Weeknotes #12

Week commencing 23rd September 2019.

Focus for the week

This week got off to a slow start, after a week off, that’s pretty much always the way. I actually quite enjoy the warm-up in to a return to the office, it reminds me of all those nights I spent in my teens and 20s, warming up for gigs in weird and wonderful places.

Monday was exactly that, coffee and admin as a warm up for the week. A completely typical stack of emails had come in whilst I was off. The most significant of which was about the launch of a mobile app we’re putting live next week. There’d been quite a lot of faff about how the app was going to get itself onto the phones that staff were going to use.

The staff using the app are all based at remote sites and are, understandably, not massive fans of going in to an office to have the app updated whenever we make changes.

The organisation we are deploying the app for, don’t have a way of controlling their corporate phones that includes being able to remote-deploy an app to the phone (annoying).

Instead, one of our Technical Architects has had a look into alternatives to help us get around this potentially project-stopping predicament. After quite a bit of back and forth to find something that’d work for everyone, we’ve actually deployed the app in a regular public App store, so far, so good. This means the phones can be ‘managed’ by the organisation using their current, slightly outdated, mobile device management software (this lets them remote wipe the device, brick it if it gets stolen etc) whilst we are free to release new versions of the app that the phones can download automatically to their little robot-hearts content. 🤖💙

Happy users, happy Ops team, happy Dev team. Win win win.

Later, the week turned to me being selfish, in a good way. This week marked the start of my return to the student-life, except I have a family, actual bills to pay and a full-time job but, yeah, you get the idea. I’ve just started the ‘Senior Leaders Masters Degree Apprenticeship’ programme run by De Montfort University. I’m really excited to be part of the apprenticeship and it’s a real priviledge to have the opportunity to do it.

We had two days of induction, including presentations from the programme leaders, support network, university library and Chartered Management Institute (CMI) who’ve accredited the course. It was mostly about getting familiar with the University processes, academic styles and expectations, filling in some paperwork and meeting some really interesting, diverse people.

I found it surprisingly draining for an induction, I think part of it was not knowing what to expect so my brain went into “I’m ready to learn” mode but then stayed there, for two solid days. Even though it wasn’t that intense over the two days, my brain had engaged so much and was so ready for the unexpected, it just burned through energy.

Some notes from the uni induction

Wrapping up the week I caught up with Kiri about life, things that had happened whilst I was off and to hopefully give each other a bit of support. I also met with our new Digital Architect, Jonathan for the first time. We had a great intro meeting, talking about our backgrounds, experiences and what we’re hoping our team can achieve. I’m really looking forward to working with a fresh face, sometimes looking at Steve gets a bit tedious.

A screenshot of the dashboard showing some statistics for service availability, lead time and cost per phase

Last but not least I prioritised the last few steps to publishing our service performance dashboard to show some of the metrics1 that matter to us. There’s plenty more to do on it but at the very least it’s out there, we can get feedback and start improving from there. What’s more, the code is available on GitHub.

What I’m thinking about

I am pleased

Recommendations

Footnotes

  1. I wrote about our performance metrics in Weeknotes #4