Weekly Braindump #33

It was warm, humanity in services, did I mention it was warm?

Happy Friday! You know the drill. Here’s some stuff I’ve been reading, listening to and doing this week. I thought it was jolly interesting, hopefully you do too?

I’ve been reading…

I’ve been listening to…

I’ve been working on…

I must admit, this week is a little bit hazy in my brain. I’m not sure if that’s related to the warm weather or if I’ve just been plodding along with routine stuff.

Monday & Tuesday was largely admin type stuff and ploughing on with a project for the Finance team that is well underway. Slightly irritated that some web applications are *still* being made for specific versions of Internet Explorer. Cue rant about perfectly functional open standards that give compatability half a chance of happening.

On Wednesday I worked from home so I could go watch my youngest daughter in a Welsh rendition of the very hungry catepillar (she was ace). Compared to my usual working pattern, it was quite nice to be able to do parental duties plus walk the dog whilst slotting work around it. Also — it was 30 degrees outside (27 inside) so having 3 fans pointed at my face really helped productivity wise.

On Thursday I had a catch up with Kath Williams regarding what the Customer Service Improvement Team were up to. The group (which is independent and largely made up of tenants) has been looking at our digital services. They’ve been doing some brilliant work identifying who might use digital services (or not) and why (or why not). Kath gave me a whistle stop tour through some of their output and it’s *really* interesting — including a good use of personas for digital inclusion. I don’t want to say much more until the team has actually completed their review (and Kath also has a blog post in the offing). So for now, watch this space.

We also talked more generally about the potential pitfalls of digital removing humanity from services. When asked, the things people often value most about our organisation are those human connections and relationships they have with staff who listen/understand and get things sorted for them. There’s a blog post in there somewhere about how digital should totally automate some things and just augment others.

I’ve also been thinking about the best way to co-ordinate efforts across teams. Perhaps one of the unique aspects of working in a technology role with multiple departments is that you witness how different colleagues are often working on different parts of the same puzzle. How do we start networking these people up so that serendipitous conversations might happen? The lunchtime learning experiment is perhaps one strand of that, but I suspect we need to have multiple avenues to facilitate this.

I finished the week with a day off as it was inset day for my kids. I realise this isn’t strictly work related, but I saw some awesome dinosaurs and I just really wanted to tell you.


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