Manage a Tenancy

Service Standard Assessment (beta)

A service so good, people can succeed first time unaided

Points 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14

Point 1 - Understand user needs

  • Several research studies with different stakeholders have been conducted to date to understand user needs better.
  • Studies include focus groups; interviews; card sorting workshop to establish the information architecture of a form-based service; field studies to observe users in their natural environment; and journey mapping with users to understand their experiences through 2 different but related processes.
  • With the help of user interviews, focus groups and contextual inquiries involving up to 10 sessions and 13 hours with users, we captured many user needs. Some of which include:
  • Reduced checklists in tenancy audit process without compromising tenancy data quality
  • Reduce the need to pend/unpend processes as it's perceived to provide little value
  • Easy navigation to locate tenancy record quickly for read/write actions

Research to develop deep knowledge of who the service users are and what that means for the design of the service.

What is it?

Estate Officer and Area Manager Personas

Point 2 - Have a multidisciplinary team

  • A self-organising product team of 8, formed of developers (front and back-end); scrum master & product manager; and researchers.
  • All worked flexibly across functions on the product development based on experience, skill level and workload. Each team member worked at least 4 days a week.
  • Two researchers are responsible for the user research, interaction design and usability testing of the product.
  • The team was led by a program manager who also sat as the digital transformation manager.
  • The team worked with a product owner from the business team to capture, understand and negotiate business needs.

Ensure a suitably skilled, sustainable multidisciplinary team, led by a senior service manager with decision making responsibility, can design, build and improve the service.

What is it?

Point 3 - Use agile methods

  • The team applied a progressive development approach with collaborative efforts.
  • The team iterated designs regularly based on new insights and data
  • The team updated its technology with the creation of new, re-usable APIs - average of 1 per sprint every fortnight.
  • The researchers and product manager engaged with the product owner regularly to ensure the business needs were well captured, considered and represented.
  • The team regularly kept stakeholders in the loop by organising Show and Tell sessions (7 in total) every fortnight in rotation order at 3 neighborhood offices.

Create a service using the agile, iterative and user-centred methods set out in the Government Service Design Manual.

What is it?

Point 3 - Use agile methods (cont’d)

  • The team adopted Agile-Scrum framework to decompose epics into manageable tasks, then negotiated between tasks using a bucket sizing process to select tasks for implementation then shipped functional demo every fortnight.
  • The team was able to share and stay informed at daily stand-ups, and implemented change easily with consistent improvement of the product design based on user feedback.
  • The team used scrum ceremonies such as sprint review and retrospective (7 retros in total) to inspect, adapt and improve how they worked.
  • Key attendees at our show and tells included the neighborhood team, Tenancy Management Organisations team, product owner and the product team.

Create a service using the agile, iterative and user-centred methods set out in the Government Service Design Manual.

What is it?

Point 4 - Iterate and improve regularly

  • The team is well geared towards Agile methodology with regular sharing and feeding back.
  • The team has engaged several tools that support rapid iteration such as Balsamiq for wireframing, MarvelApp for prototype review, Slack for instant messaging, Jira for backlog management and sprint control, Confluence for asset repository and Google Suite for documenting and presenting.

Build a service that can be iterated and improved in response to user need and make sure you have the capacity, resources and technical flexibility to do so.

What is it?

The system is built on OutSystems as front end tool and Microsoft Dynamics CRM 365 as back end CRM tool. The application is hosted on Hackney Server which are whitelisted for accessing API services from OutSystems.

  • Microsoft Dynamics CRM 365: Two environments; staging and production
  • Outsystems: Two environments; development staging and production
  • The code has been shared on Github openly and licensed under GPLv3

Point 5 - Tools and systems

The service relies on APIs, OutSystems and Dynamics CRM 365

  • Customer identity is confirmed via Citizen Index through the Ousystems App
  • The product writes a customer interaction record in CRM 365
  • The remainder of the workflow process is then triggered:
    • Interaction is put is Area and Patch Tray
    • Interaction is visible to Area Manager and they can update and transfer .

Point 5 - Tools and systems (cont’d)

Point 6 - Evaluate what user data and information

  • The researchers became familiarised to the UK Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and ensured no breach of it by introducing a peer review technique before any user testing or public demo of the product to prevent mishandling of people’s data.
  • If there's a potential breach of data, the team will raise this and the necessary adjustment is made on time.
  • The team also usually scrambles data for use in usability testing.
  • The team is aware of the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) due to replace the DPA in May, 2018 and there is plan underway to train staff in the new legislation.
  • The Beta build offers users the ability to search for a resident with basic info such as name and address. User can create new resident with same info including DoB, email and phone but user is able to update just resident’s email and phone numbers as updating other personal data requires role and process based privileges.

