A year of work in progress – day 203

Day 203 – 26 November 2014

If you want a coffee in Morpeth there are plenty of places to choose from. Tea is also available. If you want to do business at the same time however there are really only two choices. There is Costa on Bridge Street and Central Bean in the Sanderson Arcade. The chains have the commercial market sewn up. I don’t know why, I don’t make up the rules. Of course you get Costa people and you get Central Bean people. I tend to be one of the latter. It is lighter, a little more intimate, you can sit outside (if it’s not raining) and you can steal the WiFi from the O2 shop next door.

This morning I met with James. He has done some work for us over the years around the Digital Durham programme and it is good to stay in touch. He has been involved in many of the programmes across the country and so has an inside track into what is going on and all of the broadband gossip. Morpeth is a convenient location as he lives up this way as well.

It is always a pleasure to meet up. He tells me what is going on in his world and I tell him what is going on in mine. It helps us both to keep on top of what is going on in the market, the opportunities and the bear traps to look out for. This is how information is disseminated and ideas are formed.

From there I made the long trip up the hill to Northumberland County Hall. Neil and I had arranged to meet up. A lot has happened since our last one to one. The meeting structures we set up aren’t delivering what was expected and so it is time to change. We talked about the relationship and the current projects that are underway as well as the way we are going to manage in the New Year. We also had a good chat about ERP and the differences we have.

We used the video conferencing to have our monthly joint team meeting to cover the work between us. Progress is good on those we’ve started and there are a couple in the pipeline to get going. The video took a while to set up correctly however but I now know how many senior ICT managers it takes to set up a video conference. In the end we had to call in an expert.

Finally Neil and I realised that the presentations for Northumberland are taking place next week and we hadn’t started work on them. We agreed on a range of subjects and we’ll start the deck tomorrow. Neither of us realised it was December next week. It must be an age thing.

Learning points for today: There are 633 private sector businesses per 10,000 people in the North East compared to 984 across the UK; I don’t have to justify myself to anyone really; you can have too many cups of tea; people can be just as awkward when they are in a video conference and; it is December next week.

Today’s enjoyment rating 9/10 – only the rain was the damper.

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