A year of work in progress – day 184

Day 184 – 28 October 2014

There was a good vibe at the Digital Durham board meeting this morning. It was the first since our triumph at the Dynamites Award evening (it was only two weeks ago). The great and good were there to see the certificate and feel the weight of the dynamite shaped trophy. But that was not the only celebration. Today was Tony, the Programme Director’s fortieth anniversary since he started at Durham. He doesn’t look a day over thirty nine.

The meeting went well. Progress is good with over one hundred and ten cabinets now live and our total homes passed several thousand ahead of plan. There are still issue to be addressed though. In any project of this size, especially a civils one, there are going to be things that go wrong. There are always small groups of people who feel badly done to. Apparently the next quarter is going to be the most difficult as the weather gets bad, the days get shorter and sickness levels increase. You have to have one eye on the present and another on the future. It’s good to have something in the bag.

It is take-up that is occupying most of our time now. Superfast broadband is of no benefit unless people make use of it. The problem is that demand stimulation, as it is known, is resource intensive and no local authority is exactly overflowing with people at the moment. Still, take-up has grown well in the last month and hopefully by the next board will be ahead of our objective. The prime-minister wants take-up to achieve fifty percent.

Before lunch we had an update on the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) programme, where I got to talk about application mapping again and in the afternoon I had another chance to do my Guerrilla Working presentation to the other half of the tier 4 managers. There were a few things that I forgot to mention on Friday, which were relevant and so it was good to have a second bite. The Chief Executive was at this one which always makes me tongue tied.

The presentation was very much around whether or not the accommodation we have is holding us back. Is it really limiting our change to be a more modern organisation or is it just a convenient excuse? Do we have to wait until we have a new building to change?

I’ve been running without a desk or an office for over six months now and while, at times, it is awkward and mildly inconvenient it has all been very doable. My aim was to encourage others to give it a go, not to work in the way that I do, nor to become who I am (we wouldn’t want that) but rather to challenge their assumptions about the way they work, the interaction with their team and the relationship with their customers. Only by letting go of some things can you truly understand what you are capable of.

Learning points for today: Comparison can make you realise how good you are; we’re now in the top four; never lend out your extension lead and; small gestures can mean a great deal.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – good solid day.

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