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Planning back office

Weekly update - 4 October 2019

This week, the team kicked off the alpha phase of the Back office Planning System (BoPS) project to move into the next phase of tackling the identified sector-wide problem: back-end case management systems aren’t meeting the needs of the people using them.

BoPS wn1a

BoPS is one of only six projects to be funded through the second round of MHCLG's Local Digital Fund, which aims to support local authorities through collaborative projects tackling common challenges.

For this phase of the project, the number of collaborative partners has grown to include Southwark Council, Hackney Council, Greater London Authority, Coventry City Council and Croydon Council.

This alpha follows the discovery phase, delivered earlier this year. Through this alpha phase, we are aiming to validate the end-to-end user journey of a planning application through a series of prototypes, tested with planning officers across a wide range of councils and iterated across each sprint with feedback.

What happened this week?

This week was all about getting back into the problem space, reassessing where the team got to at the end of discovery, onboarding new council partners to the project and aligning our alpha scope.

Some of the activities covered by the team this week include:

  • Facilitating the alpha kick-off workshop at Tooley Street - getting the core team and stakeholders together to align expectations, scope and goals with the alpha phase, as well as reassessing our project goal
  • Booking in user interviews - reaching out to the Planning Officers that we interviewed during discovery (London and non-London based) to begin scheduling in to test prototypes with, as well as reaching out to our wider network (through our new partner councils) to get introductions to newer contacts
  • Creating a prototype - taking our identified and validated user needs from discovery, as well as some initial concepts tested, to create our first alpha prototype to then test with planning teams
  • Setting up team comms - booking in our sprint Show & Tells for sharing our progress, as well as getting key meetings in the diary with other relevant teams

What’s next?

  • Assessing our identified end-to-end user journey in further detail
  • Getting our sprint one prototype into the hands of planning teams for feedback
  • Exploring data standards through assessing Hackney Council’s Submit my Planning Application (SmPA) and the London Development Database (LDD)
  • Continuing to reach out to engage further London and non-London council planning teams for interviews and testing

Page last updated: 01 December 2020

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