Weeknote: 4 June 21

With school holidays this week, the ‘office’ has been a lot quieter, meaning less time in meetings and more time to tick things off the to-do list like writing this week note!

Nice weather in London

With the Bank Holiday weekend, I was finally able to invite friends over after what feels like an eternity. Best of all, we got to finally meet one of these lockdown babies for the first time. We all unanimously agreed, he had a smashing hairline for someone who just turned 3 months old.

I’ve received really warm feedback from the x-gov community on the digital transformation post I wrote a few weeks ago. It’s resonated with people who are going through a similar journey in their organisations. I’ve enjoyed sharing notes with colleagues like Ian, Lianne and Himal. It’s helped me validate some of the thinking around what’s gone well, particularly around the areas of building teams; as well as the collective nodding on common challenges on getting stakeholders on board.

The topic that generated the biggest discussion was around governance and portfolio management. Coincidently, this is something myself, Reena and Richard have been working on this week. We’ve done some great work around the portfolio, setting up a clear front door, establishing the routes to delivery (service teams or portfolio). We’re working hard to increase the awareness of this across the organisation beyond our immediate stakeholders.

Talking of governance, I stumbled across a presentation from 2018 by Dan North on Governing Agile Delivery. So much of governance is seen as a blocker to delivery, but we also accept senior folk need this structure to make decisions and understand what value has been derived from investment. It’s important that we surface the right information and introduce the appropriate feedback mechanisms to help people make informed decisions.

Delivery Manager — We previously started a discovery to understand how the MS Teams and Sharepoint structure works and how it can support functional document storage and records management.

Tech Writer — Another role I’ve started looking for is a technical writer. Documentation is so important for us, with the technology enabler projects we are working on, it’s crucial that we make the onboarding and usage of these as easy as possible.

I’m meeting with Digital SLT to continue discussions on legacy. It’s important that we start off by mapping our existing heritage estate. This will enable us to create a prioritised roadmap and inform our strategy to address the biggest challenges. At the heart of this will be our technology enabling capabilities around cloud hosting, data and common components.

I’m slowly making my way through this excellent book on managing legacy systems. Highly recommended!

Head of Delivery Profession. Digital Delivery & Transformation in Government. Prev @GDSTeam

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