Weeknotes 12: Goede Dag from Groningen

It was another short week – I took a couple of days off to go to the Netherlands which is always fun*

I managed to pack a lot in to Mon-Wed though. . .


I met Richard McLean for a coffee. I was unforgivably late and he was both immensely forgiving and very helpful – sage advice about strategic transformation and making space for change away from business as usual activity. I’m hoping we’ll be able to catch up again soon to carry on the conversation.

At work we talked about KPIs – what are the best things we can measure and how can we do this most effectively? We’re building an open performance platform for our digital advice service but trying to decide what’s needed as MVP and what we’ll need as we grow the beta site. We don’t have to publish on the gov.uk platform but we’re committed to meeting the GDS standard in this area. So far ONS seems to have done lots of similar work that we can borrow from – but if anyone else has ideas it’d be great to catch up about it.

I did my coding for girls homework in the evening – and set up some lunchtime homework sessions for Philippa, Cheryl and I. I think it’s the only way I’m going to make sure I keep up.

Hacker Coding GIF by Monstercat - Find & Share on GIPHY


I had great conversations with the team about the project and how it’s going, and a good discussion with the submit a notification team about plans for beta. We have some great feedback from our alpha assessment that we want to work on before we start the beta project with contractors. That way we’ll start in the best place possible in June, once we’ve procured a team to help us.

And I caught up with Paul and Joanne Brown from our technology team to talk about governance and how we’ll manage IT change projects more effectively in the future. I shared with them the blog James Abley shared with me about documenting architecture decisions.



Was mainly taken up with meetings – our transformation board and the weekly get together of senior managers with our CEO. At the transformation board we had two of our change champions sitting in and participating – I find the best way to get the most out of a meeting is to involve the right people from across the organisation in it, so that we get the most value out of meeting together.

DILBERT © 2011 Scott Adams. Used By permission of ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION. All rights reserved.

What have I learnt this week?


This – from Leonard Cohen via a cafe in Groningen sums up what I’ve been thinking about taking on new challenges, trying new things and imposter syndrome (but see Gavin Elliott for really good work on this if you haven’t come across him already).

@jukesie wrote a great piece on digital being about people – and tech. Really well articulated.

Amazon knows me better than I know myself — apparently my life consists mainly of Sharpies and chilli sauce. Not far off tbh.

*being in the Netherlands is a mix of love and frustration. It’s a great place, and in another life maybe I’d have made my home here but I don’t speak Dutch as well as I used to** which is frustrating.

**I have a degree in Dutch. It’s a long (and quite interesting) story.

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