Weeknotes 23: #oneteamgovglobal, people first

HackIT manifesto: people first

Week 4. 5 things that happened this week

  1. On Monday I went to #oneteamgovglobal – my first unconference and an event I’ve been looking forward for ages. It was brilliant – energising, thought provoking, inspiring, exhausting. I met so many interesting people, pitched a session that was chosen, blatantly (and selflessly) put myself forward to help at any #oneteamgovNederland events* , and learnt some sketchnoting (thanks Sam Villis and kim mclaren ).

I was left with an overwhelming sense of hope after the event. You can read more about #oneteamgov and their principles here if you haven’t already come across this marvellous bunch of folks.

And whilst at #oneteamgovglobal I also met a whole load of #weeknotes folk IRL — an amazing bunch of people.

2. I met Emma who’s just joined our team from Teach First. The Delivery team is almost complete, with one more vacancy being advertised now and our apprentices being recruited in August. Shameless plug alert – if you’re a great agile delivery manager and want to build services for Hackney residents so great they want to use them** have a look below:


3. Stephen was back this week and we caught up about contracts management and procurement. He’s new to his role as well so we’re both still in the mode of finding out how things work at Hackney. It was a really good discussion – he’s brought with him lots of experience in local government procurement and contracts management which I don’t have, and I’m learning loads from him.

4. I’ve been thinking about how we can take forward our training and development strategy – I had a great discussion with Rob Miller about the thinking I’ve done so far, and possible next steps. I’m really excited about this work – and how we can make the most of the opportunities we generate to share learning and develop our capabilities.

5. We had a great Pipeline workshop with Rainmaker Solutions – converting user needs into stories and mapping out the current process. It really helped me to understand the problem we’re trying to solve and it was great to be working with Soraya who’s just joined the delivery team as well.

What I read/learnt this week:

From a recommendation from Robert Vos at #oneteamgovglobal I read about Lankelly Chase and their work on working with complexity

I learnt about AWS ReStart programme via a webinar. A really interesting training programme aimed at military leavers and disadvantaged youth via Princes Trust.

and I read further through Richard McLean excellent governance as a service reading list.

*#oneteamgovNederland doesn’t exist (yet). But I’m planning ahead.

** and you get join a brilliant team doing great stuff. . . .


Weeknotes 22: working in the open

my new Hackney values lanyard — I chose ‘open’

So, week 3. It’s beginning to feel more familiar, and it’s been another interesting week of learning loads, and meeting great people. I’ve also collected several lovely lanyards and am finding it difficult to decide which one to wear each day.

Working in the open

Everyone can contribute to a better working environment by being more open and honest about what they’re doing. Sharing work with colleagues helps us break down the barriers between silos, and helps us work together more effectively for the residents. Share widely, and share often; share with people who may not have actually asked about what you’re doing (just because they haven’t asked, doesn’t mean they’re not interested).

The more we share, the better our work gets. HackIT manifesto

Five things that happened

So — here are 5 things that happened this week related to openness, sharing and community.

  1. Matthew Cain and I ran a session on how to name a service — based on the excellent slides and blog posts from Tom Hewitson and Lou Downe (thankyou)* and our own experiences. It seem to go down well – and was a nice intro for me for conversations with people I hadn’t met before.
  2. I went to a great show and tell about Hackney’s Tenancy API and the collaborative working between Made Tech, our development team (thanks Rashmi and Vlad), our architecture team and between different teams in HackIT. There’s a real sense of excitement about this work, and the collaboration and innovation it’s demonstrating.
  3. I had a great call with Katie and Joash from AWS, and Esmay from the Hackney Works team about our digital apprenticeship programme and how we might collaborate together – and help our apprentices build their networks and experience. Lots of great ideas and opportunities from both sides.
  4. We had a GDPR training session which was really informative — and helped me better understand the local authority context. I was reminded of seeing these brilliant posters from Co-op digital:

Making the General Data Protection Regulation easier to understand

5. I caught up with the awesome Dan Barrett which was lovely — and resulted in a great conversation with Matthew Cain and Dan about lots of stuff — data, forming teams, delivering value to users, complex processes and organisations.

What I read this week:

This blog post about a wiki style approach to collaborating from Linda O’Halloran:

Making the General Data Protection Regulation easier to understand

An interesting post from Richard Pope:

Making the General Data Protection Regulation easier to understand

This, which is a marvellous story of three Dutch women and their answer to cleaning up rivers:

Making the General Data Protection Regulation easier to understand

And finally I’ve ordered 3 copies of this (so technically haven’t read it yet but am very much looking forward to it) — thanks Doteveryone:

Making the General Data Protection Regulation easier to understand

*Sources are here:




Weeknotes 21: getting to know you, learning more

Which works both ways — I’m getting to know more about Hackney, my colleagues, our stakeholders, and the culture. And people are getting to know me in return.

Learn more

I’m finding hard to sift through everything that I’ve read, discussed, seen, thought about this week in order to write sensible weeknotes in a Mon-Fri format, so I’m going to stick to the 5 things that happened (NB waaay more than 5 things happened) format for now.

So this week:

  1. I met some of the suppliers who are currently working on projects with us, including a joint show and tell at our Florfield Depot site, on housing repairs. It was great to see other team’s show and tells, and find out more about what the teams are doing. Nic, Susan, Sachin and Dennis from the delivery team have all been really helpful in bringing me up to speed with each project, and I’m starting to form a mental map which is helping.
  2. I learnt more about public realm* and what’s happening in that service from a useful and informative update from Andy, the business relationship manager.

3. The apprentice video we made with Thaddeus and Maariyah from the comms team made last week went out on twitter and facebook:

I’m hoping it will attract lots of good candidates for the ICT roles from across the borough.

4. I met Alex for a coffee to talk about apprenticeships more widely and the overall ambition and vision for making best use of apprenticeship opportunities at Hackney. The same topic came up when I met colleagues from Adult Social Care and from Strategy, Policy and Economic Development. There’s a clear focus on attracting and developing talent across the council, which is great.

5. I went to another show and tell — this time about the user research library We are Snook are delivering with us. They’ve built a prototype which we’ll be testing over the next few weeks, and then feeding back on. It’s another really interesting and innovative project which I’m looking forward to seeing progress.


What I read this week:

Rob Miller published a blog post — affirming our support of the Local Digital Declaration

In support of the Local Digital Declaration

This — from GDS, was useful reading too:

In support of the Local Digital Declaration

I’m half way through The Art of Business Value by Mark Schwartz, and enjoying the fact that it’s challenging my thinking.

*being new to local government meant I wasn’t sure what this was, but now I know that it covers, amongst many other things, parks and libraries.