on our blog. If you’re interested in helping to support or collaborate any of the successful projects, please contact the project lead as shown in the table to express your interest.  

Latest blogs

Since our last newsletter we’ve published: Meet up: Web redesigns in Welsh councils, Principles of Persuasion: Authority, Life Events Service Design Show and Tell, Principles of Persuasion: Scarcity, Schools MI: Local Authority briefing note, Standardising our reporting, Flying Start discovery project blog, Life Events Service Design: Sprint 3 Show and Tell, Reading Week: July 2022, Local Government Digital Transformation Fund Submissions, Content design: skills and capabilities, Local Government Digital Transformation Fund Panel and Life Event Sprint 4 Show and Tell.  

Upcoming training

We’re currently booking the training offering for this year and will be out in the next few weeks with details and Eventbrite links ready for you to book yourselves on. A big thank you to anyone who filled in the survey we circulated asking for feedback on last year’s training – it’s been invaluable in helping us plan for this round.  

Digital Leadership Board

We held our first meeting of the WLGA Digital Leadership Board on 20 September. The Board exists to promote digital leadership within local government and to provide strategic oversight of the work of the Chief Digital Officer and team in supporting Councils. On the board we’ve got representation from SOCITM, Solace and councillors from across Wales. We’ll be blogging about the first meeting and making it available on our website soon.  

Website

Over the summer we’ve worked on our website to ensure we’re safe and secure. We’ve now separated our English and Welsh language sites to ensure we’re meeting standards around language and moved it onto WordPress hosting to give us maximum protection and support if anything goes wrong. The new URLs are localgovernmentdigital.wales and digidolllywodraethleol.cymru so if you have our site bookmarked, do make sure you update it.  

Digital Update

We’ll be holding our next Digital Update session on 26 September between 12:00-13:00 – come along and catch up on what we’ve been working on, and how to get involved. If you’d like to join us, email digitalteam@wlga.gov.uk and we’ll add you to the invite, we’d love to see you there!  

Blaenau Gwent Service Improvement Project 

After discovery work to understand the key challenges councils face to using UCD when developing services, we’re working with Blaenau Gwent to support them to improve a service using UCD practices like user research and content design. Blaenau Gwent have done focused discovery research to understand issues their street cleansing services have, and one of these is the false reporting of fly tipping, meaning costly crews being sent to deal with what is often littering. Their research shows this is due to difficult user journeys and unclear content.  

We’re hoping that the outcome will be a case study of the clear value implementing UCD practices in service design has for citizens and councils to encourage others to invest in carrying out more UCD when developing services. We’ll be coming out with details of show and tells in the next few weeks. 

Merthyr Food Poverty Project

Implementation of the platform to connect to, and bring together, data from three internal council applications is done. 

Work continues with the Merthyr Information Governance Team to identify issues associated with aggregating the data sources and agreeing what key poverty indicators can be used to test the solution’s ability to build the first iteration of a citizen focused RAG (Red Amber Green) early intervention alerting system. Further details are available on the Merthyr Food Poverty Project blog

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