Weeknotes 33: inspiration, accessibility and sharing our work

Quite a week — where lots of things happened*, and some things didn’t because I had to let them go . . .

5 (great) things that happened

  1. Mike Bracken came to talk to us — brilliant talk, really engaging and inspiring. There were some great questions from the team — and encouragement from Mike for the work we’re doing. Our design team have done a fantastic job of inviting external speakers, running pop ups and talks this week, including an accessibility pop up where staff can experience what it’s like to access online services with a variety of access issues. I particularly liked the creative taping of buttons to Hidayat’s fingers to mimic mobility problems. (Hidayat started with us this week as one of our two delivery apprentices — it was great to welcome him to the team.)

acessibility pop up — in the pic the team are testing different ways of accessing services

2. I went to #mapcamp2018 along with my colleague Kameel. We split the day between us — I was there in the afternoon which meant I got to hear great talks by the awesome Janet Hughes, Dr Sal Freudenberg and Danielle Haugedal-Wilson. It was inspiring stuff — and as a result Kameel and I are planning to try some Wardley mapping together.

3. I’ve been working with a small team over the last few weeks looking at our use of mobile data, and how we might use agile methodology and user insight to inform our future contract management and procurement. It’s been brilliant working with them all — this week they did a presentation to the rest of their colleagues about what we’ve done, how we did it, and what we’ve learnt. I know they were all nervous — and they did a fab job. Loads of great questions from colleagues — and a chance to share our work with each other.

Show and tell — Anwar, Karim and Stephen presenting

4. I had a great call with Katie and Joash from Amazon Web Services (AWS) about the support they’re offering for our apprentices — there are loads of great ideas which we’ve focussed down into three main areas: support in building a digital career, job shadowing with AWS, and mentoring/skills workshops for women (building on work they’re already doing around diversifying talent in tech).

5. We had our regular leadership team meeting which was an opportunity for me to explain my thinking about how we might approach contract management and strategic procurement. I’m planning to use a discovery focus with a small agile team for a key contract each month so that we better understand the user needs, our current data and processes, and the commercial landscape before we think about procurement. I think this is the right approach — but we’ll only know when we’ve tried it a couple of times.

1 (great) thing that happened that I missed

Dan Barrett and lots of other brilliant weeknoters met up in Bristol. I’d had it in my diary for ages but a combination of work things plus domestic ones* meant that, in rare moment of diary sensibleness, I had to let go of it. I really missed being there though.


What I read this week

This thoughtful blog post from Cassie Robinson. who’s moving on to the Big Lottery Fund from Doteveryone. She’s awesome – one of the first people I met in my previous role, super supportive and insightful.

View at Medium.com

Following my post about Governance so good, people prefer to use it several people tweeted/messaged me about further blog posts and articles that I hadn’t seen yet (thank you!): including this one from Kent Aitken from Canada’s Public Policy forum

View at Medium.com

What I learnt this week

I learnt quite a bit about Wardley mapping — and am inspired enough that I’ve signed up for the online course from Leading Edge forum.

I’ve also started a night class at City Lit in Dutch** — this week was about numbers and I thought I’d share this wonderful video which was part of the course material. Clever and engaging . . .

*not all of it work, and included flooding and emergency building work

** when One Team Gov Netherlands is ready to go, I’m there ready to help them.

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