Weeknotes s5 Ep4

Here we go again.

Cruella De Vil says “Blast this wretched, wretched pen!”

Hello, here we are at weeknotes again. Another week flown past and I’m sat here thinking about what to write.

I’m feeling generally like this week was productive. I came out of some of the greyness of last week and started to feel things coming together. There have been a couple of small changes in the team which have helped this.

Kanban-ter [1] with added gifs

Our team migrated off of Google Hangouts and on to Slack this week, this is a small but useful shift. Useful for me because I’m no longer incorporating an additional channel, but moving off of one and onto another. So the cognitive burden isn’t as bad.

I also commandeered our whiteboard to start my own kanban for DHSC cases [2] because I was struggling to keep track of them all. Powered by Jon Hopkins in my headphones, I finally cleaned away our neglected old team grid and gave the board a good clean. It was cathartic.

Tamatoa sings “Shiny”

My new board is rudimentary but it’s mine, I can change it as and when I need to. It feels good to physically move things, and it’s helping me visualise where things are in the process, taking some of the load off remembering where everything is.

My kanban

I’ve tried spreadsheets and Trello for this work before but it hasn’t been as helpful, for me. Plus, this is another good way of working in the open and getting people involved in what I’m doing.

I got to move two cases across to done this week, and when I moved the second one I made a bit of a show of it, so a couple of people in my team gave me a little round of applause which made me feel good.

Skeletons clapping from The Nightmare Before Christmas

It isn’t revolutionary by any stretch, and I might seem overly enthusiastic about the whole thing, but this has been a bit of a game changer for me. I’ve been holding all the detail in my head, it’s been difficult to see anything other than a big pile of stuff building up. I’ve felt like I don’t have the time or capacity to move things across [3] but now I can see that at least things are moving to the right, even if that progress is slow.

Out and about

I had a few good meetings this week and being out and about was coupled with being anchored back to the office each day. This meant I wasn’t worrying about how to get from one place to another, where to find somewhere quiet to hang out for half an hour to take a call, and I didn’t have to lug all my stuff around with me all day. It shouldn’t be understated how much of an additional burden this can be.

Sparky from Frankenweenie on a treadmill.

I did get lost in Canary Wharf on Wednesday but that was a brief blip.

This week I also had breakfast with fellow weeknoter Julie on Monday morning and it was really lovely to catch up as I hadn’t seen her in ages. I also scoffed a whole ham and pineapple pizza at lunch with Simon and Nim on Wednesday which was lovely too.

Ursula says “Now, look at me, wasted away to practically nothing.”

One Team Gov Breakfast Club

I almost didn’t go to breakfast club this week but then I did some tube travel planning and worked out that it was totally possible to get there and then straight to another meeting and that there really wan’t any reason for me to miss out.

It’s been good recently, there have been lots of really interesting topics up for discussion and we are getting new or different people each week, as well as some of my favourite faces. This week it was nice to see Cate and Gavin who I haven’t seen in some time.

I also thought I’d have a go at taking one of my thoughts from weeknotes back for discussion:

In a large org, whose job is it to care?

This is something I was puzzling through in my weeknotes last week. And, in the venn diagram of thinking this thing through I think the question covers a number of topics:

  • the role of HR
  • how multidisciplinary teams work effectively together
  • how hard transformation can be (and lonely and requiring perseverance and resilience)
  • and also in feminism and emotional labour.

It’s also a little bit about “Being Glue” in your day job.

When I tried to get all of my thoughts out last week I didn’t manage to round them off completely, and there were a few spiky edges which people asked about. I think I maybe made it sound like received unfair questioning at breakfast last week, I didn’t, it was healthy challenge about how I perceive myself and my role and what I think is important. It was, well, all that gluey stuff.

Edna Mole says “Words are useless!”

Anyway, I got some really helpful thoughts about it all:

Notes on “In a large org whose job is it to care?” from breakfast club.
  • In the military chaplains or similar have the set role of managing pastoral care and a part f this is providing challenge to formal leadership. There is a set role for this and it is part of the workings.
  • In teaching some schools adopt a coaching culture, one attendee at breakfast said that everyone in her school has a mentor and that person is impartial, outside of hierachy. This creates a more supportive environment with trust, good conversations, safety and care.
  • Jonathan referenced my weeknotes last week about certain roles in multidisciplinary teams taking on the emotional labour and positied that maybe this was because generally we are bad at training the skills needed to effectively care. This might mean it is more likely to fall to women who have been socialised to to this kind of role? I’m with him on this.
  • Then some tips, heck ins at the beginning of every meeting so that individuals are present and can be themselves, some teams also run a weekly “Pulse” survey to see how everyone is doing.

There were other really interesting conversations this week, you’ll find the rest of my notes here:

And that’s it, my week done. Here’s my playlist, no Moana this week you’ll be glad to hear, and a shorter list than usual because I’ve mostly been listening to Jon Hopkins.

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/6PIGgjnje8DCBnnEbQuMr0

No weeknotes from me next week because it’s half term and I am going to Disneyland! [4]

HeiHei screaming. I know, I’m excited too.

[1] I’m sorry.

[2] Department for Health and Social Care. I manage spend control cases for this department and all of it’s many ALBs (Arms Length Bodies).

[3] Did I mention that I’m part-time now? I can’t remember if I mentioned it.

[4] Find Disneyland photo spam here.

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