Weeknotes 40: bumper edition

I didn’t write any actual weeknotes last week — instead I had a go at writing This is how I work . . . give or take. I had some lovely feedback to that blog post both from colleagues at Hackney and wider. There’s a collection of them here if you’re interested:


Now I’m attempting to squish two weeks into one, with 6 (great) things that happened this fortnight.

  1. We published two more service assessments. This is brilliant for lots of reasons. We’d committed to running 5 before the end of December and then reviewing our approach as part of how we’re approaching governance as a service. We’ve run 4 so far so we’re doing well. One of the teams decided to take a different approach to how they prepared and demonstrated their evidence which was ace because it means we’ve tried something different. We had external assessors from GLA and LGSS (thanks Michelle and Josie), and we’ve iterated how we brief assessors so that we support them better. Lastly — publishing them is part of our commitment to working in the open — which I’m really passionate about. Kahar and I had a brilliant chat with Hattie from BEIS about what it’s like to be a GDS assessor so that we could glean some top tips from her on what a great service assessment feels like as an assessor. In December we’re running our final one of the five, and then as a team we’re going to review and iterate how we organise, run and publish them in 2019.


2. I spent the day at MCHLG’s ‘vendor declaration project co-design day’ with a host of interesting and engaged people — looking at how we might design ways for suppliers to support the local digital declaration.

3. We kick started our discovery into printing as a service – we’re looking at how we’re currently using our multi functional devices across the council. This sprint we’re planning out our user research and looking at the data we have already. This is part of how as a team I want us to approach procurement and contract management — using agile methods and a user centred approach to join up the skills and knowledge in different teams to problem solve.

4. I worked with Emilia, Chris and Warren to pull together our discovery bid for the MHCLG local digital fund – looking at how we might build capability in digital commissioning and supplier relationship management. Fingers crossed we’re successful. As a team at Hackney we’re either leading or partnering on several bids – it’s been great to see so many people collaborating on shared problems. Esko Reinikainen and his team have produced an interesting network map from the data published so far:


5. Matthew Cain and I spent time prepping for the agile training we’re running this week. I think it’s shaping up really well, but it’s still an experiment in time/content/effort/participation* which won’t necessarily all work perfectly first time (and that’s ok). We’ve also roped in some colleagues to help us deliver it (thanks in advance to Rahma Mohamed Philippa, Nic, Emma and Marian.)


6. Our apprenticeship programme is coming together nicely – all 21 have started now and we’re working closely with the 3 training providers to make sure they’re up and running on working towards their qualifications. This week two apprentices have gone to work for a couple of hours a day with adult social care on a data project – it’s been great to be able to help out another team and it’ll give Bruno and Micah a really good insight into that service, spend some time with users and understand more about how the team uses data and evidence to design services for the future. Philip Glanville the Mayor of Hackney, came to meet the teams this week – and spoke passionately about creating apprenticeship opportunities in the borough. I’ve also been working with Amazon to design a wider building a digital career event for our apprentices in December and Hackney and Amazon are also jointly hosting an event for local employers in a couple of weeks:

Philip Glanville talking to some of our apprentices

What I read this week:

Hattie gave me a link to a great post about seeing feedback as a gift:


and Richard McLean pointed me in the direction of this (which reminded me to finish reading Accelerate**).


Cassie Robinson. wrote weeknotes about her new role – I really liked their open, iterative approach to what they’re doing:


and this just made me laugh out loud***.

Last but not least this – a sensible and clearly written reminder about how users see services:


*I was distracted by the new Jack Reacher book. I know.

**this includes a big tin of good biscuits and decent coffee.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s