Helping test the Income Management System

We're looking for Local Authorities to help us test the LocalGov IMS in our private beta.

If you work in another Local Authority, you may have heard from the project team recently, since we commenced the beta phase of this project at the end of the summer.

To recap, the LocalGov Income Management System (IMS or ‘the system’) is being built by Local Authorities for Local Authorities. The purpose of the system is to receive and manage your council’s income. The first half of the beta (private beta 1) is focussed on an open source version of the system, the second half (private beta 2) on a supported (i.e. managed service) version of the system. What we learn in private beta 1 will inform private beta 2.

Recently we’ve invited other Local Authorities to participate in this stage of the project, helping us to undertake our private beta.

We think the most important part of this system are the organisations using it. Our team aspires to solve problems in collaboration with other Local Authorities, so we can strengthen our offer, reduce our frustrations, be in control of our systems and share a stake in a trusted, supportive, income community. This aligns to the Digital Declaration.

It’s essential we test the new system at this stage, here are three reasons why:

  • Learning how the system works once it’s shared

    We know the system works, as we have first hand experience using it, on a daily basis. We also need to learn how the system works when it becomes the shared project it’s intended to be. We’ll begin to learn this as soon as we have a second organisation using the system, and continue to learn as that number increases.

  • Understanding how the system should develop in the future

    We need to grow our user base of the system to inform how the system is to be developed in the immediate and longer-term, as the needs of the organisations using the system should determine this.

  • Understanding how we can support new users

    We want to understand how we support new users to begin using the system, and this includes moving away from current arrangements. We know this will look slightly different in every organisation, and involve technical, process and people considerations. We’d like to make the transition simple, intuitive and provide support where needed.

We know that Local Authorities are busy, and have many competing priorities, and our ask to support this project adds to a long list of other things to do. We’re also confident that there are benefits to exploring how the system may fit into your organisation. These benefits are summarised in our vision for the system:

To build a free, reusable and open source income management system, for the public good, that’s easy and affordable to maintain and enhance.

For as many Local Authorities to take advantage of these benefits as possible, we’re taking an alternative approach to our private beta tests and minimising the input required. We’ve taken inspiration from other teams in government, and hosting a model office, which we encourage Local Authorities to take part in.

What is a model office?

A model office is a simulated work environment, allowing us to test a solution in a realistic way. Our IMS model office will be shaped around four aspects:

  • The functional elements of the new IMS
  • Ways of working within your organisation
  • Working with other organisations using the IMS
  • Our expectations from a supplier of a managed service

When and where

We’re hosting 3 sessions remotely:

  • Tuesday 11th January: 10am - 1pm
  • Wednesday 12th January: 10am - 1pm
  • Thursday 13th January:10am - 1pm

Please let us know which session you’d like to attend by emailing hello@localgovims.digital.