Weeknotes S02E13 — where does the time go?

Black and white photo of a Post-It with ‘Where does the time go?’ and a drawing of a clock in black marker
Black and white photo of a Post-It with ‘Where does the time go?’ and a drawing of a clock in black marker

Monday

We mapped ourselves against the progression framework capabilities we created with Emily Webber a few weeks back in this month’s Community of Practice meeting, facilitated by Ben and Joseph, using an EasyRetro board and anonymous cards.

It was a great first step to see where people feel their strengths lie and where we want to develop our skills and capabilities. Now we need to give anyone who missed the session a chance to map themselves and then come up with ways to upskill, whether that’s through buddying up, the topics we ask external speakers to cover at our Delivery Lunches or external resources and training.

We also shared a success from the last week and it was lovely to hear about some of the wins people have been having with their teams.

Lastly, we read ‘How to Deal with Difficult Stakeholders Without Losing Your Integrity & Sanityas part of our regular blog club — I especially liked the part about empathy — a good reminder to take an empathetic approach and try to work out what might be lying behind challenging behaviour or lack of engagement from our stakeholders.

Tuesday

We did interviews for our second Delivery Lead — soooo exciting to think about our team expanding at a leadership level. Watch this space for updates.

I also spent some time doing an analysis of the last three months of my time to see where it goes (ha!) in terms of meetings vs. tasks and the type of work I’m most often doing.

Turns out I spend 50.40% of my time in meetings (I’d actually thought it would be more) and the rest of the time on these weeknotes (joking — it’s a mix of emails and admin, line management tasks, delivery tasks, things for the Community of Practice, things for the Design, Data and Technology and Customer Journey leadership teams, facilitation, trouble-shooting, recruitment, one-off project tasks, comms work and in training or attending external sector events/ reading the latest in digital, delivery and agile tools, techniques and methodologies).

I’ve also asked for 360 feedback this week to support my development by getting insight from others into how well I demonstrate our leadership behaviours. I want to explore my behaviours and identify my strengths and what I can improve upon.

I’ll use both these things to review where my focus should lie in the future, including things like workforce and portfolio planning support with our new Portfolio Lead role and thinking about how myself and the other Delivery Lead provide strategic delivery input to portfolios of work, potentially work more closely with Product and Tech Leads and hone in on risks, dependencies, overlap between teams.

Wednesday

We had our delivery team meeting, where we got an update on progress on how we will manage our portfolio of work from Alex (building on the single roadmap of work across all 21 product, programme and service teams, which came out of Big Room Planning back in March).

The plan outlines how our delivery function will play an active role in taking forward the management of our portfolio, particularly working with the new Portfolio Lead to coordinate quarterly planning efforts and supporting the maintenance of our current view of the work across the teams.

We also heard from our Senior Comms Officer, also called Alex (!) about a proposal for working with Delivery Managers to play a role in supporting, empowering and enabling teams to deliver effective, engaging communications to tell the story of their team’s work to relevant audiences who need or want to know more.

Thursday

I went to a training session on how to be an Action Learning Set (ALS) Lead for the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion programme we’re currently running for all staff.

The role of ALS Lead is to manage the smooth running of the set, help the set develop ground rules for working together, develop members questioning, listening and reflection skills and ensure that the process, timings, principles of action learning and ground rules are adhered to.

We also had our second Design, Data and Technology (DDaT) Get Together, which 113 people attended and which included a people update, a Product Board update, reminders and lightning talks from 5 teams on our new laptop rollout, a hackathon run by our Casebook (case management) team on document uploads, a recent accessibility audit and work being done by our Expert Advice and Help to Claim (supporting claims for Universal Credit) teams.

We also hold an open space for the team to ask the Leadership team questions and provide feedback — I hear one suggestion is having a DDaT theme tune, which makes perfect sense to me!

Friday

I have a couple of meetings today and this afternoon I’m getting my first vaccine!

Photo of a microphone in a stand on a stage in front of a brick wall
Photo of a microphone in a stand on a stage in front of a brick wall

Launderettes, penknives, creative writing and other stuff…

Tonight, my girlfriend and I are going to see some stand-up comedy at a socially distanced set and I am giddy with anticipation at an actual night out! The comedian is Rich Wilson, who recently ran a series of workshops which my gf attended for people interested in doing stand-up. So not only will it be great to be out and about DOING something but fun for her to see him in real life and watch how he makes the magic happen!