Weeknotes 25 – managing my time, gaining more knowledge

This was my grandma’s Beach hut, now my aunts. It’s brilliant.

Monday

Was a day off — spent at the beach with extended family in the sunshine. Glorious.

Tuesday

I spent Tuesday afternoon out on tenancy visits with Sahena, one of our housing officers. She very kindly let me tag along whilst she visited two of her tenants on one of the estates she manages. I learnt loads from the afternoon — not just about the processes she follows, the paperwork that’s involved but also about the estate we went to, how different services link up, and how users view our services.

Wednesday

At the lido for an early morning swim #2 of 8. I’m hoping I can make this part of my normal routine for the next few weeks.

I met David from the consultation team to learn more about how our ICT survey works and get advice from him on this year’s approach. I’ve spent time this week reading up on previous surveys, talking to colleagues and thinking about the new questions we want to ask this year.

Learning and development was a focus of the afternoon — Matthew Cain, Jasmeen and I had a great conversation about how we might grow and develop our emerging product manager community, I posted a summary of our HackIT learning and development strategy on the HackIT Google+ community along with a new learning tag which we’re going to try using to capture and share our learning across the teams. Later on I met Rory, Luke and Craig from Made Tech to talk about how they approach building capability in their dev apprentices. It was a really useful conversation — and we’ve agreed to get our apprentices together in the autumn to learn from each other.

Thursday

Richard and the user research team led the weekly ICT standup this week – with a great talk about the work they’re doing and the tools/techniques the team are producing to share with us.

Richard presenting about how we’re testing the language people use and understand

We had a first show and tell for the pipeline project from Rainmaker Solutions, they’re starting to sketch out what the developed design might look like so that it meets the user needs we’ve identified so far. There were loads of great questions from colleagues which was ace and made for an engaging discussion. I’m really looking forward to seeing this project develop over the next few weeks.

Lydia from Rainmaker

The afternoon was filled with conversations with awesome ladies — firstly Sam Villis who writes great weeknotes, thinks amazingly about problem solving and is helping me think about how we might get local authority people more engaged with One Team Gov. Then Rebecca Kemp who is well, brilliant. It was great to catch up with her on our respective new jobs, how we might collaborate, and where we can support each other.

Finally in the evening Philippa Newis, Rebecca Scott and Cheryl for a quiet (1) drink and a catch up.

Friday

I started my day early at City Hall talking to a delegation from local government from Shenzhen about HackIT and the work we’re doing at Hackney to build services, so good people want to use them. A really interesting meeting – I learnt more about the Smart City London plan from Stephen Lorimer, and about customer payments from Mike at TFL. Great questions from the delegation and then an opportunity to take photos from the balcony:

The marvellous view from City Hall

Working from home in the afternoon enabled me to pull together a draft set of questions for the 2018 ICT survey, and catch up on outstanding admin tasks.

https://media.giphy.com/media/1G1RvM4PCfqcE/giphy.gif

What I read this week

This from Kit Collingwood was ace, brilliantly written, and I’ve been reflecting on my own habits as a result.

View at Medium.com

My colleague Rahma Mohamed has started writing weeknotes — check them out.

This from Ian Ansell on we are citizens advice was really thoughtful piece about data, why its useful and why we need to be careful when we collect it.

View at Medium.com

Lastly — I look forward to reading Dan Barrett’s weeknotes every week — and the season finale s02e17 were excellent, thoughtful, honest and amusing all at once. Thanks Dan.

What I’m struggling with this week

Diary management. My diary management was awful this week, which meant I missed more than one meeting, was late to others, and had to rearrange some things last minute. There’s no excuse(2) and I’m grateful that colleagues were so forgiving. So — some micro actions I’m going to take that I know will help are:

  • Check what’s happening for the week on the previous Friday, and plan accordingly
  • Get into the habit of checking what’s already happening before and after a meeting invite before accepting said invite (google shows this on the right hand side which is brilliant)
  • Block out travel time between events
  • Make sure I know where I’m going . . .
  • Stop thinking that I can ‘fit it in’ (2)

(1) quite quiet.

(2) if there was an excuse it would be that I’m getting used to the new diary and email at work but I don’t think that’s a very good excuse, so I’m not using it.

(2) this will make Michelle Bayley chuckle wryly . . .

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