A year of work in progress – day 105

Day 105 – 11 June 2014

I’m doing quite well with my paperless adventure. I used a marker pen to make some notes at yesterday’s unconference but I don’t think that counts. As for the organisation though we have light years yet to travel.

Janine has been filling in an application to apply for a grant to help small and medium enterprises run by women to improve their digital presence. It’s for £75 thousand which is worth having but in the grand scheme of things is not a huge amount. To apply she had to fill in an internal form which seems, on the face of it to be fair enough. The form has to be signed by the author (Janine), the Head of Service (me) and our financial officer (I’ll try Jeff). Each of us are in separate offices and even though the document was created electronically it has to be printed, signed (with a pen I don’t have) and passed around the different locations.

On the bottom of the form, in what is a beautiful piece of irony, it says ‘please email this form to’.  I have left off the address to protect the innocent.

Is it only me that finds this crazy? Our organisation is riddled with meaningless authorisations which could be replaced by simple work flow, or better still done away with all together.   Also, most of our processes are paper based. I started this rant earlier in the year and must find a way of bringing it to everyone’s attention.

I spent all day at Northumberland County Hall in Morpeth. I met with another Head of Service first thing and attended a couple of short meetings in the morning. In between times I sat with Kath in the service desk and we had chatted about performance, how it’s measured and public services network (it always comes up).

In the afternoon the senior leadership team came up to Morpeth for an informal meeting. As always we had a laugh but covered some good ground. We covered a wide range of subjects including a review of our maintain, fix, change, supply and inform business model. We came up with lots of alternatives but none of them seem to work that well and so we decided to do the right thing and ask what our customers thought.  It’s about time we reviewed our marketing material if I could be so presumptive to call what we do as such.

We also talked about accommodation, optimisation and closed circuit television. Lee came up with the classic Eric Schmidt response which was ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong, what have you got to worry about?’ Oh how we laughed when we got round to documentation retention.

Learning points for today: Assumption is the mother of all disaster; we might have reached nirvana; I don’t think we have reached nirvana; my job is to provide challenge and; PSN doesn’t allow you to put tinsel around your screen.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – managed to cycle home.

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