Weekly Braindump #21

Putting out fires, Open Data and our new robotic overlords.

I’ve been working on…

  • This week started with a bit of a bump. Monday morning I experienced one of those situations where something landed in my lap that was urgent & important but had zero notice of. This meant I (and colleagues) had to scramble to get it done.. which we did. Whilst it would be incredibly easy to vent spleen (which I admittedly did for a bit in the privacy of our office) the correct option is to think.. “What could I do to avoid this situation again?”. Perhaps the person who chucked the work at us didn’t have an appreciation of the complexity involved to deliver it, especially short notice. How can we communicate that more effectively in future? It seems like a bit of a zen thing, but it’s often (too?) easy to lay blame at the doorstep of others. Thats an uproductive road to go down which eventually ends up creating an Us VS Them culture the breeds distrust. I think better instead to view it as an opportunity to develop understanding of how to avoid the same mistakes next time.
  • My week continued to be rocky as my carefully laid plans were de-railed by more urgent (and unforseen) things. This culminated in a Friday mostly spent trying to untangle weird email issues that lie somewhere between external DNS, our firewall and the mail server itself. This was not the Friday I had planned.
  • Next week I’m considering trying out a physical Kanban board in the office. As a team we’re generally good at quickly responding to new emerging priorities, but this week it felt like we were stretched that bit too thin. On Wednesday I was doing so much time slicing between different tasks that I felt overwhelmed and demotivated. I’m hoping even a basic Kanban setup will help visualise workflow and better focus efforts on the right things in the right order.

I’ve been reading…

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