Crazy busy. We entered our final few days ahead of our annual conference, to be held in our office next week. I have never been involved to this extent before. For this kind of event, I suspect that no matter how much run-up we have had there will always be some last-minute panic. It feels like there are lots of loose ends but we have a plan for each one. We now just need to work through each of them to be ready for Tuesday.
In parallel to my day job I’ve also been heavily involved in a lot of school governor work which has kept me busy into the evenings. I was so grateful that the trains weren’t running so that I could only feasibly go into the office on one day. Being at home meant that I got so much more done, leaving my desk at the end of each day with a strange satisfied feeling that I couldn’t have achieved more.
A week in which I:
- Welcomed my wife back from her well-deserved girls weekend away in Portugal.
- Travelled to the office on Monday in order to meet someone from our conference technology vendor. I was in late as I had to get the boys off to school first. The vendor had brought a van full of kit that will be used for the video production at the event. One of the reasons I love working where I do is that I moved straight from a call on strategy with the CEO of one of our regional offices to wheeling cases through the basement of the building like a roadie. I love the variety.
- Agreed the digital signage plan for the event.
- Had our final pre-meeting with the conference technology vendor.
- Attended a run-through of what to expect and what to do at the event with all of the senior executives that will be hosting or presenting from our organisation.
- Finalised the technical details for a series of FinTech-based presentations at the conference. Flip-flopped between using Zoom and Teams a couple of times based on limitations of the setup and finally landed on Teams. We managed to disable convenience recording on the account used to set up the meetings which means that nobody can record them; in Zoom this is one of a bazillion web-based settings, but in Teams you need to get someone to run some PowerShell.
- Continued a fascinating series of meetings with our regional leaders, speaking to the heads of our business in the Middle East and North America. We ended the week with a retrospective of what we have heard so far and thinking about how we can take things forward.
- Reviewed the latest batch of CVs for my Agile Coach / Product Manager vacancy and gave feedback to our recruitment agency. Prepared an interview template.
- Was asked to review an internal document created in response to some regulatory changes. I don’t know why, but I’ve always liked reviewing other people’s work and making corrections and comments on it.
- Agreed a proposal for federating part of our Microsoft 365 setup with another organisation to ease speed of communication between us.
- Attended a meeting with the team who are collaborating on creating dashboards of client data and agreed how we will deal with current risks and issues with the work.
- Wrote up a detailed governor visit report following my IT-focused meeting at school a couple of weeks ago.
- Did the Tring 6k ‘fun run’ with my eldest boy. He won his age category, coming second overall, and I was very happy with my 16th place. I went out way too fast and had to stop to catch my breath at a couple of points. My heart rate never goes above the high 150 beats per minute; and as soon as it approaches its limit I have an overwhelming urge that I can’t carry on. Still, I set a new personal best time for 5km.
- Enjoyed a week on the bike trainer, thanks to working from home almost every day. Saturday morning was a beautiful day for a cycle, with slightly lower temperatures than we’ve had recently.
- Had some friends round for an impromptu firing up of our pizza oven. We bought ready-made dough from a nearby restaurant which tasted superb. It’s an expensive way of doing things, but great to have the option if we haven’t planned ahead. Of course, being England in the summer it started chucking it down with rain right in the middle of cooking. I found myself outside with two umbrellas, hoping to keep the water away from causing a mini-explosion on the 400°C oven stone.
- Was sent an email with a glorious typo. “I appreciate how busty you are at the moment…”
Next week: In the office by 7:30am for three days in a row, hopefully without my brain melting. Cleared the diaries to focus on the conference; hopefully the issues will be few and far between, giving me lots of space to work on everything else.