Weeknotes 09

Dydd Gŵyl Dewi Hapus! 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

It’s been an okay week, if bitty and full of days of 30 minute meetings.

I’m not sleeping wonderfully. I’ve had a 2 day migraine. And I’m just back from a physio appointment for my shoulder. I’ve sprained it. She was amazed that I hadn’t broken a bone. She then beat me up. Tomorrow is going to be...fun.

What I’ve been doing

Planning workshops for next week to help us start thinking about what work from April onwards looks like for Local Plans. There’s so much to do and so much ambiguity in the policy space to try to get some edges around. It’s hard and unsettling for a lot people.

I’m starting to think about what shape the next Statement of Work could take and with that team shape and people we might want in the team. I’m really looking forward to being able to shape and form this more in the shape and form of how I work. Eying up a few people I’d really like to work with as well.

Still doing lots of chats to get to know more people across the business and in DLUHC.

What I’ve been thinking about



I could also rant about what’s happened to the whole culture of discovery/alpha/beta/live. It’s not a culture anymore. It’s a tickbox in a stage gate process just like waterfall.

The spirit of testing, learning and iterating at pace is gone. So many teams stuck in endless long discoveries and alphas that go nowhere.

I’m here for just enough research. I’m here for discovery by prototyping and testing. I’m here for agile as a culture, not a process.

I’m here for challenging the heck out of policy teams. Why aren’t they working with us. Why are we still having to wait until they are finished and every i is dotted and every t crossed? Why are we not prototyping their policy options to see how things might work? Long past time for this to be the de facto way of working.

Suppliers/contractors as the devil

This is rearing its head in places. There is nothing wrong with using contractors. There’s nothing wrong with using suppliers. There IS something wrong with becoming reliant on them. Not doing the hard work to build your own capability. And there is something wrong with suppliers who aren’t pushing their clients to hire, build their own teams and capability and doing real knowledge transfer and upskilling.

That’s my old lady rant.

I’m worried at how rigid digital/tech/data has become in government. Is it time to tear it all up and start again?

What I’ve been reading

Mostly stalled through lack of sleep.

Desperately need more sleep and time to properly read through People first, always and digest it. Looking forward to a chat with Rachel at some point about the devolved world.

What I’ve been watching

Love is Blind 6 is continuing to be my Wednesday night brain melt TV. Such awful people.

Working our way through Poker Face. It’s a really wild ride. Episode 4 Rest in Metal is excellent. But Episode 5 Time of the Monkey is out of this world. Two queens of TV: S. Epatha Merkerson and Judith Light as 2 old hippies in a nursing home. Proper class tv.

I dipped into Mr and Mrs Smith on Prime. I think I like it, but it needs some attention paying to it, it’s not background tv.

What’s blooming

Hit a bit of a plateau at the moment.

The interesting garden news this week involves our latest plan to deal with the awful soil erosion we’ve got on the stream bank.

After much research by my father-in-law, we are going to try willow spiling. FiL has been in the stream, measured up, tested the stream bed for sinking stakes and written us a proposal. We’ve got a local supplier for the willow, just waiting on a quote.

Quite excited to try this - if it works, it’s going to save a couple of the trees that I love on the bank. If we have to gabbion, the trees will have to go.

Might have to fire up the house/garden blog again to talk more about this process.

And finally, in more peak rural: I’m off to an all day course on how to make garden structures out of willow, hazel etc. The woman running it is amazing and I’m very excited to see the garden of the women who is hosting it. Best of all, it’s only 20 mins away.