Week commencing 29th July 2019.
Focus for the week
This week I’m covering for our Head of service who’s taking a much deserved break. My focus is pretty much making sure nothing explodes. That said, nothing did explode so I was really focused on unblocking a few things. We got to the bottom of a VPN issue we’ve been having which meant that access to secure applications is now much easier thanks to our Ops teams for sorting that one.
The final focus for this week was making a start on our performance metrics and creating a public dashboard to make those visible. We now have some pretty clear metrics, researched from places like Accelerate that’ll hopefully allow us to demonstrate and balance the effects of changes we make…ideally for the better but y’know, we all screw up now and then.
We’re starting with
- Customer satisfaction
- Lead time
- Value created
- Service availability (uptime)
- Deployment frequency
These may change, but for now, they’ll be enough to see where we’re at and how we progress. I’m really conscious of creating measurements that incentivise ‘good’ behaviours, even if they’re gamed, the outcome should be better for our customers and their users.
What I’m thinking about
How we reduce the cost of releases – our current processes for releasing software are pretty simple and consistent but they’re often failing in daft areas. I spoke to a few friends at different companies to get some different views which was really helpful, we’re starting with writing different types of tests for software we build and automating those into our deployment processes. It’ll be incremental change but we should also see some marginal improvements as we go.
How to contiuously create more psychological safety and diversity – I re-read ‘Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Psychological Safety (and Felt Safe Enough to Ask)’ from NOBL this week and it got me thinking, in our team, we spend a lot of time building what we hope is a good experience for everyone in the team, space to be heard, space to be honest, time to reflect but we can always do more. Equally, we put out job adverts this week and I’m really keen for us to make sure we make a hugely conscious effort to have applications from diverse backgrounds. I’m also really aware that we’ve not necessarily made any particular effort towards this, need to do better.
I am pleased
- I got invited to take part in the Trailblazer programme for shaping a new Digital Degree apprenticeship
- We took time out as a team to say thank you to one of our contractors who left this week, he’s been a rock for us but all good things have to come to an end
- The team produced some incredible work this week, we went live with a replacement Blue Badge service for Cambridgeshire County Council whilst kicking off another bit of work for the recycling centers in Cambridgeshire too. Even though quite a few key people weren’t around and the odds were really stacked against us. With very little input from me or anyone else in our leadership team, the team just got it done. Super happy.
I am worried
- About the amount of work in progress, too much results in nothing getting finished
- Support tickets are mounting up, we’ve made some changes to help but need to keep an eye on them to check in on results
- Quite a bit about HR policies, don’t ask
- I am driven by emotion, probably more than anything else
- More about how to sit in uncomfortable situations and feelings, let them take hold but not to react immediately
- A Field Guide to Understanding Human Error by Sidney Dekker
- Switch (How to change things when change is hard) by Chip and Dan Heath
- This week was also the launch party for Audree Fletcher’s ‘A day is not enough,’ you should go find out more about the story, intent and buy the book which features some of my recent heroes.
I feel the same way about #IWD as I do Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day - it’s about showing your love, respect and appreciation every day of the year, not a single day. So that’s what I’m going to do for the next year.— Audree Fletcher (@avfletcher) March 9, 2018