in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #106 — Horse racing

Another really tiring week. By the end of Friday I was ready to drop. I tried catching up with some sleep at the weekend but my brain quite literally had other thoughts; I ended up having vivid dreams and woke up early both days.

The boys are back to school from the middle of next week and we are so pleased. The school has been incredible with all of their remote learning provision, but I am so keen for them to be with their friends again.

This was a week in which I:

  • Introduced the whole department to the proposed new ways of working. I covered just the main points, and have a longer session booked in for Monday for anyone who wants to know more.
  • Set up our new Kanban boards and distributed all of our outstanding epic and feature cards to the appropriate boards.
  • Spent an hour with my small team reviewing the ‘in process’ cards on our board. We’ll be ‘walking the board’ every day from now on.
  • Reviewed a revised proposal for an upgrade to one of our server rooms.
  • Was given an invaluable insight into how our Compliance team do part of their job on our CRM platform.
  • Started a daily meeting series on the large new group programme that I am going to be working on with a couple of colleagues.
  • Attended a three-hour ‘masterclass’ on some of the aspects of our new group programme.
  • Took part in three more interviews for our Network Services Manager role.
  • Completed a final review of the draft contract for our support service in Beijing.
  • Had the pleasure of attending a virtual office talk by Mark Denton called ‘Navigate the storm — How to stay resilient when the only way out is through’. I remember watching the news when the BT Global Challenge yachts were racing around the world in 2000–2001. I don’t think I could spend half a year on a boat traversing all kinds of weather conditions in close quarters with a few strangers, let alone try and win the race.
  • Attended my eldest son’s parents’ evening using the online platform that the school had set up. One of the big positives of the lockdown is that I could attend for the first time; usually I couldn’t easily make it home in time from London. It was lovely to sit there and hear from his teachers, and the system worked very well with a five-minute countdown clock ticking from the moment a new session started.
  • Celebrated my wife’s birthday. Unfortunately due to other commitments we couldn’t have a big birthday evening and had to spread ourselves between her actual birthday and a takeaway and movie on Friday night.
  • Along with our Chair of Governors, took part in our Headteacher’s mid-year review.
  • Met with our School Improvement Partner to receive her feedback and evaluation following her virtual visit.
  • Took part in a strategy planning meeting with the rest of the school governing board.
  • Attended an Agility Leaders Network Meetup on Agile working with Finance.
  • Hosted a Macmillan Horse Racing Night over Zoom with a few of our close friends. It was a good giggle, and the kids all enjoyed it. I am so ready to be back in the same room with everyone.
  • Went out for a bike ride with the family. When we got to Ashridge Monument it was amazing to see how many people were out. We are meant to be in quite a strict lockdown, but people need to get out and about.

Next week: More interviews, a workshop on the new ways of working, starting our daily standup, more Meetups, school governor complaints training, and a school Finance Committee meeting.

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