Weeknotes S3e04


Ending the week feeling unwell and more than a little out of sorts. Trying to unpick how much of the being down in the dumps is related to the illness vs other things is probably a job for another day but needless to say this update should be read in the knowledge I was grumpy while writing it.

What went well?

I got to do a little writing — first on a ‘working at Defra Digital’ page (that will go live soon) for the blog and just around the edges of a great post by Simon, the Livestock Information programme director, where I just did a light edit and some formatting really. It is a brilliant post I think — really encapsulates the opportunity and possibilities of that work — it is quite exciting to be honest.

Got to be fully involved in the retrospective and planning session for the ‘enabling digital transformation’ team for the first time. Being a part of a team is a big part of my mindset so I need these kinds of events more than some I think.

Got to meet up with Mr Gould and not at a Govcamp! Was great to have a chat with the guy who actually started a lot of us down this path — he was one of the earliest Gov bloggers, started both Gov & Tea camps and basically lit the fuse for the explosion that would be GDS down the line. We went to Low, Slow and Juke which might be my new Twitter bio 🙂

Had some interesting and useful (I hope) conversations about the Digital Outcomes & Specialists framework and generally about the challenges involved in standing up agile delivery teams to meet demand. Have a feeling my legacy is going to come down to some Venn diagram crossover between procurement, recruitment and digital delivery. How the hell did that happen?

Continued to learn about the Livestock Information work — not sure if I am particularly contributing at the moment but I’m getting up to speed I think. Like I said above I think it is exciting stuff — couldn’t be more different from stats in some ways but in others….well lets just say there are more data conversations in my future.

Dan talking the talk at #pubcamp w/ Kelvin deep in thought.

Public Service Camp (#pubcamp) happened. It went better than I could have hoped — the original idea was outlined in this post — and it worked pretty much like I wanted. A dozen or so people came along from central & local government, academia, suppliers, consultants and chatted about open data, UX, social media, working culture all in the context of the ‘internet of public service’… oh and Library cafe sarnies were discussed at length.

This morning I gave my ‘Hacking Hiring’ talk as a bit of a last minute lightning talk at WDC to help out Alex. I think it went well and I continue to want to spread the message but I was off colour and rushed a bit so didn’t stick the message I fear.

What could have gone better?

I could have done without getting ill. Had some technology fails again — particularly around trying to get WebEx to work which is a bit of a problem given just how much of Defra wide communications takes place using that platform.

Dropped my Macbook at Paddington. Left side USB and headphone jack are bust…there was some swearing.

Not sure I’m on the right mailing lists or getting all the meeting invites I should — I definitely missed out on some local office news which would have been helpful but I think I just need to take some time next week and be proactive about sorting some of the admin type things for myself.

Too many tele-cons. There is no form of communication I dislike more. I never feel comfortable, it is consistently frustrating and without visual cues I am regularly just lost.

Still hate hot-desking.

Another week without a laptop — but it is now sorted so I’ll get it next week. Never thought I’d look forward so much to getting a Lenova Thinkpad running Windows 7!!

What’s next?

Less travel and more thinking hopefully. I want to get some of the things rattling around in my head written down. I want to start contributing.

On the topic of travel though I need to get out and visit other offices as well. Warrington some time soon I think.