Weeknote w/c 2 December: working in partnership with our colleagues

Working in partnership

I really enjoyed last Thursday’s #HackIT strategy show & tell, where Tom who leads our records management team joined up with colleagues from Revenues & Benefits to talk about the work they’re doing together to look at ways that we can help them with managing the records they hold in their service.

Particular highlights for me were:

  • It was a great example of a team coming together to benefit from one another’s experience and expertise. The team talked about how they are learning together and changing the approach as the work develops to reflect what they’ve learned.
  • There is a clear focus on the ‘why’ for the work – it’s not just about managing files well and following arbitrary rules and processes, the focus is on steps that can be taken to improve services for our residents and help our colleagues work efficiently.
  • When I asked how the team felt about the work their response reflected this and highlighted how working as a multi-disciplinary team meant that they felt that they were making positive progress and feeling well supported.

Sharing our approach with colleagues

On Tuesday I was invited to deliver a short presentation to the wider senior management team for our Children’s, Adults’ and Community Health directorate. Having discussed this in advance with Cate, Henry and Matthew I took their advice and decided to focus on talking about the impact that technology and data are having on the world and how we are working to harness the potential of this to improve public services (rather than just talking through a list of projects that we’re working on and service performance statistics).

I’ve popped my slides here (with a few explanatory notes) in case those are of interest.

I also…

  • Was pleased that I managed to make the time to join a couple of our project show & tells looking at how we are working to improve the e-forms used across the Council’s support services and the work to introduce DevOps practices and skills for supporting our new digital services. I find it really valuable to get a closer look at the progress our teams are making and to hear the thinking that’s going on within the project teams.
  • Sat down with Keith to go through our Public Services Network (PSN) security submission for the annual renewal of our accreditation. It’s a useful reminder of how much work our teams do to make sure that our systems and data are managed securely. It’s also good to see how our strategic technology decisions are helping to improve our overall security position.
  • Was delighted to see the first of our digital apprentices completing their qualifications – well done Micah and Ali!
  • Helped out colleagues at Camden as part of their interviews for a new Chief Technology Officer.
  • Took some time to look at our capital investment plans, thinking about how we will develop our financial plan for the next 3 – 5 years.
  • Popped along for the ‘Oslo Meets Hackney’ event in the Town Hall. This included a number of really interesting examples of ways that Oslo is testing out new ideas to reduce the city’s impact on the environment. I was particularly interested in the idea of combining package deliveries with waste collection – improving the environmental impact of internet shopping and reducing the number of vehicles on the city’s streets.

Something I’m learning

I’ve always been a fairly mediocre swimmer and it’s been on my list of things I’d like to get better at for a while (especially now that my children are way ahead of me with their swimming confidence). I was quite excited to see that my diary aligns with the next set of swimming lessons that the Council is running for staff, which starts in January, so I’ve signed up for a six week improver course. I’m now having to persuade my family that this is not a secret plan to do a triathlon…