Weeknotes #81 — Rangers

A week of trying to ‘dig in’ and getting things moved along and prepped as much as I can for when I will be ‘out of the office’ for a few days next week.

A week in which I…

  • Got a contract in place with our local IT support vendor in São Paulo, ready to rack and build our new ‘minimum viable office’ setup next week.
  • Agreed that the same vendor will also be in to get our new desktop equipment — monitors, webcams, and wireless keyboards and mice — onto staff desks in the same week. We’re not anticipating that anyone will be back there soon but it will be great to be ready for them.
  • Agreed in principle the ‘minimum viable office’ work for our Beijing office with our local IT support vendor there. Spent some time drawing up the ‘after’ version of our rack diagrams for the implementation document.
  • Had a visit from a third company to get a quote for hard-wiring my garden office back to my router. Looking forward to getting this in place in the next couple of weeks so my Teams calls no longer have to have Wi-Fi battles with Xbox game updates.
  • Met with the CEOs of our Dubai and São Paulo offices to go through the current IT status and plan for the next couple of months.
  • Reviewed a presentation by one of our team members on how they will be pushing Salesforce Trailhead over the next few months. The whole company is making a big push to upskill as many of our ~55,000 employees as possible and a significant number of our most senior leaders in the firm are already ‘Rangers’ with 50,000 points each.
  • Continued to support teams and individuals with the work to move 5TB of data from a shared drive up to Teams/SharePoint Online. We only have a week to go and things are going well with surprisingly few issues.
  • Ran a Steering Committee meeting for the migration project where the sponsor reiterated their commitment to a hard end date. I now need to spell out what the impact will be to the wider team so that there are no surprises for anyone when we close down access to the old drive.
  • Reviewed another batch of CVs for a senior technical leadership position that we are recruiting for. Barely any of them were suitable — we’re after a person who can lead and inspire a small geographically-dispersed team, who can argue a point with our CIO and CTO, credibly present to our business leaders, and also roll their sleeves up and do the work themselves when necessary.
  • Attended a presentation on the firm’s interim results. The company continues to do well but you can’t escape the clouds on the horizon related to the pandemic.
  • Attended a webinar on options for integration LeanKit with JIRA. LeanKit is really embedded in our team but the business unit/company dashboards all use JIRA so we need to find a way to keep them in sync.
  • Started to use WhatsApp on my desktop to get in contact with some old friends and colleagues. I’ve been reconnecting with a different person each day. Sometimes a conversation sparks and sometimes it doesn’t, but I feel that I’m scratching a long-neglected ‘keeping in touch’ itch.
  • Continued my journey through John Steinbeck’s bibliography by devouring the second half of The Grapes of Wrath, including a blissful 90 minutes of reading outside at our local cricket club while my youngest son attended practice. Sitting outside reading a book is sublime, and I need to do it more.
  • Continued our round robin of family movies with The Last Samurai (2003) and Titanic (1997). I’d forgotten the Samurai film — it’s fine, but doesn’t linger for very long in my memory. I don’t think I’d seen Titanic since it was released in the cinema and it was great to revisit it, the boys loved it. It was interesting to see it so soon after The Abyss (1989) as so many of the early ‘exploring the wreck’ scenes could have come from either film.

Next week: A day ‘in the office’ for a handover to our CTO, and then a few days off for the first time this year.

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