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Monthnote June 2024

3 min read

Wow! Where did June go? Here is a catch up on the weeknotes I missed over the last few weeks.

Lots of people in the public sector have avoided blogs, weeknotes and social media recently due to official restrictions during the pre-election period. These didn’t really affect me but a bout of COVID followed by some family care challenges did. I could have made a special effort to keep weeknoting but I decided to be kind to myself.

I was out of the office most of last week. Tuesday was the finale of the TECgirls micro:bit Mentors programme helping the girls complete the smart home projects they have been developing in after school clubs over the last term. I was helping with wind powered lighting for the model smart homes and sound-and-light door bells.

On Wednesday I helped out at the Youth Edition of Agile on the Beach and stayed on for the main conference on Thursday and Friday.

I usually have some specific things I want to learn about at Agile on the Beach and mix in pre-planned sessions with ones that just take my mood on the day. This year I wanted to dig into the structure of agile teams and how to fund them and picked out sessions on these. We’ve become quite comfortable applying agile ways of working with existing funded teams but sometimes the shape and size of the teams we have puts a limit to how effective we can be. We can get around some of the limits by making temporary working groups or projects but this can be disruptive and stressful for the people invovled. Perhaps we can find a better way. The Agile on the Beach talks included some book recommendations and I’ve already been talking to colleagues about forming some groups - perhaps a kind of book club - so that we can follow up and try out some of these new ideas. First up will be Beyond Budgeting and then maybe Team Topologies.

Looking back into June I divided my time between a mix of work. At one end of the scale are things that were my main day-to-day responsibility a couple of months ago but have been mostly handed over to new leaders and I am now just supporting behind the scenes. An example of this is my work with our Regulatory Services department. At the other end are things which will become my main day-to-day responsiblity and I am getting things ready and sounding out the key stakeholders I’ll be working with. An example is the new focus I’ve been given on helping our community of Product Managers to get the most value and impact from the products they lead. In the middle are my current active tasks which is helping the people managing our portfolio of changes and projects to understand the value of our work and get useful insights about the flow of value that they can use to steer money and effort to the most effective work.

Originally published on by Richard Barton