in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #208 — Dead bike

A week stuffed to the brim with meetings. I’ve not been sleeping well, waking up in the middle of the night each night to check the time, mildly panicking that I’ve overslept. I’m not sure why.

The bike that I bought back in 2013, which had recently been relegated to indoor training only, finally died. It left me with no means of riding indoors. So on Friday morning I dragged myself out of bed to go for a run. I’ve ordered an indoor bike trainer but have no idea when it will be delivered; I may be running for a while yet.

This was a week in which I:

  • Had a number of meetings with senior leaders in the business to take them through my ‘Digital Literacy: Don’t Get Hacked’ presentation. Presenting the material over and over again is making it better, as I am incorporating feedback and refining the delivery as I go. Everyone so far has been completely supportive. I have a few more lined up for next week and then need to lock in a date for presenting the material to the rest of the organisation at a kick-off event.
  • Completed writing the first draft of a proposal for how we can standardise our management of unstructured data, potentially enhancing the experience of our key clients as we go, for very little technology investment. I realise that I do a lot of my thinking out loud in written form, but this isn’t how many people want to consume it, so we’ll probably need a meeting to walk through the key points.
  • Reviewed a PowerBI report that we have developed for some rudimentary insights into the Teams and private channels that staff have set up. We have plans to enhance and expand it.
  • Used our weekly Learning Hour for a colleague to present the concept of our new portfolio roadmap with our department. The team are never reluctant to share their thoughts and opinions and we had an excellent discussion which gave us lots to think about. We will probably end up having the roadmap in two places — in our Kanban tool so that work can be directly linked and traced to the roadmap, as well as in a more presentable format elsewhere.
  • Closed out on the ‘location broadcasting tool’ project after speaking to the vendor. It’s a beautiful, functional tool, but we weren’t ready for it. After a vote in our team meeting, we’ve reverted to using a Teams chat channel for ambient knowledge on where everyone is every week.
  • Took part in our internal annual review of services from our SD-WAN network provider as we approach our renewal date.
  • Organised the first session of end-user training for our password management tool. The session was excellent; even those people who have used this specific tool for many years said that they learnt some new things.
  • Attended a meeting to review and reflect on the internal product journey that the team have gone on so far, and what they had delivered.
  • Joined the final weekly project meeting for the closure of one of our regional offices. There are still things to do, but no need for us all to get together on a regular basis anymore.
  • Attended the second of three webinars from Ivar Jacobson on  Organizing Around Value, this time on Development Value Stream Patterns. Brian Tucker has an excellent and engaging delivery style, but when I watch this kind of presentation I always feel that I want to dig into specifics of my environment instead of keeping things at a generic high-level.

  • Joined a Better Value Sooner Safer Happier meetup for a presentation on Architecting for Outcomes with Simon Rohrer. He had some excellent thoughts on the role, patterns and outcomes relating to Enterprise Architecture in a modern delivery organisation. I put in an appearance to ask a question at around the 33m30s mark, which Simon very kindly answered.

  • Briefly attended the first part of an internal webinar with Randy Conley on the topic of Unleash The Leader Within.
  • Caught up with a colleague and friend who now runs our API Marketplace.
  • Enjoyed listening to an Arcade Fire album for the first time at an online Album Club night. I didn’t fall in love with the music, but it was lovely to have an evening to listen to something I wouldn’t ordinarily pick up on my own.
  • Enjoyed a lovely long cycling club ride on Saturday morning, with only one puncture in our group.
  • Ran the line at my eldest son’s football match.

  • Was given a couple of lovely random gifts from a friend: Rodrigo Y Gabriela’s Live: Manchester and Dublin album as well as Randall Munroe’s What If? 2.
  • Started reading Project to Product by Mik Kersten. So far so good, but I have my fingers crossed that the book doesn’t concentrate wholly on software development. There seems to be so little literature out there that speaks to how you can apply modern product, agile and lean thinking to the non-software development aspects of running a Technology team.

Next week: Another packed calendar with a surprisingly free Thursday (that I probably need to block out before more meetings end up there).

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  1. Don’t work too hard my friend. Don’t forget to set up ‘meetngs with self’ … so important. Respectfully presented for your consideration. Cheers! Peter