S2 Ep4 – thinking out loud

London’s amazing circular green walk

I’m writing this at the end of a beautiful bank holiday — full of sunshine, and being outdoors. On Sunday I discovered a new walk* from Highgate to Hackney Wick, part of the Capital Ring. It took me past new parts of Hackney I hadn’t seen before and to some old haunts as well.

5 things that happened last week (before the bank holiday!)

  1. The unit of delivery is the Team. I’ve been thinking a lot about teams recently — what makes them work well, what stops them and how to support them. There’s lots of focus on individuals, talent, skills leadership etc. but what about how individuals succeed within a team? We’re all often part of more than one team at any one time — maybe a project team, a leadership team, a professional community of practice. This week I spent some time talking to other people outside of Hackney working in a similar space which gave me the opportunity to step back from the day to day and think out loud about the journey we’re on. And I spotted this on twitter — about team safety:
Tweet from @mrcthompson -checklist for safety in a team

2. Bureaucracy Hack. We didn’t meet this week because bank holiday, so technically not a thing that happened this week but I’m including anyway because applications for the ticket lottery close soon — and I’m really keen to see lots of local gov people there.OneTeamGov bureaucracy hack
Join us at our #bureaucracyhack and help solve problems that will make our working lives easier and let us focus on the…www.oneteamgov.uk

3. We had our regular IT security meeting — these are always really interesting, and I learn loads about the work of the team, and how they’re working with all the teams to make sure that security is baked into everyone’s work. It’s a key strand of the service assessment work we’re doing — so it’s good to see different teams collaborating on the topic from different angles.

4. Matthew and I spent some time thinking about our pipeline of work — what it’s looking like today. We’ve got a budding physical wall developing (as well as publishing everything on pipeline), and with advice from Giulia Merlo I’ve got plans with Nic, our lead delivery manager, to develop it into the next iteration. Pipeline will always be where we’ll publish our work openly, but we also need to be able to visualise our programme of work in the office.

5. I ended the week with a useful discussion with henry lewis and Colin, one of our service team managers, about the sort of support arrangements we want to specify in our new printing on demand contract. It’s an opportunity to do things differently — and work out where it makes sense to have things in house, and what to outsource**.

What I read this week:

This, from Tom Scott, Head of Digital at Wellcome Collection on measuring performance:Data informed not data driven
Performance Indicators are an important ingredient in how we design Wellcome Collection’s digital services. But being…link.medium.com

This, from Chris Harper at Barnados about their open intranet:Inside.Barnardos: The Intranet Without Walls
How and why Barnardo’s opened up its new intranet to the world.blog.barnar.do

I really liked this from @jukesie on service assessments, echoing a lot of what we’ve been thinking about at Hackney. We use the local digital service standard, and they are not gateway assessments — but we are trying to make sure that we take the best from independent peer review, teams having the chance to show their work in a safe, but challenging environment.Trust but verify: reimagining service assessments
I find myself in an interesting position at the moment. A client has just significantly rebooted their portfolio of DDaT…link.medium.com

My (work reading) book at the moment is The Entrepreneurial State by Maria Mazzucato. I’m only on chapter two but it’s great so far.


*it turns out, quite a long walk. not sure the TfL website is entirely accurate . . .

**I also learnt what firmware is. Always learning new things, that’s (one of the many things) I love about this job.

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