Weeknotes #6

Week commencing 12th August 2019.

Focus for the week

Support / DevOps maturity has been a big focus for this week. There have been a continuous number of changes needed on varies systems and services and we massively upped our game on communicating better throughout incidents - lots to be done still but overall, we’re getting incrementally better and that’s got to be a good thing, right?

We also spent some time re-organising a programme of work for LGSS Revenues and Benefits. Transformation is hard, it’s even more difficult when you have an out of date understanding of what you’re doing even now. So that’s where we started, gathering up what the service is doing now, doing the simple stuff well, data collection on transactions, cost of ownership, cost per transaction, income and impact. From there we’ll be able to put a priority against some of the opportunities the services have to improve. All in good time.

I did a bunch of other managementy stuff too, supporting the team with comms, a few HR and Finance bits, couple of proposals and dealt with a few support tickets for a bit of fun on a Friday. I also stuck together a few more ideas about how to help our software engineers develop themselves, understanding some core skills to focus on and possibly building up some progression pathways from there.

Finally I published a quick prototype of S’uptime a soon-to-be public status page and performance dashboard. It’ll eventually show the performance info we’re capturing and using to improve our service, y’know, the stuff I talked about in Weeknotes #4.

Status page

What I’m thinking about

How do different organisations structure their teams? – I’m writing another post about my thoughts on this and why I’m thinking this. Mostly because it was a way of making what I was thinking make some kind of sense. I also asked Twitter and LocalGovDigital to see if anyone could add to my understanding of how teams work at the minute, I’ll attempt to share more about what I’m thinking in the next post.

How might we work more openly by default? – I’m only just getting back in the swing of writing regularly and I’ve actually found it pretty difficult because who wants to read this nonsense anyway. In reality, I find it difficult to write about my week because there’s so much context to working in leadership, in a shared service, in IT, in public services. Plus, things that should be simple or sound simple, just aren’t because…‘stuff’. (Politics, economics, mad strategies that make little sense, outdated views of the world…y’know, ‘stuff’). Having said all that, I had a really good time-out with David Durant of HackIT who reminded me how we (I) can be better at sharing what we’re doing in a more useful format. Thanks David. So, I’ll try and do more of that over the coming weeks.

I am pleased

Five members of Thank You Scientist performing on stage under lights at Alberts in Nottingham