On apprenticeships, testing and some large and small achievements.
There has been a lot going on around our finance and workforce systems over the last few weeks.
We went live with our latest quarterly release. We had done a lot of testing before the release but a couple of annoying things slipped through. The team did a great job of jumping on these to sort them out but it did create some inconvenience for people.
Once the quarterly release was out of the way we switched attention onto our backlog and managed to clear off some important items. Interestingly, some of the insights we got from fixing the quarterly release issues provided the clues we needed to resolve some longer running issues. So that cloud had a silver lining.
We held the final board meeting for the implementation project. It has taken a huge amount of work from the project team to get to this point and is a great achievement. Some of the team have now moved on to other projects and assignments but many are continuing to work with us on running and improving the platform. Governance of this ongoing effort now shifts to our design authority which will officially kick-off next month.
Over the last few weeks I have been learning about apprenticeships and talking to colleagues about how we can make the most of the opportunities apprenticeships create. There were a lot of assumptions I had made which I need to update; in particular, how people can take up apprenticeships part way through their careers and not just at the beginning. This could be a really good way for people to develop the skills we need to run our finance and workforce systems.
I have been getting an update on leading practices in testing by joining in a working group led by our testing specialists. When I started my career testing was mostly a laborious manual process but, like most things in technology, this can be highly automated to be more effective and productive. To make the most of these opportunities we need to change the way we plan and organise our work and even change the way people think about testing. We are hoping to use one of our projects as a showcase of how powerful these practices can be. It should also make it easier for all of our teams to understand what is needed and start making changes in their areas of work.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been able to:
- join a Codebar1 event to coach someone hoping to start an IT career
- show a local charity how to save money on file sharing by using secure tools which are free to non-profits
- talk to one of the leaders working on the Cornwall People Hub2
- attend the latest staff forum for race equality3.