Weeknotes: NPC’s digital work for 2021

Kathryn Dingle

NPC’s digital work for 2021

 

2021 is almost over and what a year it has been. I formalise my Product Manager role at NPC in February 2021 and have loved every minute of it. Below I wanted to share some of my reflections on the work we have been doing in 2021. My core aims include:

Aim 1: Making it easier to find support

Our vision is to help create a world where it is as easy for young people to find support online, as it is to find the latest deal, news music or best takeaway nearby.

We are tackling this from two angles, downstream directly with users and upstream with the system.

A screenshot of the my best life app

Downstream working with users: We have a progressive web app called My Best Life that helps young people find services and opportunities within Lambeth. This is a proof of concept which is testing well with young people. We are now keen to explore how it tests in the real world, and if/how we could make this scalable and sustainable across the UK. This has been a test and our focus is exploring the route with the most impact.

Upstream with the system: Most organisations are wasting time manually creating directories of services within their local area to signpost users too. We want to reduce this duplication and make it easy for charities and their users to know what is out there. In 2022, we are exploring how might we increase the availability of charity service data across the UK. We want to explore how we can build on existing work, and current processes to ensure it is a simple and easy solution to engage with. We will be holding a series of events and user testing sessions, alongside with creating a collaborative working group. If you want to get involved, please get in touch with Kathryn on kathryn.dingle@thinknpc.org

Aim 2: Making it easier to learn and adapt within charities

Our vision is to create a world where organisations can learn and adapt quickly and easily.

Our user research found that the process of creating a theory of change is useful, but the final product is often not connected to the day-to-day and becomes out of date.

Embedding a Theory of Change: we have been exploring whether a digital product can help organisations to better connect their Theory of Change with their data, so they are better able to learn and adapt. Have currently built a no-code product to test the concept. We will be looking for user testers in 2022! If you are up for testing our MVP, then please get in touch with Kathryn on kathryn.dingle@thinknpc.org. Below is a screenshot from part of the software.

A screenshot of the kanban board from the theory of change software

Aim 3: Creating better digital products 

Our vision is to ensure all our digital products are accessible to all (including improving this current webpage in January 2022!)

Earlier today I shared my reflections on NPC’s digital products principles for 2021 and beyond. These are the 12 principles that guide our development of better digital products to meet users’ needs.

NPC's digital principles for better products, such asking why before what

  1. Find problems worth solving
  2. Ask why before what
  3. Working towards a vision over short-term aims
  4. Work together and reduce duplication
  5. Focus on inclusivity for all
  6. Positive outcomes over features and internal priorities
  7. If we fail, we fail loudly
  8. Move at the speed of trust
  9. Ecosystem over ownership
  10. Equity & all boats rise approach
  11. It is not just a product but part of a wider journey
  12. Launch to learn, not for perfection

Read more about them here.

Aim 4: Embracing Agile within NPC 

Our vision is to help create a team who are able to benefit from Agile ways of working throughout their projects and with clients.

We have been working with the Wonderful Jenny Lowthrop from FeelGoodDoGood, to upskill the NPC team around Agile ways of working. This has spurred on changes within projects and increased motivation amongst staff, especially when working remotely. Jen has also run a series of team mission, vision and goals sessions with our Innovation and Development team. This has given us a renewed connection within the team and a renewed energy. I am looking forward to sharing our vision soon!

Until next time

As 2021 is drawing to a close, I hope you are looking after yourself and are keeping well. I hope you all get a break over the holiday period and look forward to connecting more in the new year! Thank you for hardwork!

Until next year everyone!

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