in Weeknotes

Weeknotes #262 — Heath Robinson

Random graffiti spotted on a wall on my walk to the office

Random graffiti spotted on a wall on my walk to the office

Another very busy week, primarily focused on preparing for a steering committee. This mainly involved trying to gather together as many estimates and quotes as I could for work that might be in scope for one of the projects. The meeting was exactly what we needed in that we’ve now got some very clear direction on what to do. Next week will be all about trying to push the work into execution mode.

This was a week in which I:

  • Was on the receiving end of a lot of blank looks when I used the phrase ‘a bit Heath Robinson’ in a meeting. Of the 10 people in the room, I realised that I was the only English person old enough to know what this meant. I need to check my metaphors.
  • Had a lot of impromptu conversations with people that drifted to my desk. There really are positive things about returning to the office, although I do wonder if being in a two parent family with older children and a wife who works locally to our home means that I’m seeing it through rose-tinted spectacles.
  • Went to various meetings with our sister company on our joint real estate/facilities project, including a recap of the analysis so far on our shared spaces.
  • Wrote a short note explaining how to use a Microsoft Teams Room (MTR) for an online meeting if you are not the originator of the invite. The best approach is to create a whole new parallel diary entry, copy the Teams joining instructions across to the body of the entry and use this to invite the room you wish to use. You then get to keep control of the room booking. Forwarding the invite means that the room will respond to the originator; you won’t know whether your booking was successful or not, which becomes a bigger problem if the meeting starts getting moved around.
  • Found that you can attend a Teams Live Event from a Microsoft Teams Room, as long as you book the room in a particular way.
  • Had the weekly check-in with my product leadership team.
  • Joined the weekly meetings with the project team for moving into a new office in one of our locations.
  • Agreed the Internet service providers that we will use for the new office, which involved looking at where we think the cables run out of the building — you don’t want physical works in the street suddenly severing all of your connections at once.
  • Had the next audio/visual design meeting with our design vendor. We’re very close to being done with the drafts of the spec.
  • Met with a vendor for a demo of their financial data platform.
  • Had a check-in call with our research and advisory partner.
  • Had a surprise resignation in our team. I’m very pleased for our colleague who is moving on to a great opportunity. We are such a small team and people seem to leave so rarely that it always feels like quite a big event when they do.
  • Disabled ‘emoji reactions’ on most of our AgilePlace Kanban boards. It feels like an uncharacteristically poor decision to turn these on by default across all boards. At least we were given a few days warning before they made the change.
  • After much deliberation, decided that we won’t be removing a structural pillar from the middle of our kitchen/dining room. We want to refresh the kitchen and it’s very much in the way, but getting it sorted with the structural works would completely blow our budget. We’ll have to learn to love it.
  • Watched our son come second in the Berkhamsted Rotary Club five mile run.
  • Was glad that the F1 returned, although the Bahrain Grand Prix was a bit of a yawnfest.
  • Got annoyed at myself for forefeiting on a Learned League match. I haven’t done it for quite a few seasons. It’s an awful feeling when you realise the next day that you missed the deadline.
  • Brought my wife’s laptop up-to-date and installed CleanMyMac to keep it in good running order. I’m guessing that there aren’t that many years left before both of our laptops stop receiving security updates.
  • Went out for a splendid family lunch for my wife’s birthday.
  • Finished setting up a second Pi-hole on a Raspberry Pi 4 Model B to replace an old model that had been causing me problems.




  • Two Album Club meetups this week. At the first we heard Blood by Lianne La Havas. I’d heard Is Your Love Big Enough? a few years ago and found it interesting, so it was good to listen to another of her albums. I found myself hosting the second one and opted for Mercurial World by Magdalena Bay, which I am still deeply in love with.


  • Conventional comments look interesting. It’s the kind of thing that a whole team would need to commit to adopting before it becomes muscle memory.

Next week: Ploughing on with the projects.

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