Local Digital Project: Chatbots and AI

Local Digital Kick-Off Workshop

Today saw the Local Digital Kick-off workshop at Code Node in London, an event that brought together all the 16 projects funded from the first phase of the Local Digital Fund, and for some (like us) gave the first opportunity to meet in person to talk about the project in detail.

Workshop overview

The Local Digital team have given us a head start in putting together Trello boards for each project as a way to capture the learning from the exercises we ran at the workshop. These were;

Hopes and Fears

This was a really great exercise in that it allowed us to think about this individually, and then share with the rest of the team.

For hopes there was a really strong theme of wanting to work together collaboratively, learn lessons, make connections and great partnerships. Also wanting to make sure the project delivered something worthwhile and could be picked up by others. We are all hoping to take away some personal learning and develop new skills.

Our fears were around workloads and the tight timescale given to the project. Getting the right supplier to help us was another concern. User research was a key area of fears; will we get it right? Will it produce useful outputs? Also our far-flung locations make for challenges in working together effectively.

Users and research

We’re all new to user research, and because we’re looking at a range of services and the potential for chatbots to help with them it’s a little less straightforward than a single service with a defined set

We discussed areas we could get initial data to help inform our business case;

We also starting developing hypotheses that we could test as part of the research work;

Developing the roadmap

We’d already done some prep work on a project timetable in Smartsheet as part of the application process, so much of the groundwork had already been covered. But it was useful to go over the timing and see it more clearly on the wall

Keeping the information flowing

We had a rapid brainstorm at a break to think about how we can all keep up to speed with what’s happening, check on who needs to do what and when, and share what we find out. We decided to;