Well this week will forever be associated with rather larger and more depressing events than my working week. I made the mistake of checking in on the US election at 3am when I woke up and that was the last sleep I got that night! There are all sorts of reasons to fear for the future given the results but of professional interest I worry about 18f/USDS and there is bound to be some fall out in the environmental policy world.
As if Brexit and the ongoing disruptions to digital government closer to home weren’t enough to worry about.
On a related note Ann has decided to leave government after the best part of a decade — she outlines her reasons here and she clearly touched a nerve with a lot of people given the support the post has received. We have never worked together but over the years she has been a wonderful colleague and has helped me out time and again. Both her and her other half Mr Vaughan will be much missed in my little corner of government.
So what did I get up to this week? The Equine team I’ve been helping out a little had their Alpha assessment at GDS on Monday and I went along and stuck my oar in a bit. The team did great and got the pass. Was a weird experience being in an assessment as neither the service lead for the assessed service nor the lead assessor — I had to bite my tongue a lot!
I’ve also been facilitating some discussions between GDS and another team as well plus I’m arranging to support them in their preparations for an assessment as well. This is a recurring theme and likely to make up a significant part of my role for a while. I’m currently thinking a lot about different approaches to the assessment process and sketching out some ideas for Defra to try out to take some of the pain out of the process both for the teams and the assessors.
Sarah and I got to spend some time scheming which led to me spending some time writing out some thoughts for the team about the path to move from technology transformation to service transformation and what that might look like for us. Was fun and helped me clear a bit of space in my head. I’ve also identified a couple of embryonic projects that Sarah is going to engage with from day zero to set them out on the right path.
I had a bit of a chat with some colleagues from the MOD about an upcoming project they are working on which resembles the ONS work I was involved in — was a fun conversation. Web publishing is really still my first love after all.
My Slack guidance went down pretty well and today Emily published some Trello tips. I’ve been using both tools for a few years now and this team makes the best use of both I have encountered. Trello has always been a tool I’ve like but I’ve never made the most of it I now realise.
Next week is a tough one but I think it will be worth while. I am in Worcester, Weybridge, Crewe and Warrington before home on Friday. I’m learning that some pain up front with face to face meetings makes the tele/video conferences a lot easier down the road.
Right then — I’m off for a beer. Happy weekend all.