What a week! We rolled out the second incarnation of the website on Tuesday and ran shadowing with a different agent each morning and afternoon until Friday. We were on hand to guide agents where they needed prompts as well as to collate feedback on their user experience. As part of our Service Assessment (and professional pride), we expect to iterate and improve post-launch and we will continue to shadow at various points so that we can stay engaged with their needs. Currently, HackIT doesn’t have a support model for continual improvement and this is something we need to explore further in the coming weeks. I’m used to clients buying x hours’ development per month (eg for usability tweaks, bug-fixing) and that could work here too, even if our ‘clients’ are other departments and no actual money exchanges hands.
One of our biggest headaches this week was transactions not coming through correctly. Discrepancies between balances on the CRM, My Rent Account and Universal Housing were putting giant question marks over all our heads. We’ve identified our definition of balance as one of the causes – no, it is not where you stand now, it is where you will stand after next week’s rent and next week’s housing benefit. Strange but true. And now corrected.
The other apparent cause is how transactions are fed into the CRM. Huge thanks to Selwyn Preston and Emma Harley’s team on My Rent Account for diagnosing and fixing this problem. Essentially, failed caches do not get reloaded automatically and so some transactions have not been reconciled to the CRM.
We then had a real humdinger last thing Friday when a couple of calls from tenants revealed that Paris was still pointing to the test environment instead of live. None of the 10 payments we had taken had gone through. We sprang into action to discuss it with Finance while Sachin made the fix. A genuine human error but, in the interests of learning from our mistakes, something that automated testing would have picked up. Meat for our next retro at any rate.