Weeknotes #7

Week commencing 19th August 2019.

Focus for the week

The week kicked off with a service improvement board for LGSS Revenues and Benefits, we talked through the current programme of work had come to an end and I suggested we need to come up with a new programme of work based on service goals and data. The rest of the day was spent building a dashboard template for the Revenues and Benefits teams to populate with data so that we can prioritise their programme and work on services with impact first. After that, I caught up with our AWS account manager for all things public cloud and pitched a pilot to explore how AI technology could make an impact on safety, compliance and efficiency at recycling centres; making use of their newly available DeepLens cameras.

Later in the week I sent a contract renewal, did some more data analysis for an IT strategy I’m working on and had a great call with Kathryn Grace who’s currently leading the charge for service design in Leeds. After an introduction from Ale, we spoke for almost two hours about all sorts, from inside and outside organisations, conditions for success and ‘doing the right thing’. Thanks Kathryn, it was a pleasure to hear your story.

It was actually a week of meeting a lot of people, two other really useful meetings happened this week (make your own judgements about other meetings I had this week 🤷‍♂️). The first was with Josie, one of our scrum masters. We’re taking time out more frequently to work on improvements to how we do delivery, this week it was mostly about how we do support work (when things go wrong). The biggest problem we have at the minute is making support work visible. Working across multiple organisations, we have two systems for support tickets on three different networks and we have one shared (mostly remote) team, what a pain.

We worked through the problem a little and agreed it might be worth trialling moving our support tickets into one central space, maybe even the same space we use for development work? Josie being Josie then surprised me with a new template in Azure DevOps, our tool for managing development work, completely customised for managing support tickets in sprints. What a hero 🦸‍♀. We’re now working on the flow of work so that we keep up communication with users, which is pretty much the most important part.

Azure DevOps task board with tasks on it showing 'to do', 'doing', 'done' columns

The other highlight of the week was meeting with Ian and Tito at MadeTech. We talked more on a plan for creating open-source community and platform for public sector organisations, one that can build capability in organisations where it’s difficult to find the right solution and where ‘good enough’ actually isn’t. You can read a bit of a brain-dump on the idea on the project page on Pipeline and we’ll probably be putting in an application for funding through the MHCLG Local Digital Fund that’s running at the minute.

What I’m thinking about

Not invented here syndrome – with a lot of my thinking being diverted to building an open-source community this week, it’s had me wondering about all the tools and tech that’s available at the minute, for free, yet much of it goes unused or unsupported. That’s one thing that’ll be going into our research.

I am pleased