A year of work in progress – day 196

Day 196 – 13 November 2014

Philae is resting on Comet 67P. After a couple of bounces and some bitten nails it’s talking away happily to mission control in Germany. Apparently it has the equivalent weight of a butterfly on Earth.

We can put a probe on a comet but we can’t sort the traffic around the Metro Centre.

The North East ICT Managers’ monthly meeting was held at Durham this time. We started earlier than normal to allow me to go to the members’ development meeting. It was Diane’s last time. One of the main purposes of us getting together is to share experiences and build strong bonds across the region and so we give half of the meeting to general issues. We used most of this time to talk about our relationship with other industry bodies and what we want from their representation particularly at a national level.

Our round robin discussions were about the continued enormous and rapid change, the culture of our organisations and (modern and new) ways of working. We also talked about cuts. Graham gave us an update on the apprentice programme and how this fits in with Dynamo’s proposal. All of us have taken some on now. Gateshead has managed to take on three women so clearly they are doing something that we are not. I always enjoy these meetings.

I needed to go to the members’ meeting to talk about security which is always something to look forward to. I even put on my best jacket to distract them from the report but that didn’t work. After a healthy discussion though I felt that we’d made some progress.

Simon from Business Durham came to see me to chew the cud. His team are forward thinking and want to work with technology to deliver better results. We still have some work to do to provide more flexible systems that still comply with PSN requirements. We gave each other plenty to think about especially around Big Data, Digital Durham, Stanley and Dynamo. Next year’s Lumiere event was also in the mix and is something well worth looking forward to. We’re going to arrange some more meetings with the wider teams.

Following this I went to see Cheryl to talk about our stab at the architecture map. The work that Brian, Neil and I have done has given us a much clearer steer as to the way forward. We’ve already shared it with the Core Group and I wanted to bring her up to speed. It will be essential in structuring our future approach to applications. Hopefully it will also help us to say yes and no. It went down well enough but lead to many more questions.

The rest of the day was spent on quarter two performance.

Learning points for today: We need advocacy rather than consultancy; there is a worshipful company of IT technologists; sartorial elegance is no guarantee of success; 2015 is the United Nations international year of the light and; ambition is alive and well.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – rushed but off for a few days.

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