Wigan Council

Wigan Council

Lone Work App Design Project

Briefly describe the initiative/ project/service; please include your aims and objectives

The project was to create a lone worker app and portal to ensure the safety of lone workers across the council. Our current processes involved a limited number of lone worker devices, it involved staff putting locations in calendars, creating & administering multiple lone worker rotas, managers remembering to check which of their team were lone working for how long then whether or not they have reported back in as safe. It means a lot of administrative work.

The brief was to create something which would work on existing staff mobile phones, as they already have these, we did not want a solution which required a further device to be carried around. It also needed to be a simple, easy to use solution which supports the delivery of The Deal and our asset based approach which sees our Social Care teams working across the locality providing key support and services to our residents. It needed to give our manager and teams reassurance around staff safety without the need to be reporting back to office base to do this

What are the key achievements?

Staff feel safer – this has given confidence to the workforce whilst working agilely Management Stress, reduction due to introduction of electronic monitoring Reduction in time spent on administration tasks – staff and managers can focus on the required skilled tasks in place of low skilled tasks, Mileage reduced as staff no longer need to return to check in at bases – the app replaces this requirement, therefore impacting positively on carbon footprints Cost savings from the termination of multiple existing solutions. We now have a designed app which can be repurposed and used across other services, providing a strategic corporate tool to assist for all workers in similar roles.

What are the key learning points?

Collaboration works – having ICT teams work closely with the services really ensures we are able to capture requirements effectively. Staff engagement and involvement is key throughout the project. Ultimately, they are the ones who will be using the solution so it is really important to speak with them about what would work and what would not. We spoke to them at various times throughout the project, from initial testing of off the shelf products through to user acceptance testing of the final product. Communication is key to success – we ensured ALL stakeholders were involved, we considered impacts on workforce, so HR & unions were heavily involved as well as utilising the skills and experience of our internal Central Watch security teams, Legal Teams for policy/ethical considerations throughout the process; this proved invaluable as they were able to offer requirements based around policy and procedure rather than functional requirements. We also now know more around App Development, in hindsight, we should have commenced discussions with Apple earlier as the process for obtaining a developer license (to publish the app) took quite a significant amount of time – this will be applied in future similar work.