3.20 — weeknotes — the best design authority so far…

It has been a rather challenging week for Hounslow and have seen Hounslow on the news most days. If you haven’t seen the area has been named as an area of concern for the covid variant originally from India. Not going to dwell on it this week but it has meant that the council is responding again by setting up vaccination and testing sites super quickly. A real cross council and cross Hounslow effort to contain and understand what is going on.

In terms of my week.

We had our Mission Leadership meeting on Tuesday, that’s all managers in digital and I T for an update around a number of areas. One of the things we did was start to think about the deliverables of the digital strategy for this year as part of an update to cabinet in July. This will also be an opportunity to reflect on the past year and celebrate some of our successes.

It was another of our Design Authority meetings on Wednesday, where we went through a number of projects that are at the initial ideas stage — this is all part of our One Hounslow transformation programme. This was one of the best meetings of the design authority we’ve had! Projects ranged from a new app for volunteers, through robotic process automation to our green skills Academy. What was really good to see about this meeting was the fact that connections with other projects and thinking were being made across the council. You could almost see the levers for change being pulled within the meeting with the conversations, the support and the challenge was excellent.

Wednesday evening it was really nice to attend another UK authority round table discussion on cloud hosted by Helen . It was really good to see a range of colleagues from across the country and sharing ideas, thoughts and concerns around the journey to the clouds for council’s and whether COVID has made any impact. One of my takeaways from the evening was a colleague saying as part of their design authority process that they measure and ask the cost of being special. That is there’s a standard ways of doing things but often in local government we want things done differently and there is a cost of that so it was really good to hear this being looked at in a more formal way.

Thursday was another of our world of work project team meetings, where we discussed the engagement that’s been taking place, the practical next steps and how we are going to use Hounslow House and the reception. It’s nice to remind ourselves we are not going to do a big bang approach to returning to the workplace. We are planning on ensuring that colleagues are supported going back to a building and we want to make sure that the buildings are fit for the future and our new ways of working.

Friday was a day of Health and safety training.

Have managed a commute walk to work every day this week which has been lovely, really nice to get out before work and really nice to actually have some sunshine as well.

Tune of the Week: Men At Work — Down Under https://youtu.be/XfR9iY5y94s

Director of Digital & IT for the London Borough of Hounslow