Things have kicked into overdrive this week as we aim to run our first user research workshop on December 11th!

This will be our "Northern Workshop", designed to engage with individuals from our Stakeholder Map who are roughly grouped together at the top of the country, closest to where we're based. Our map shows that we're ultimately keen to reach people covering the length and breadth of the country so it's logical to split our research sessions up into broad areas and run several.

Sharon and Marriane have issued invites to those in this first area and opened up a space at the DXW Digital Leeds office for the day. Lunch is being provided and the workshop will aim to answer the questions from the key themes we identified last week and the format of the day and accompanying slides are being pulled together as I write this.

To help shape up the session (and indeed future workshops), we started this week mapping out the capabilities of our Income Management System and it's limitations. From a document that Zoe and Debbie produced, Marriane extrapolated out a Miro board that generated a number of queries. Some were technical, others were simply to clarify understanding. All of them helped to create the questions that will be asked through the course of our research.

In parallel, this week we've also design and issued our Expression of Interest form - designed to capture details of interested parties who we don't yet have on our Stakeholder Map but who might like to be involved. We'd like to get this in front of council's who may not have heard of the project or who are typically less engaged in these sorts of Discovery activities.

We're currently working on our Supplementary Survey that we'll issue next week - designed to give us both quantative and qualitative data that we can supplement our workshop research with. It takes around 11 minutes to complete and we'd appreciate as many people as possible working through it.

The amount of activity we've gone through this week has lead to us introducing two new tools to our team working arsenal - Trello and Zoom. We've used Trello to map out our activities, identifying their current status and who is working on them. Dragging activity cards between various columns including "To do", "In progress" and "Done" whilst attaching our faces to the ones we're delivering has really helped us to make sure that everything that needs to be done is getting done, without us falling over each other.

Zoom is a video conferencing tool that we're using to keep in touch and for our daily 10am standups. It creates a kind of Blankety Blank board (showing my age there!) of attendees and if one person has connectivity issues, it doesn't affect the others or the call itself. On our first day with it, Zoe and I were huddled around her laptop on a call when her battery ran out. Within 30 seconds I'd connected us back in using my personal phone and the call continued. Really easy to use and very flexible - the second day I was held up on the school run and so dialled in on my phone sat in the car outside school and it still worked just perfectly fine.

More next week!