Weeknotes S01E07 — Starts low ends on a big high!

Hi all, it is Sunday morning and I have much to celebrate work-wise right now. However, truth be told I have a slight sore head from *genuinely guv I swear* only one Old Fashioned last night, but it was right before bed. Plus I am feeling a bit more thoughtful and reflective than the content of my weeknote deserves but, you know, life, right? Thing is, we just had a lovely cup of tea with one of my husband’s oldest friends, Danny. My husband’s name is Paul but Danny renamed him Harold at Uni. So to his closest oldest pals and to anyone professionally he is Harold. (Photo in link reflects current handsomeness but maybe not current age and amount of hair ;) )

Danny moved to New Zealand 12 years ago, so we rarely see him. He is over because his Dad is dying which is a-whole-nother downer of a story and he has to say bye to his Dad for the very last time ever and go home tomorrow. So that sucks. And it is always so bittersweet to see him. We LOVE him. There’s no gap, no awkward catch up once he is here. He is solid gold cast iron family. I see the way that they chat and laugh and all those years of history and shared humour, they are straight back into it like he still lives down the road. They love each other. Danny is a beast of a man — used to be head bouncer at the Concorde, Brighton — with a massive heart and he is FUNNY. Harold’s music journalism career is going great guns and Danny remains his number 1 supporter. Used to be his Promoter when Harold was a DJ. And he doesn’t see like I see that Paul gets to be Harold more when he is here in just terms of humour and flow and its lovely, and it is sad cos then he is off back to the other side of the world. Argh, life. Mostly it rolls along in the day-to-day, then sometimes suddenly all the big themes sweep in.

So I’ve had a great week, well couple of weeks really, and I definitely need to do this weeknote (fortnote) today but I was worried maybe there would be some missing tone or something to the joy —which the team definitely don’t deserve! — so hopefully now it is out of my system and there wont be.

Jonez and I went to visit Georgina Watts and Alejandra Diaz at DfE just after the last weeknote in our ongoing quest to investigate ways in which we can bring Policy making and User Centred design closer together. They are working on the national retraining scheme and showed us how they are planning the work using theory of change. This is something I don’t know much about but Jonez did so this sounds like it might be a useful thing to explore. Going was SO helpful and they were so generous with their thoughts and time. It is always worth going to meet people even when life feels too busy — I haven’t even opened all the helpful links they subsequently emailled to me yet — as when you get there it is so nourishing. Day to day is so full it is tempting to back out, but just chatting to friendly likeminded people and getting a couple of fresh viewpoints is so worthwhile.

I also went to localgovcamp and had a swell time. Briggsy went down with a vicious bug on the way there but rapidly reiterated overnight and recovered into a host-announcer extraordinaire for the day. He is so damned naturally good at it, it’s sickening. Also great to get a chance to meet people IRL or chat to them more. There is a good enough write up to be explored via #localgovcamp19 so I will leave it at that.

But the real great big news of the fortnote is that THE NEW WEBSITE WENT LIVE!!! My goodness the team have been working like Billy-o to get it live on time. We don’t want to start sprint slipping and they worked together to ensure we didn’t. There are many people to thank for their hard work , honestly, we really do have such a great team. As soon as I go to single out anyone I just think of all the other people who have also been working so hard, isn’t that just a great position to be in?! Our delivery manager Will Callaghan has put his heart and soul into delivering this beta on time. Tom Steel has taken to Product Management brilliantly — has years of website manager experience but has jumped in with both feet into learning and being Product Manager really successfully. Content Chris and Corinne have been auditing and writing at pace and design Dave, code Chris and Adnan have been delivering, delivering, delivering top quality design and build day after day. Naomi and Mira have been providing User research… Amelia, Adam, Angie, Halima, Faith, Ana, Kev, Mo — even Maxine on her first day as our new User researcher — launch day! — was getting stuck in helping. As the bossman put it so well:

Tom has written all about it on our croydon.digital blog

and we would love it if you would check it out, we have put it out into the world and would love to know what you think. Thanks!

Ending on a high. Have a good fortnight friends x

The team 5 minutes after new website go-live, proudly displaying it on all the screens!

Digital Design Manager. Feminist. Public Sector Endurance Medallist. Lessons learned from the Local Gov transformation life. Woman on the verge.