Chris Lowis by Chris Lowis

Week 516

We were mostly back to full strength this week although I spent a couple of days travelling to Colombia where I’ll be spending a month visiting family. After recovering from jet-lag and altitude sickness I spent a couple of days in a co-working space working on the Modern Slavery Registry. Meanwhile, back in London, the rest of the team visited the Crown Commercial Service in their new office in Victoria for sprint demo, retrospective and planning, and continued working on the marketplace project.

Crown Marketplace

We’re continuing to focus on the Supply Teacher Agency procurement framework. Based on design reviews and user-research we’ve been iterating the application and making changes to the content. We’ve also been adding some additional features to a calculator which allows schools to estimate how much they might have to pay an agency if they decide to permanently employee a supply teacher. At this stage of the project it’s quite difficult to pin down stories at the start of the sprint, or to have large features to work on so we’ve been spending plenty of time talking to the team face-to-face, and running through changes with them to get rapid feedback.

Modern Slavery Registry

Earlier in the year we did a short piece of work for the Business and Human Rights Research Centre on their Modern Slavery Registry application. Since then we’ve agreed to spend a day a month on maintenance tasks and small features. This week we spent some time adding an RSS feed for newly published statements to make it easier for the team to integrate with other publishing services, and made a number of changes to the internal content management tool.

At our company meeting today Chris and I said that we’d enjoyed working on this project over the year but noted that the one-day-per-month arrangement isn’t very efficient. We end up spending quite a bit of time getting back into things each month and tend to spend more time in total than we have budgeted. It’s food for thought for future client projects but it also makes a nice change to be doing some work for a charity.


We’ve agreed that we’d like to be in a new office closer to Waterloo by the end of January and have narrowed down our list of potential offices. We’ll keep looking at others as we find them before we make a decision.

We’re also thinking about what we’d like to work on next. At the moment we have some availability from February so if you’d like to work with us please get in touch.

Have a good weekend!

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