Week notes: 25 – 31 March 2024

Britain's biggest PowerPoint, cooperate-compete dynamic, 100% pork egg.

Hare to chick out my beak notes are ewe? Lambtastic. 🐇🐣🐔🐑

[Easter tumbleweed]

So this was one of those weeks (they happen often!) when I’m pinching myself this is my actual job. First, I watched Bring the Drama’s finale, and was proud as hell it was shot at BFI Southbank. Next day, we had our all-staff meeting in the IMAX. Who gets to do that?

Russell says do the hard work to make it big – well this is what PowerPoint looks like on Britain’s biggest screen!

The content was also uplifting – we’re an amazing few hundred colleagues, with an inspiring new Chair and brilliant board, just smashing it 24/7. Always good to be reminded of that while staying laser focused on improving how we do it. 

Some new words and phrases I learnt this week: phubbing, black swan event (!), busy fools and cooperate-compete dynamic (describing the interplay between product and platform teams at BlueSky). 

By coincidence the latter phrase came up again at our all-staffer. We had a screening of Fungi: Web of Life 3D and at one point the narration (in Björk’s adorable Icelandic accent) said “all collaboration is a blend of cooperation and competition.” Yes, I suppose it is! 

The context was the wood wide web. Insert clever sentence here tying this all together about tech, multidisciplinary teamwork, nature and networks.

The 4 day work week was good. Made progress on misc main things. 

I had coffee with Russell. Tickets are still available for his Interesting conf on 15 May – see you there?

Kids are off school. I bought myself a Toblerone egg. Joy also bought me a pork egg (pictured above). Her mum is staying. I’m cooking roast lamb this evening.

Animated gif of a fat Alan Partridge calling Lynn from his car for help because he's having a Toblerone binge.

A marital row: Joy insisted Face from the A-Team was so called cos of his skill at disguises. I was sure it was because of his looks. She’s right but I’m righter. This is about as serious as our rows get.

A note to fellow bloggers: if you spot me unsubscribing from your emails it’s because I’ve subscribed to your feed instead.

I had occasion to contact the council which now gives me occasion to praise the brilliant work done by my old Cronx digital team there, plugging away at incremental service redesign enabled by low code (Liberty Create). The form was intuitive, the progress updates delightful. Exemplary boring magic

4 side by side screenshots of Croydon Council's contact the council service. The contact form, then 3 emails updating on progress as the request gets passed between teams and then solved.

Whereas I note with maximum eyeroll the focus on AI in Croydon’s plan for another £100m savings. Sure, AI can be useful, but not unless everything more obviously broken is fixed, and there’s a lot of that to do. 

Screenshot of a tweet from Ben Terrett in 2019. Tweet says "On this skype call IIRC" and is an image of Ben holding up a piece of paper that says "No innovation until everything works".
I’ve been sending people this tweet of Ben’s for 5 years now.


Here’s my work ex-hubby Dave Briggs on the local GDS debate. See Phil Rumens for every post on this ever.

GDS and CDDO don’t have the monopoly on standards and capability frameworks. UNDP published their digital standards and LGA is consulting on a cyber, digital, data, and technology (CDDaT) skills framework.

Cybersecurity in the news again: MPs and (terrifyingly) nuclear waste

“Maybe, one day, you’ll come and barter a loaf of bread for our DVD of Casino” say die-hard physical media fans in this Guardian article. Pairs nicely with the vid I shared last week of Daniels talking about cinema’s place in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and BFI’s mantra: society needs stories

Where are the service organisation case studies? Via Ann’s post, Nielsen Norman’s service blueprint and template look useful. 

Roadmaps, delivery plans, timelines and the Civilization 6 technology tree

Next Level OKRs: the Power of the Pitch

Make better documents (great blog, subscribed)

Just put stuff out there / shitty first drafts (ditto)

Dan Taylor-Watt examines the ugly names in AI – ChatGPWhat?! 

Aphantasia on BBC news today. I too cannot see my children in my mind. This is fine for now but will be sad when they don’t live with me any more.

Media consumption

📽️ Hannah and Her Sisters, Tótem, Brick, Shallow Grave (so nineties but still so good)
📺 New Taskmaster. Finished Ghosts S1 💖👻. Netflix true crime: The Hatchet Wielding Hitchhiker, and Lover Stalker Killer. Started Steve! (martin) on Apple TV+
🕹️ Cyberpunk 2077 cont.
🎧 40 Years of The Terminator
📓 Kindle sample of Wanderers (it’s a commitment, am undecided)

Distractions 🙃

Thank you as ever for reading this. Same time next week?

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