Week beginning 19 April

Focus for the week

I can’t believe there was a time when I didn’t set goals for the week. I should consider handing back a proportion of my salary to previous employers. This week they served to give me a kick on Tuesday evening when I realised how little I’d done to progress them. And now, they’re all pretty much done. But the other reason they’re so valuable is that I can’t actually say that they’re done because they’re written down and visible to my team. 

  • We have a tool to aid collaboration with social care, but it needs a worked example to know whether the tool succeeds. 
  • We had a show & share with more people attending and strong practioner voices – but there’s more work needed to start defining and capturing the value of what we’re doing. 
  • We have a plan for data from our M3 application but it’s currently in my head rather than articulated in the way that;’s needed. 
  • The data platform team didn’t just clearly communicate the value they’ll provide users first but sketched out a coherent roadmap for the initial scope of the project, which was really exciting. 

But we also had some findings this week from our resident satisfaction survey which need attention. One of the exciting things about customer services is the availability of near realtime data. But I know that we need to have the courage and capacity to make strategic improvements as well as managing the day to day. But there’s obviously a balance to be struck between these two – and it’s a balance I’m still learning about. And this week my goals probably orientated me too much towards software recovery to respond to what we’re learning. 

Ones to watch

Care package builder – the focus of our social care work has necessarily been on the practitioner experience of case recording. But one of the other important tools we’ve been lacking is to enable the creation of care packages. Our partners Nudge have been beavering away to understand the user needs, map the business process and use some of our common components to develop something and we’ve now got some UIs to help show the thing.

Single View – I had a thrill this week when I saw a tool that Jaye had put together to automatically commit an email from gmail to our single view tool. It’s a really nice example of how working with smart, creative people can surprise and delight if they’ve also got a little bit of space, and I can see all sorts of potential use cases. 

What I’m learning

From knowing to learning – I gave a presentation this week. I was excited about it and instinctively knew that I had a lot to say. I thought it would be easy. But when I had to prepare the presentation, that long list of things that I thought I knew didn’t immediately form into a coherent set of thoughts. I was struggling to convert what I knew into what I learnt.  I’d spent time thinking about what I knew but I hadn’t forced myself into enough depth to convert that into things I’d learnt. 

Energy – I was slightly too effective at finishing work at around 5.30pm, this week and an extra 10 hours across the week would have been particularly helpful. But I’m also back running after a calf injury so the start to the day has improved by becoming more focused. It matters because I reckon I need my energy for all the things that don’t naturally generate their own energy. 

Next week

I’ve set myself goals which aren’t entirely within the gift of our team but where I reckon a bit of focus can reduce the risks of it not being achieved because we don’t anticipate what needs to be done next. But I’m also spending a bit of time looking forward. One of the consequences of our current position is that it reduces our planning horizons to ‘what next’. There are some really positive aspects of this, But we’re almost 25% through the year to define the decade, so it’s good to use that to look forward so that we can work backwards.