Weeknotes S10 Ep12

Gif: a red pennant that reads ‘Nebraska’

Hi there, it’s Friday and I’m writing my weeknotes! I’ve been getting late with this and for the past couple of weeks it’s taken me until Monday to get them done, which I haven’t enjoyed because I like to write as a way to mentally process the week.

Anyway, here I am. So lets see.

Local Digital

It’s been an ok, if frustrating week. Having got to a certain point with procurement we then hit a bump with our procurement team — it now looks like we are in for further delays. I had to deliver the bad news to the local authority project team. They were very good about it thankfully…

I mean, I’m not going to go on here about how procurement is difficult because I feel like it wouldn’t be a new or novel perspective, but it often feels as though this is all very very broken.

Gif: Kimmy bashes her head against a wall.

It’s also frustrating as I’m kind of in limbo until this project kicks off, my motivation is low and this is partly caused because of the waiting, I don’t feel like I’m being useful. So I hope it gets sorted soon.

On the flip side though it’s been a better week because I’ve worked with people more, with team ceremonies like planning and retro, and with meetings with the rest of the collaboration managers.

We had a great couple of meetings about how we move to a model where we can work with project partners on a more continuous basis for funding — it was good to think about how we improve this. When we think about trying new processes it’s so easy only to think in terms of business efficiency for us, or our due diligence.

But we know from our user research that often our processes put additional burden on project teams, in that they need to create applications our outputs to give us the assurances we need to prove that we spent the money wisely. That means that our teams can lose momentum and the support of project partners because of delays which are no fault of their own, that might scupper a really great project.

Imagine if we made taking the weight off LAs and project teams an explicit objective of everything we do. If we said, I care about enabling you to do this. Imagine the cultural change in the team if we saw ourselves not as a funding bucket but as a giving service and looked at everything in terms of the help it would offer. I think it would make us radically different in terms of how we create and measure our effectiveness.

Ah, I also saw this from Cassie which I loved:

#OTGSP

So after last week I had to resist doing too much until we had our retro, but as it went Andy did an ace job of editing the videos and we’ve been able to get most of them up onto YouTube. They’re chopped up nicely, into individual chunks, so hopefully people can take and reuse them and watch them when they have time. I’m really pleased.

Shhhh, don’t tell anyone, but here’s a preview:

Video editing expertly managed by Andy Sandford of We Are Lean and Agile.

The twitter cards I made for all of the speakers are proving to be really useful as thumbnail images for the videos, which is pleasing as they all have a consistency and look pretty in playlist view. I had to make a card for myself (despite not wanting to) because I couldn’t cope with one of the videos not looking the same, so yeah, there’s my mug. It makes me uncomfortable, but there it is.

However, in small frustrations, this week I discovered that WebGL has been disabled by my work so I can no longer access Adobe Spark. It’s really stupid that something just gets turned off with no notification to people, and it’s annoying, especially when you don’t have a personal computer you can use.

On top of that when I asked our service desk if they could unblock it they couldn’t find any documentation telling them what to do about it, and couldn’t tell me who might be able to help. So grrrrr, IT, grrrrr.

On a personal level I was just enjoying noodling around with it; it was offering a little creative outlet which was soothing me. Anyway. GRRRRR.

A twitter card I made in Adobe Spark for OTG. Look I know it’s not groundbreaking graphic design but it’s mine and it was useful, and now it’s gone and I am sad.

We had our retro and it was good to take stock of what went well, what didn’t go so well, and also to hear some of the work that had gone on that I actually didn’t know anything about. Jon and Andy spent lots of time responding to issues in the mailbox that I didn’t see as once they were sorted they were archived, Paul spread the word in a number of forums he is part of which, I’m sure, contributed to the numbers of attendees we saw.

I also did a breakdown of attendees by department with the full attendee list of over 900 as opposed to the previous one I did which only had about 500 (only!).

It’s cool to see the number of attendees from the MOD, plus 2 from each of the armed services, Army, Navy and RAF.

On top of that we had attendees from public service in Australia (not too strange given one of our speakers was Australian and Paul has links there, but also a fair few from American social enterprises or charity organisations, which is an audience I don’t think we usually reach.

A bar chars showing the departments or places that attendees came from. The most attendees were from MOJ or it’s agencies, with 174 attendees. Then DWP (134), HMRC (134), MOD (42). 86 attendees were classified ‘unknown’ as they had used personal email addresses and not provided company or organisation information.

So the next step is to get the resources pack together and the feedback form out. I’m so keen to get some more feedback.

And what else?

I recorded an interview with Tim from Haringey Council as part of the training we are doing with Apolitical, that made a really nice change.

I finalised my presentation for the Digital Government conference which heavily features this xkcd cartoon…

Cartoon, a series of grey blocks all balances haphazardly on top of one another. At the top the caption reads “All modern digital infrastructure” at the bottom an arrow points to one very small block holding up several large ones, the caption reads “A project some random person in Nebraska has been thanklessly maintaining since 2003”. From xkcd: https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2347:_Dependency

I wrote last week’s weeknote on Monday, followed by a catch up with Dan from the hammock in the garden. Afterwards, I really struggled to get out again back to my desk and motivated. It was good to catch up and see how things are going, though I feel that we both struggled a bit with the Monday-ness of it all.

I managed to break the seal on Lauren’s Upfront course (just as it’s about to end) ploughing through 4 lessons in one afternoon. I absolutely loved this video of a Ted Talk by Brittany Packnett (and I’m usually not a fan of Ted Talks).

Permission. Community. Curiosity.

On Thursday morning I went to #Kindfest2020 which was organised by Be The Ripple. While I wasn’t so sure about the Remo aspect of it (because the tables were hosted it meant that the man hosting my table was doing a fair amount of the talking; considering the rest of the table was mostly women that annoyed me; but then it was kindfest so I decided to be generous).

Anyway, the speakers were interesting and people I wouldn’t usually hear. So I just listened and took some notes, it was a good and positive start to the day.

Finally my trello reading list: https://trello.com/b/BBJ726mr/progress-bookmarks

I presented this at show and tell and showed the team how you can filter by labels, some people didn’t realise you could do that, so if you’re only interested in certain content you can toggle labels on and off in the menu in the top right — you’re welcome.

A screenshot of my Trello board.

I’ve read a bit more this week and am likely to increase it over the weekend, so feeling happier. I haven’t had a chance to go through the data that Jonathan pulled together for me still but hopefully, soon, hopefully.

Finally I’m just gonna leave this here, because it’s weird and great.

Ok byeeeeeeeee.

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