The Hackney Labour manifesto 22-26 and Hackney Council’s strategic plan lay out how we are continuing to build a fairer, safer and more sustainable borough, despite recent challenges such as the Covid-19 pandemic and a cyber attack, alongside the cost of living crisis and the housing crisis.
We need to ensure our digital and technology products and services contribute to Hackney’s strategic aims for our residents.
In times of increased demand on council services and cuts in funding, we need to do more with less, provide value for money to our residents by improving efficiency, flexibility and performance, and using data and insight to monitor the impact of our work.
We must focus on the biggest problems to solve, where we can have the greatest impact, with the needs of the residents and local businesses at the heart of everything we do.
We’re shifting to a target operating model that enables growth, with consistent processes, multi-disciplinary product teams, ambitious product goals and achievable delivery plans.
The strategy outlines Hackney Council’s product vision and desired outcomes, alongside our four key areas of focus for the next two years.
Product Strategy 2022 - 2024
Our vision for products at Hackney:
Digital products that reduce time and effort for residents to get the services they need and inspire confidence in the council.Our strategic goals for 2022-2024
- Product prioritisation based on reducing time and effort for residents.
- Improving how we measuring the effectiveness of products.
- Products that enable internal staff to deliver outstanding public services.
- Creating the conditions for successful product delivery post cyber attack.
- Strategic product leadership.
- Improve our product management processes and practices so that we build the right things.
- Creating the conditions for success through establishing our product function.
- Build a skilled and engaged team of product professionals.
- Product Leadership
Championing digital, data and technology across the council and creating the right conditions for collaborative working.We’ll do this by:
- Contributing to Hackney Council’s strategy and ICT planning.
- Bringing ‘product thinking’ across all that we do in ICT.
- Creating a clear criteria for which products we should prioritise including reviewing our existing products (start, stop or continue).
- Celebrating successes and show work in progress, communicating impact and value.
- Improving on good working partnerships between services and ICT.
- A strategic portfolio of products that are focused on solving the key problems for our residents.
- Alignment of our digital products with the council’s strategic plan and ICT goals giving a focused, measurable and consistent approach to our work.
- Colleagues outside of ICT recognise how digital products support their council services.
- Product Management
Products that focus on the biggest problems to solve, where we can have the greatest impact, with the needs of the resident at the heart of everything we do.We will do this by:
- Ensuring every product has a clear vision and goals and focus on the problem to be solved rather than solutions.
- Putting resident at the heart of what we do with user needs informing decision making.
- Using data and insight to make decisions on how we prioritise what we work on.
- Developing meaningful metrics for our products to measure impact and value.
- Simplifying our product specifications (Minimum Usable Product).
- Product decisions are made with consideration to the broader technology ecosystem in Hackney Council.
- Consistent ways of working for product teams that produce measurable value to our residents and Hackney Council.
- Products align to Hackney’s manifesto goals and strategic plan.
- Products that are robust and secure and based on industry standards.
- The ability to provide measurable benefits to users and use data and insight to continuously improve our products.
- Establishing our product function
The right environment, tools and resources for product teams to succeed.We will do this by:
- Defining the conditions to be able to succeed and only work where it’s right.
- Establishing Hackney’s Product Playbook and working to consistent product definitions and practices.
- Creating product portfolio documentation.
- Establishing a product community of practice.
- Having clear roles and responsibilities within teams.
- Teams are set up for success and are able to deliver benefits quickly.
- A community of skilled and supported product managers who are empowered to work within multidisciplinary product teams.
- We share knowledge and resources, creating efficiency and saving time.
- Consistency in how we create products, saving time and reducing duplication.
- Skilled and engaged teams
Skilled product teams empowered to deliver good work, in an efficient and collaborative manner.We will do this by:
- Upskilling our current workforce by coaching and mentoring.
- Supporting professional development.
- Defining product team roles.
- Planning and resourcing multi-disciplinary teams.
- Recruitment and promoting Hackney as a place to work.
- A strong product management skill set within Hackney now and for the future.
- Robust approach to recruiting so that teams reflect the product needing to be built.
- Delivering recruitment and skills development to enable the restructure.
- Maximum value from agencies and contractors.
Conditions for success
In order to achieve our strategy we need:
- Multidisciplinary product teams that reflect the product needing to be built. If a skilled team is not available we will not be able to deliver.
- Empowered product managers that can make product decisions. If our product managers aren’t in charge of product prioritisation we will not be able to build the right things.
- Products built that solve problems for residents and are prioritised based on data and insight. If products are initiated that are not mapped to achieving resident outcomes we will not be able to provide value to Hackney.
- Open and collaborative services to partner with. If services are not proactive, respectful and willing to work with product teams we will not make the best use of our people and resources.
What multidisciplinary product teams look like
Multidisciplinary product teams are different sizes and reflect the skills needed for the work to be done. They might include:
- Delivery Manager
- Product Manager
- User Researcher
- Service Designer
- Content Designer
- Interaction Designer
- Technical Architect
- Data Analyst
- Business Analyst
- Content Designer
In summary, our product strategy gives us a vision, goals and deliverables to provide value for money to our residents, through our four key areas: product leadership, product management, establishing our product function and creating skilled and engaged teams.
By improving efficiency, flexibility and performance, and using data and insight to monitor the impact of our work, we can contribute to Hackney’s strategic aims for our residents.
Our new target operating model enables growth, through refined and consistent processes, multi-disciplinary product teams, ambitious product goals and achievable delivery plans.
Always working with residents at the heart of what we do, we’ll focus on the biggest problems to solve where we can have the greatest impact.
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