52: Week Sixteen


Whoa that was a week. Pretty worn out and the return of the infection in my wisdom tooth so writing this before the pain killers kick in.

Monday I ran our first ‘digital day’ – a blatant rip off from my friends over at the Department of Business 🙂 The idea was to offer up a kind of ‘surgery’ to any and all digital queries over the course of a day – whether they be work related or about personal use. I wouldn’t say it was a raging success but I had about a dozen people pop in to our team ‘brainstorming’ space over the course of the day and I had quite the mix of queries from a couple of introductions to Twitter and Facebook, some queries about blogging, giving some SEO advice regarding a personal photography site, chatting about social intranets and some queries about infographics (as ever!). I did to all myself as I was never busy enough to need to drag any colleagues in and it was all pretty much in my wheel-house. I found it pretty interesting – I got to meet some new people and get an idea of the sort of level of interest in all things digital. I’m going to do it again on Wednesday down in our other office in Titchfield.

Tuesday started with a meeting about APIs – or more specifically the support and promotion of an API. I am in the slightly weird situation where a pretty major project is underway that post-launch will fall under my remit but at the moment I am really only on the edges of things. I left this meeting with my share of concerns about the technical support – both as far as developers to answer queries and the tools we planned to use to make that even possible. Amazingly both of these worries have been resolved and I’m feeling pretty confident we have a plan in place. Fingers crossed it will be sufficient. The project has the potential to be quite a big deal one way or another.

Tuesday afternoon was dominated by another ‘delivery board’. They feel like they come around pretty quickly if I am honest but this one felt pretty constructive at least. I’m never going to feel completely at ease with the levels of governance we have to go through – I fundamentally feel that it gets in the way of delivering the actual work but as I get more experienced I can at least understand why they exist. It is a long way from agile though.

We also had a follow on meeting to further discuss a way forward with the idea of ‘partnerships’. It was actually pretty interesting and enlightening and I now have a much better idea of what to do that is more aligned with what I think a Digital team should be doing in this space rather than essentially duplicating the work of existing teams.

Wednesday was more recruitment conversations. It feels a bit like ‘Runaround’ with Mike Reid at the moment with lots of internal shuffling around, failure to recruit some key roles (I was really disappointed to lose a great candidate this week simply because our internal bureaucracy moved too slow – nobodies fault but still a bad day) and just a general feeling that the staff organogram is more fluid than I’d really like. I really don’t understand quite why we are finding it so hard to get people in – I still have a Product Manager, Interactive Designer and two graphic designer roles all unfilled and I am pretty sure there will be a couple more pretty soon as well.

I’ve already written about my Webtrends training elsewhere – but just to reiterate I found it useful and am now in a much better place to see how we can get the best out of it.

Friday was pretty much an email catchup day which was helpful as I am *miles* behind with anything not 100% urgent – my inability to get Lotus bloody Notes to behave like I want it to certainly doesn’t help but I am really struggling with just the volume of email and meeting requests. I keep thinking it will ease off but no sign yet!

Anyway it was a successful week I think and if this tooth doesn’t get any worse I’ll give it an A for effort 😀

3 responses to “52: Week Sixteen”

  1. Governance boards and committees will be among the first against the wall.

    The digital job sector is pretty busy at the moment it seems. We have also found it trickier than expected to recruit. I do wonder if the number of agencies in Bristol and Bath makes it harder for large orgs like mine to hire without making large waves like govuk.

  2. Yep it certainly seems like there is a lot of competition at the moment for decent candidates – we have the added wrinkle of Newport not exactly being a destination of choice for people! We also suffer from not being GDS.

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