in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #136 — It was DNS

A normal week, full of more meetings than usual. Wednesday in the office was good for collaboration but not that great for getting things moved on.

This was a week in which I:

  • Ran an internal review of our team’s roadmap, checking how well we did in Q3 against what we said we would deliver, and reflecting on how we take any lessons from this into future quarters.
  • Met with colleagues who are establishing a Teams mandatory compliance recording capability, with a view to using it within our part of the organisation.
  • Met with Procurement to discuss and agree principles and processes for purchasing IT consultancy in the future.
  • Had a one-on-one with a colleague in Beijing, the day after the team completed the new network infrastructure implementation in that office. It was great to know that our connection was flowing through all of our newly configured equipment. Updated our submission for the next local governance committee meeting to reflect that we have now got most of the back-end infrastructure work completed.
  • Reviewed the proposed DNS strategy for our part of the organisation.
  • Met with our Internet Service Provider in Dubai to discuss our current and future needs in that office.
  • Had meeting with a vendor to clarify some details on our planned move to Teams for telephony in London and Dubai, and the support of our telephony infrastructure in all of our offices.
  • Had an initial discussion with our head of Operational Risk on our annual self-assessment, and walked through the tools we use to manage our operational risk on an ongoing basis.
  • Joined a meeting to discuss our organisation’s ecosystem and platform strategies.
  • Had an introductory meeting with an external consultant who is helping us with formulation and articulation of our strategy. Followed this up with a one-on-one meeting later in the week to explore some ideas.
  • Met with one of the steering committees for the big group programme and had an update on the architectural approach. Designing and customising a system to be used across so many countries and teams is no simple task. Also reviewed our own internal plans for delivery.
  • Attended an interesting talk given by one of our team members on Sender Policy Framework (SPF) and DomainKeys Identified Mail (DKIM), neither of which I previously knew about. DKIM uses DNS to store public encryption keys so that email can be verified as having come from the sender, which seems like a clever idea to me.
  • Watched a presentation and demo on a new client-facing part of our website.
  • Met with our Marketing and Operational Risk teams to agree a short update to all of our colleagues on the new data loss prevention tool that we rolled out.
  • Had a virtual ‘random coffee’ with our Company Secretary. I’m looking forward to bumping into him as we spend more time in the office in the coming weeks.
  • Met up with an ex-colleague from our Marketing and Communications team. It was so good to see her, and to reminisce about the work we collaborated on a couple of years ago.
  • Published my thoughts on returning to the office, something I had been working on for the past few weeks and thinking about for even longer.
  • Interviewed a prospective new school governor. It’s always exciting when somebody new expresses an interest.
  • Completed one of our tax returns for the year.
  • Reviewed and filed all of my personal scanned documents from the past two years. I need to make this a weekly habit to avoid it becoming a multiple-hour job in future.
  • Decided that our wasp nest had to go. The noise inside our house was getting so much louder, and the entrance to the nest was directly overhanging our elderly neighbours’ garden. Chris from Approved Services Pest Control fixed it for us about an hour after I called him.
  • Picked up a new road bike for our eldest boy. His recent growth spurts resulted in him outgrowing his old one. I love it that it’s something we can do together, so we decided on an early Christmas and birthday present for him. It had its first outing on the Club ride on Saturday and he seems very pleased with it.
  • Ran the line for my youngest boy’s football match. I was so glad that we played on the dry Sunday instead of the washed-out Saturday. They lost for the first time this season but I am sure they will be able to take a lot of lessons from the game.
  • Completed my year’s programme of TrainerRoad cycling and started a new one. My training has ramped down a little bit as I have replaced my Saturday and Sunday turbo sessions with a Cycling Club ride and the boys’ football matches. It’ll be interesting to see how much fitness I can keep as we go back to the office.

Next week: Returning to the office for multiple days in the week for the first time since March 2020, an in-person school governor meeting and a Zoom call with Simon Sinek.

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