Weeknote w/c 11 November: next steps for HackIT

From Start-up to Scale-up

The highlight of my week was co-presenting Thursday’s HackIT strategy show & tell along with Cate, Henry and Matthew. We talked about the progress we’ve made as a service and how we plan to evolve our approach moving forwards. Sometimes ‘strategy’ can seem a bit nebulous and disconnected from day-to-day realities, but reflecting on the direction we set in 2016 it’s clear how big an impact the priorities we set back then has had on the work we’ve done since. I can’t wait to see what we achieve together over the next three years (and beyond)!

I wrote more about that here: https://blogs.hackney.gov.uk/hackit/hackit-from-start-up-to-scale-up.

An exercise in recovery

On Tuesday afternoon we had a table-top exercise for people who are involved in the Council’s resilience arrangements. Usually these focus on the Council’s response to a major incident, but this exercise was about the recovery phase after an incident is over. Our scenario was the aftermath of a major storm which had impacted the supply of power and other critical resources to Hackney and other boroughs across north London.

This is a really important part of the Council’s work on resilience, but it is often less noticed than the initial response. We’ve seen from the recent floods caused by a burst water main in the north of the borough how long the impact of an incident on people’s lives can last.

It was interesting to take this time with colleagues to reflect on the Council’s responsibilities and work through how we would manage the planning and actions needed to support residents effectively following a major incident.

I also…

  • Joined other LOTI colleagues for a useful workshop looking at how we can work together to explore the potential for assistive technology to help people live independently for longer. We are currently focusing on how we can align the way that we evaluate this sort of technology so that we can all benefit from each other’s work to pilot new technologies.
  • Had some interesting catch ups with colleagues from other boroughs, including someone who will shortly be moving from central government to a new role leading IT and digital for a county council. I enjoy comparing notes and looking for ways that we can learn together to help encourage innovation and improvement across our sector. I’m also very pleased to see great people joining the team in local government.
  • Caught up with Henry, Ollie and colleagues from the Hackney Learning Trust to discuss the work that’s taking place to look at the potential to make G Suite available for users in our education teams.
  • Enjoyed meeting up with Tim (the chief exec) for a conversation about our future direction (part of a series of conversations that Tim’s having with senior managers across the organisation).
  • Cycled over 100km. I’m pleased with that and am really enjoying my new way of getting around! (I should have started this a long time ago)
  • Wrapped up my week by running the Fulham 10k. I was relieved that I managed to slightly beat my previous personal best from earlier in the year.

Something I’m learning

Was annoyed with myself for not focusing sufficiently when I had some decent sized chunks of clear time on Thursday and Friday. I’m going to try to do better this week.