Weeknotes S2Ep10

Season two finalé!

That’s right. It’s over already.

Overarching feeling of the week

Well, I feel like there should be some big bang moment here what with it being the season finalé but in reality it was a fine week. Just fine. Pretty normal. Kinda boring actually. Sorry.

…tumbleweed…

I had two busy days where I had a full calendar and ran between meetings. Two days with no/few meetings and the ability to think. One day of “Being nosy”.

A bit of a rubbish way to end S2.

Unless there’s a plot twist? Is there a plot twist, Sam?

No, sorry. No plot twist.

Achievements

This week I learned that by making connections and putting one team in touch with an existing service team I’m likely to save at least £40,000. That’ll be great when I next review the Opportunities and Outcomes document I mentioned back in S2 Ep08.

I’m also working on something else which I hope will have a similarly chunky number attached to it. Money isn’t really the point of what I do, but it’s a good feeling knowing that there are a few tangibles appearing.


Our departmental BAME network were looking for business unit representatives, so I sent it out to encourage line managers to ask their teams if they would like to be a representative.

Someone came to me and said they would like to do it, which is brilliant.

Highlights

On Monday I spent the day with Stefan’s team in DWP, the Business Strategy Team. It was really interesting and eye-opening. It was exactly what I hoped I would get from “Being Nosy”.

I was lucky to spend the day in two workshops, the first was with Stefan’s team discussing how they are operating and looking for opportunities to improve, work together and also celebrate good work.

It was a useful way to get an overview of all the areas within the team and what they do, as well as what the department does more broadly.

I joined in on a discussion about team vision and values which I enjoyed and felt like I could contribute to. What was interesting was a question I’ve been pondering over myself:

How do you show value when you work on strategy, especially when that strategy is long term? Especially when you might not see the benefits of that strategy for some time?

I actually discussed something similar with Stefan back in S01 Ep06. There was some interesting discussion around how firefighting is almost a logical response to this, a feeling of working in the immediate, delivering something tangible, something that other teams can recognise and point to.

In the afternoon I was in another workshop which I can’t talk about here, but which put some of my data reading skills to the test.

It was good to be in a room just hearing those multifaceted conversations take place though. Listening and thinking.

Listening / thinking.

I spent some time in Kit’s team at DWP the other week which I mentioned in my last weeknotes.

In both instances I learned a lot about scale. About really big bloody difficult crunchy problems. It felt coalface, and good, and I felt like I have been a bit sheltered and want to do more (which was a good lesson and probably should be in the section below!)

crunchy

Other highlights included working from home on Wednesday afternoon because my diary was blissfully free of meetings. It meant I got to pick my little boy up from nursery early and that made me really happy.

On Thursday afternoon the digital team held our bi-weekly “Scrum of Scrums” which gives an overview of all the digital work going on. I really enjoyed it because I’ve been feeling a bit separate to that team recently.

They are very busy, doing good work. I am very busy running about. I’ve felt detached.


It felt good to be part of the team again hear about all the good stuff, and to talk about what work I think we have coming in over the next few weeks.

Later on I worked with Adele on something, I always enjoy working with Adele, and afterwards we went out for a swift drink. Highlight.

Lessons

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I talk and how little verbal ticks can cast doubt on the things I’m saying or seem to dismiss good things. I need to get better at telling stories about myself.

Actually, weeknotes have been really helpful for helping me formulate some of those narratives. I just have to work a bit on my presentation.

Plan for for next week

It feels a bit moot to include here, but it’s going to be more of the same I think. I’m hoping to spend the day at MoJ on Thursday with their digital team #beingnosy.

I’m hoping to write an S2 retro and do a bit of work to look at themes. I’d like to get some feedback from people too about whether my weeknotes are interesting/useful in any way, so if you’re reading this would you mind a tiny questionnaire? Would anyone respond?

No, I’m not sure either Oprah.

OTG microactions

None really this week, I also missed breakfast club on Wednesday due to being elsewhere.

Ideas for blogs / Things I’m thinking about

1.Weeknoters consultancy. Still thinking about this since Dan mentioned it in Ep32 of his weeknotes.

2.Benefits of being a person who works in the gaps. I haven’t been able to find time for this yet.

3. Collaborative blogging. Nour has sent me so ideas but I’m dragging my feet a bit, sorry Nour.

4. Assumptions tracking. I’m thinking about ways I can track my assumptions in pre-discovery scoping to help handover something to discovery teams which make it easier for them to design discovery. This has come back to me this week and feels important again.

The wind has come out of my blogging sails a bit.

Read / Watched / Listened to

  1. Finished listening to How Not to be a Boy by Robert Webb, and also Animal by Sara Pascoe. Both felt like different sides of the same coin. Both are brilliant. Next I’m going to listen to the Eddie Izzard biography and Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge and more (when I work out how to send back my Audible books and get more).
  2. Been watching interviews with Rachel Whiteread on YouTube:

3. I really like this, by Medium superstar John Cutler:

Till next time.


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