A year of work in progress – day 219

Day 219 – 18 December 2014

Four meetings with your boss in one day! Who arranged this? OK, I don’t mind meeting up with him, I have some things to say and we get on well enough but you can have too much of a good thing. One of them is our Resources Management Team Christmas lunch and so I suppose that doesn’t really count but the others are the Resources Extended Management Team, my one to one and our normal fortnightly team get together.

With only five days to go of this working year for me the relevant ten things I was going to achieve this year was to ‘Sort out Out of Hours’. We have done, at least as a trial. For years now the business has been working longer and longer hours. We have over twenty five thousand systems transactions happening in the quietest hour between midnight and one in the morning for example. It never truly sleeps yet our support stopped at five in the afternoon.

The quandary we found ourselves in was how we provide cover in the case of important support issues without increasing resource. The answer was to introduce a rota with all of the Senior and Project Leads to be on the end of the phone in case there was a problem with one of the critical systems. Out of hours demand was unproven, after all we didn’t provide the service and like buses you can have nothing for ages and then it all comes along at once.

I know we have had some requirement and that the service has prevented significant disruption to the Council’s business and its customers but we need to review its real value against the cost of provision. That sounds like something for the New Year.

I arrived very early at work this morning as I had dropped some relatives at the airport. Nothing was open in the vicinity at six thirty, two hours before my first meeting but I was able to get onto the network from the main car park. Fortunately the building was open by seven.

Don opened the Extended Resources Management Team with an update and a reflection on this year’s achievements and next year’s challenges. This was followed by a group discussion about the accommodation strategy. We ended with a quiz.

What is it with Christmas and quizzes?

After lunch (which was really nice by the way) I had a report for RMT on creating an apprentice hub (see day 208) and a verbal update on accommodation. I’m planning something big for next year and could do with their support. We had a good, long conversation and felt that the best time to do something radical was once we are clearer as to where we are going.

Learning points for today: Bill and Ben were first shown on this day fifty years ago; paper Christmas cards are better than electronic cards; the café doesn’t open as early as I thought; the doors to the café are locked until 8:30 which can result in a long walk around County Hall; the price of a coffee is twice the price of a sausage roll; I feel vindicated now and; I am video capable apparently.

Today’s enjoyment rating 8/10 – tired but at least I’ve got Lync back with its better emoticons.

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