Week 26/52

Week 26 means it is six months-ish until my 50th. Gosh I got real old when I wasn’t looking! Need to book a venue for the party as well.

Anyway this week has been the first five day work week I have done since April 2020. I’m legitimately shattered and I didn’t even go to London.

Two major activities this week alongside all the continuing 1-2-1s and meeting with folks.

The big one was I observed the quarterly DDaT planning/prioritisation process. This is a significant undertaking, stretching over three workshops (so far) over three mornings. Lots of people are involved and lots of upfront work is undertaken. I found it incredibly useful as an opportunity to learn what teams are up to and to get a close up view of dynamics across the teams. 

As ever, prioritisation is HARD – I enjoyed this post from Catherine Howe on the topic this very week – and I didn’t see anything this week to change my views on that but the commitment, effort and challenge from everybody involved was great to see. I have a useful and privileged perspective as I’m observing with no real skin in the game at the moment but I have no easy answers as to how to make these things easier – the reality is I suspect nowhere has enough capacity to deliver all outcomes seen as important or urgent and that is unlikely to change so it is hard decisions all the way down.

The other big milestone was I got to our Cardiff office – which will be my main base. Travelling there brought back massive ONS nostalgia as my commute felt so familiar but despite being an extra stop along sooooo much easier.

The office is just a couple of minutes outside of the Central station and convenient to everything really. I’ve missed Cardiff and being right in the midst of things in the future really makes me happy. As do the views from our 10th floor – if the London office is impressive for its proximity to the pomp and ceremony of Whitehall and St James Park the Cardiff office wins out just for my personal affection for the city. They are both really well furnished offices as well – great chairs, standing desks, nice monitors, lovely kitchens – brilliant.

Cardiff Stadium view from office window

Joining the wrong Department’s induction and tour was a very Jukesie start though! Nice to meet a bunch of HMRC folk on their first day though 😀 

Later in the week I met Jason – our Director – for a chat. I somewhat dominated the conversation as I had a LOT buzzing about in my head at the time. Sorry!

Really fancy getting some kind of Public Service Digital meet-up going in Cardiff as well after my visit – keeping it pretty broad and ill-defined to attract a mix of folks from the civil service and beyond. Will see if anybody is interested these days. I’m not interested in doing any kind of online or hybrid thing though which I suspect might limit interest.

Anyway we’ll see.

Road to 50 – 1997

Starship Troopers

Homework – Daft Punk

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