Reasons to be cheerful 2018 – 2 weeknotes

For once I am going to attempt to do a brief blog post! 2018 has been an amazingly busy and exciting time for us and we are seeing great growth and new customers as well as some spectacular events/discussions/learning. In the last couple of weeks we have been involved in the following:

  • Catch up with the process improvement projects with Sport Wales in Cardiff
  • A great event to start the year and have a look at the outputs here – Wales Digital Transformation Event  
  • Offer – based on the excellent engagement in Wales we made an offer of 10% discount on licences if 5 Welsh customers sign up. We are also offering shared training, user group, translation and much more added value to grow our existing Wales network. 3 have already started the trials so just 2 more to make it happen contact us for a demo or trial.
  • Networks – we have been growing our networks and looking to add even more value for our customers working with partners to really provide content that can help our public sector client base. More on this in the next few months.
  • Collaboration – we naturally operate in a collaborative way as can be seen with the Wales event offer but we have also been working with value add partners to look at providing assistance to a customer on evaluating new and exciting software in the digital transformation arena. Fingers crossed we should hear very soon.
  • Black Box Thinking – lots of discussions and applications of Black Box Thinking. We regularly give this book away as part of our Lean Book Club it is well worth a read about the benefits of continuous improvement.
  • Hit Refresh – lots of time in the car so lots of audible time. The latest book being Hit Refresh by Satya Nadella the story of how Microsoft reimagined themselves in a new user driven environment. Breaking down traditional rivalries and making partnerships to drive value for all.
  • New Technology – we have been investigating a number of new and emergent technologies to assist our customers. It is really exciting that the market seems to be turning towards agile, user centred software and away from the traditional clunky legacy systems. More on this in the next couple of months. A great read on the subject is Gavin Beckett’s Blog
  • UKGC – as always I find Camps an excellent way to pick up new ideas, learn and also to feel that there are others out there also wrestling with the same challenges. I have a couple of blogs lined up from learning at this event.
  • One Team Gov – my first visit to a One Team Gov event and I have to say I was impressed. An excellent day in Techniquest Cardiff and a great event (as above). I really encourage all working in and with the public sector to get along to these to share and learn. Nice to actually be able to stay over for a change and to catch up with people post event to continue the discussions and make new friends. I think the ethos, principles and beliefs of this movement are a framework for a good change programme in any organisation and definitely a blog coming out of this one.
  • Cardiff City Council – great meeting with Cardiff City Council coming out of the Wales Digital event. It is good to sit in a room with people who understand the need to review and improve processes to deliver customer value. I look forward to working again with them very soon.
  • Garage – at a complete tangent to my normal work we are working on a research project looking at how we can improve garage (repairs, MOT and servicing) processes by applying lean thinking to the problems.
  • Partnerships – lots of new and existing partnership work delivering added value by working with complimentary partners
  • Devon County Council – helping to review and improve the existing care brokering processes
  • Rhondda Cynon Taf and Cardiff Councils being our 2 newest members of the Engage Process UK user community. Its great to see 2 councils working together to share training and save money. Great collaboration and I see big things happening in the Wales community.
  • We also have 5 organisations currently taking the trial so the upward trend continues
  • Reality check – after all the inspirational stuff of the past couple of weeks Friday brought me back down to earth with a bang. Onsite with a customer it was a stark reminder that the good work discussed earlier does not come easy. Some organisations still have some way to go to achieve new ways of thinking/working which further emphasised to me the benefit of events and networking to share best practice.

Post One Team Gov Drinks – A Metaphor For Great Project Delivery Discipline

Following the One Team Gov in Wales event I was lucky enough to be able to stick around post event due to my workshop with Cardiff City Council. This meant I could actually have a couple of drinks and continue the discussions after the event. A few of the stragglers continued on to get some food and whilst taking the inevitable turn towards the shots I snapped this picture and tweeted it. Afterwards something struck me about the photo and on the train the next day it hit me.

Post events drinks as a metaphor for good project delivery

So its important that I explain the photo from the front backwards, we have a number of drinks :

  1. Jägermeister
  2. Double Vodka
  3. Water

In terms of project delivery I liken those delivery elements of a project :

  1. Small iterations and MVP
  2. Bigger elements of delivery, great functionality and user experience
  3. Technical debt

Now its really easy to carry on with lots of 1’s and 2’s enjoying the delivery of drunkenness/great functionality but if you do not allocate enough 3’s all you are going to do is end up with a massive headache!

Lesson of this metaphor is do not forget your technical debt!

Next Week

Next week is looking really interesting also. Next week we will be:

  • Onsite with customers a couple of days working on digital transformation work
  • Lots of demos to deliver and trials to set up for new customers
  • 2 days joint training between Rhondda Cynon Taf and Cardiff Councils
  • Hopefully hear on a bid to support evaluation and procurement of new technology for a Local Authority
  • Attending the Big Council Budget Hack North West on Saturday
  • Lots more we don’t even know about

Hope to see you all soon to talk process improvement

Govcamp Cymru
Andy Sandford
Andy SandfordDirector
Agile and Lean Evangelist and Guru