Evaluate what user data and information the digital service will be providing or storing and address the security level, legal responsibilities, privacy issues and risks associated with the service.

What is it?

Point 6 - Evaluate what user data and information

The API has been written to open standards

  • The API has been documented in Swagger
  • We used the White House API standard for determining the data schema
  • There is currently no open data schema for manage tenancy
  • Future work will be required to adopt the open data schema once published
  • The use of Citizen Index (built to BS7666) supports common authentication and business intelligence around the product

Point 7 - Use open standards

Use open standards, existing authoritative data and registers, and where possible make source code and service data open and reusable under appropriate licenses.

What is it?

The service delivers a secure experience for users

  • All data is exchanged over https
  • The API is locked down to only communicate with specific IP addresses (ie that of the proxy)
  • The proxy only accepts requests made with a known client

We have adopted test-driven development and tested on all major devices and OS

  • The development team adopted test-driven development and frequently used pair programming to ensure that code worked before it deployed
  • The product has been manually tested across all major browsers (Safari, Chrome, Edge)
  • The product is responsive and performs well on mobiles and tablets

Point 8 - Test the end-to-end service

  • The team manages a responsive and adaptive test environment for expert review and user-testing on Outsystems, being the same platform to host the live version.
  • The researchers regularly tested the build on similar devices the intended users will use it such as on iPad for the estate officers and desktop for the area managers and contact centre staff.
  • A pilot scheme has been scheduled to commence on Monday, 5 March 2018 for several weeks with the participation of multiple officers from a chosen office.

Be able to test the end-to-end service in an environment similar to that of the live version, including all common browsers and devices.

What is it?

Point 8 - Test the end-to-end service

  • Citizen Index Search API Action Test Results
  • Citizen Index Repository Test Result when Data layer pull information from SQL Data Database
  • Citizen Index Housing Query Builder Test (when query prepared to pull information from the CRM Data Store)

Business function point test coverage for the citizen index search result request from an API and other application layers. Test tools we used include XUNIT, MOQ and the Test Runner is MS Test/ Resharper.

Point 8 - Test the end-to-end service

  • Housing Integration Test (This is a Full API End to End Tests)
  • Modified test coverage to handle the exception to Citizen Index Action Test

Point 9 - A plan for being offline

  • The service is hosted in a cloud environment, which ensures minimal changes of downtime.
  • For situations of service being taken down, a message notifying the use of the downtime is to be displayed on the main page of the application at least 24 hours before the downtime.

Make a plan for the event of the digital service being taken temporarily offline, and regularly test.

What is it?

Point 10 - Make sure users succeed first time

  • By fostering creativity in the team and the ability to choose and facilitate effective workshops has enabled the team to constantly question and iterate solutions to problems that result in simpler, quicker and more pleasant experience for the user.
  • The team constantly assesses touch points following every user tests to identify pain points, then work to eliminate or reduce the pain in their journey.
  • An example was the postcode search initially implemented for the resident search page. It was then discovered that the user preference is to use first line of address search.

Make sure that the service is simple enough that users succeed first time unaided.

What is it?

Point 11 - Build a consistent user experience

  • The team has just started applying the government digital services style guide into the product user interface design for user experience consistency in their journey across government owned products.

Build a service consistent with the user experience of government digital services, including using common government platforms and the Government Service Manual design patterns.

What is it?

Point 13 - Identify performance indicators

  • We will be using Google Analytics to manage analytics, without tracking individual sessions in a way that could compromise privacy

Identify performance indicators for the service, incorporating existing indicators and publishing to a performance platform, if appropriate.

What is it?

Point 14 - Do ongoing user research

  • The team manages a product design roadmap that support ongoing research, monitoring, measuring, testing and reporting for the evolution of the product.
  • Progress of the product is being tracked by the housing steering group, chaired by the Director of Housing, which meets monthly.
  • The pilot study core reporting metrics and data points will be:
    • User footprint pattern (how they navigate the pages)
    • Reliability (frequency of network loss and server downtime)
    • Completion rate (how many and where officers drop-out)
    • User satisfaction (compared to UH and Tenancy Audit paper filing)
  • We will be using Google Analytics to manage analytics

Put a process in place for ongoing user research, usability testing to continuously seek feedback from users, and collection of performance data to inform future improvement to the service.

What is it?

Points yet to be evaluated





Encourage everyone to use the digital service

Encourage maximum usage of the digital service (with assisted digital support if required).


Test with senior manager

Test the service from beginning to end with appropriate council member or senior manager responsible for it.

Manage A Tenancy - Service Standard Assessment - Google Slides