A year of work in progress – day 144

Day 144 – 27 August 2014

I woke up this morning convinced that I had a couple of reports to write today. I checked several times and fortunately I hadn’t. Perhaps I was overtired from the marathon cycle ride back up to Gilesgate (I did get off twice on the steeper bits). I must say thanks to Andy who managed to find me a socket set so I could fix the crank back on to my bike. Riding with two peddles was hard enough but with one would have been impossible.

Today was another light day with only Senior Leadership team in the morning and Resources Management Team in the afternoon. Pam, Neil and Lee were on holiday (I hope they are enjoying themselves) and Neil from Northumberland was called into an important meeting, so SLT was very thin on the ground.

We still had some important things to talk about, things which we had been mulling over for some time and so it was more of drawing them to a conclusion than needing a lengthy discussion. A report was brought on a review of Active Directory. It’s a bit of a mess but then it is on most organisations that I speak to and that’s because it’s a never ending job. It should really be part of the starters and leaves process that the council adopts and so I agreed to raise it at Resources Management Team.

We then went on to talk about unified communications and the client that we were using (or not as it turns out). We went for one that was compatible with our phone system and supported video conferencing but the number of users of this functionality was very small. We’ve decided to skin the product with a new client that is more compatible with our email system and so get the best of both worlds. We also agreed that we would mandate its use within ICT Services, once it is live, as chat is such a useful way of keeping in touch with everyone.

Speaking of video conferencing, we used it to chat to the finance team as we were up at Tanfield and they were still back in County Hall. I’m not a great fan of VC but it went well enough. There needs to be some sort of protocol on how to behave and react when using it as it’s not the same as sitting together in the same room. I’m sure there is such a thing (a swift search on DuckDuckGo fulfils my expectations).

This is what I found: ‘With video conferencing, as with telephone conferencing, it is important to keep your system on mute when not speaking. When it is your turn, project your voice and direct it toward the microphone. Look into the camera. Act naturally, as if you are talking to someone in the room with you. Because there is a slight delay with video conferencing, wait a couple of seconds to see whether there are any comments or questions before moving on to the next topic.’ Clearly these are wise words indeed.

After lunch, RMT was the fastest in history and in the evening I went to the Dynamo board.

Learning points for today: Bob is more competitive than he lets on; a meeting with three people doesn’t take quite as long as one with six; finance people can use video conferencing; there is an etiquette for all occasions and; the hierarchy of communication in descending order of effectiveness is talking in person, yelling in person, talking on the phone, yelling on the phone, video conferencing (according to Ross McCammon).

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – rolled along.

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