A year of work in progress – day 142

Day 142 – 22 August 2014

It must be the conference season or at least the season for planning for conferences as I’ve been inundated with offers to go here and go there. A couple of weeks ago I was asked to write a piece for the Executive Leaders Network on Digital Transformation – Leading the Change. Now what would I know about that but I said my usual stuff about being the change you want to see and told the story of my own paperless journey.

Apparently it has gone down well (It’s now currently top of the chart and it’s our most read article – eh?) and so I’ve been asked to lead on a discussion around the topic at their next event in March. Flattery will get you everywhere and so I agreed. Reading is a nightmare to get to but it is in March and so I’ll worry about that closer to the date.

I’ve also been asked to attend a Chief Information Officer event in December following my front page appearance on Computing but haven’t got the details yet. Another one to look forward to and I hope they still recognise me without the beard.

Today was the latest of our Senior Leadership Team away-days to talk about the future of the service. It all started off well enough with a review of last Wednesday’s Project Leaders’ meeting and a description of what we needed to achieve today but after that it started to head south. Every decision that we looked at had some negative consequences in another part of the service. Every road we went up turned out to be a cul-de-sac and in a short while we were up to our thighs in treacle. It was like living in a Franz Kafka novel or watching an episode of Lost. Just when we thought we were making progress something inexplicable would appear that sent us scuttling back to square one.

Three hours later we finally agreed what we were to do and the only remain question was how we would get the documentation done in time to present our proposals to the Resources Management Team in a fortnight’s time.

On an easier note, I’ve put out a soft market testing exercise to assist in the preparation of building a future business case for the development of a Big Data programme, at least that’s what the document said. We would like to create a demonstration of what is possible, using anonymised Council data and/or additional data from external sources, with a view to presenting this to members and senior managers. There have been a few enquiries so far so hopefully we’ll get some good interest by the closing date on 5 September.

Learning points for today: Beware the cod of doom and the hook of destiny; even the simplest question can be taxing; disestablishment doesn’t just relate to the church and; cream cakes can make you feel better at least in the short term.

Today’s enjoyment rating 6/10 – a really hard slog to end the week and I managed to buy two sets of train tickets.

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