Weeknotes — 2020 01 10
Week ?? — the back to work one…
Hope we all had a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and feel well rested and fighting fit!
I certainly had a nice break over Christmas, had a week and a half off, so time to recharge batteries and eat my body weight in turkey and chocolate (not at the same time).
It was nice of South West Trains on my first Monday back to cancel a couple of trains just to ensure that we recreated the queues on the platform and general chaos of the strike month — certainly eased me into the new year and not a shock to the system, that would have been if we had trains that operated on time….
So it has very much been a week of hitting the ground running!
Was very much in at the deep end with starting back after Christmas and we ran a session with Victoria Lawson’s Management Team on Digital, she is the Exec Director of Customer Relations, Environment and Culture, so is responsible for a wide remit! — We covered a range of things in the hour and I tried to make sure that it was interesting, engaging and maybe even a bit of fun. (she will have to tell you if I was successful in that!). We covered what Digital is/isn’t, what it means for Hounslow and what are some of the problems that we were trying to solve in Hounslow as part of the Digital Strategy.
Was an excellent session with lots of energy and creative thinking in the room and really started to get to the bottom of a number of different areas. We started to map out the deliverables over the next 6, 12 and 36 months — lots of work left to do as we document these and repeat across the whole Council — these will then be part of the implementation plans of the Digital Strategy.
Monday afternoon we locked ourselves in a room again to work through the capital programme of work, going through what has been delivered over the past 5 years and starting to work through the current and future programmes. Andy had done a lot of work to review the past projects so we are starting to see the light here! Nice way to start the new year!
Started the day with the monthly management team breakfast meeting in the Hounslow Wetherspoons, good to start to get our heads around 2020! One of the main things we discussed was the results of the Customer Satisfaction Survey that we completed before Christmas.. Over 900 responses from across the Council which is excellent and working our way through the comments so we get a real feel for the work that we need to do. As you would expect a real mixture of positives and negatives but some themes emerging that we are already working on so we will be able to respond quickly to some of them!
Tuesday evening was the Cabinet Briefing meeting with Councillors where we had a paper on the Digital Strategy. It detailed some definitions, some potential themes of the strategy, benefits to Hounslow and a timetable for the strategy. We have an ambitious timetable to get the strategy back to Cabinet in March/April! So it is certainly going to be a busy first quarter of the year!
I am told they save the best items to last on the agenda and was lucky enough to be agenda item 13 as well… (OK I told myself that!) I am pleased to say that it was well received and we had some good discussion and questions around the content. This will then go to formal Cabinet on 21 January. I was also reminded by one of the Councillors of the campaign to get Clive on Twitter so will have to get plans in place for that!
Met the new Assistant Director of Communication, Public Affairs and Engagement, Ben Knowles who joined us recently. Really good to catch up over a coffee. Going to be lots of things that our teams are going to be working together on over the next year both within the Council and as part of the Digital Strategy.
Thursday was the #1Hounslow board where we discussed the progress of the workstreams of the transformation programme. Was really good to hear Niall set the scene for 2020 and quote back to the Board importance of #fixtheplumbing, making sure that we get the right grounding and fix the things that need to be fixed/improved. Certainly that is an element of the Digital Strategy over the next few months to make sure that we are getting the foundations right for the future as we embark on more transformation across the Council.
Digital in all it’s definitions, is really is an integral part of all the workstreams for this transformation piece — going to be a good year!
Going through the update paper at the Board was a really good way to remind myself of all the work we have already completed over the last couple of months. Whilst the majority of the work has been discovery there is an amount that we are starting to turn to planning and delivery of a range of things.
So all in a really productive and busy week.
Song of the week: Gossip — Standing In The Way Of Control