A year of work in progress – day 165

Day 165 – 1 October 2014

Half the financial year has gone and three quarters of the calendar year. What happened to September? It is time to check on progress with the service plan.

It turned out that once again I am on call this week in case we have any major incidents. I forgot last night and left my phone downstairs. Thankfully all was quiet on the Western front. Hopefully it will stay that way for the rest of the week.

Today was sombre following yesterday’s announcement. Several questions have been raised but we’re going to leave it a few days to let everyone get their heads around it all. The subject was the main topic of the Senior Leadership Team this morning. Indeed, apart from Steve showing us some video from the drone it was the only topic of conversation. As for the video there was some excellent stuff, up and down drain pipes, under and over bridges or round and round lampposts. The first half hour or so was fascinating. We’ll be using it at the awareness day next week.

After lunch it was back to County Hall (I had been in Tanfield) as it was my turn to attend the Senior Project Leads’ meeting. I expected there to be only one subject on the agenda but it wasn’t. Instead we (they) were down to talk about the five quick questions, rocks in the stream and the last joint meeting with the project leads. Of course when it came to my update it was the reorganisation or restructure that we covered. We had an open and honest warts and all conversation (in my opinion) as well as a consideration of what will happen next. It was never going to be our finest hour and we were always going to be on a hiding to nothing but there are some significant lessons to learn as well as some cultural issues to chip away at. Jointly we must endeavour to make sure that something good comes out of it all.

After that it was a meeting of the Office Accommodation Steering Group. I’m getting a little confused by the number of different groups that have now been set up to address this. I don’t think it’s just me either. Perhaps we are conflating a number of issues into one gigantic project: the regeneration of Durham; a new way of working and; an organisational culture change. I suggested this might be the case. I also took my revised ICT requirements document which is growing steadily but very slowly. Much of what we will need is already in place but the rest will form the basis of next years’ service plan.

Learning points for today: Approach and circumstance is not a Jane Austin novel; our data centre has a veranda; you can have a hump of perception; I must stop using the word conflate and; no matter how hard I try I eventually fall for it.

Today’s enjoyment rating 5/10 – the day after the day before.

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