in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #209 — Stages

Delicious pavlova, cooked by my youngest son as part of his Duke of Edinburgh course.
Delicious pavlova, cooked by my youngest son as part of his Duke of Edinburgh course.

I’m enjoying myself. Work is really busy, but it’s fun. There is never enough time to do everything, but every day has seen progress with the initiatives that I am running with. It feels good.

Quote of the week comes from a colleague who sagely commented that “There is no ‘business and technology’, only the technology of business.” Every time I see ‘the business’ and IT separated in a written artefact, or the phrase is dropped into conversation, I think about what I read in Mark Schwartz’s A Seat at the Table. Working to get rid of the old way of thinking is going to take many years.

This was a week in which I:

  • Continued with my individual meetings to give my Digital Literacy: Don’t Get Hacked presentation to senior leaders. I’ve now covered almost everyone, and have their full support. I made even more tweaks to the deck based on the feedback and am now very well-rehearsed for delivering it to a larger audience. I’ve locked in dates to present to each of our four offices in turn, culminating with an in-person presentation in London towards the end of March. I feel more excited than nervous.
  • Picked up a new project to coordinate some risk mitigation work. Had a couple of meetings to explore the issues and what can be done to solve them.
  • Reviewed the outcome of an RFP that we have been running over the past few months.
  • Met with a colleague to talk about how we can improve the on-boarding experience for new joiners in the organisation. Learnt a lot about what is being done behind the scenes to make the existing experience as good as it is.
  • Coordinated the second end-user training session for our password management tool, for our Engineering team. I need to think about how we will offer these sessions to the rest of the organisation when we go live.
  • Attended the first in a series of roadmap planning sessions for our department. We may need to do the work in two passes.
  • Ran our bi-weekly management team meeting. We’ve decided to rotate the chair as well as the preparation of materials; it was my turn to go first.
  • Enjoyed our weekly Learning Hour meeting, hosted by our CTO, on the topic of our architecture.
  • Had an impromptu check-in with some colleagues in the office at the end of the day on Monday. We covered a lot of bases. It was the sort of gathering that would never happen accidentally if we were all working from home.
  • Completed all of the pre-reading for, and attended, our school Full Governing Board meeting. At the meeting I let the board know that I will be stepping down as a school governor at the end of the summer term, having been a board member for a decade. With a new headteacher joining the school from September, it feels like the right time for me to move on.
  • Had a lovely random drink with another member of the governing board. I can’t remember the last time that I spontaneously ended up in a pub.
  • Took delivery of a smart bike trainer to replace my indoor training bike that recently died. The company were at pains to say that the delivery wouldn’t go any further than the hallway, and when it turned up I could see why. The box weighed around 75kg, so we had to unpack it where it landed and take it to its final resting place piece by piece. After spending Saturday evening assembling it, I’ve tried it out for a couple of rides. So far, so good.
Ridiculously heavy.
Ridiculously heavy.
  • Went out for a couple of morning runs due to having no indoor exercise equipment. It was good to get out multiple times in a row and to start to feel ‘running fit’, without walking around like John Wayne for a couple of days afterwards. I find it quite a difficult habit to keep up, particularly in winter as the indoor trainer is always more tempting than getting out in the cold.
  • Decided to delay Saturday morning’s club ride by an hour due to the risk of ice. We’re into that spring period where it can be very cold overnight but very lovely when the sun shines. Five of us went out in a group for a great ride. About 10km from home I was struggling to keep up and found that I had a slow flat. Fortunately for me, one of the group knew of a nearby cycle shop where I could borrow a track pump to fill it with enough air to see me home. It turned out that the owner is the person who sold me my last road bike back in 2013.

Next week: In the office for most of the week, with a day off on Friday.

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