Weekly Braindump #38

Rebellion, Web Chat & The Jiggly Elephant meets Real Giraffe

Post-It Notes you don’t want to mysteriously find on your desk on Monday morning.

THIRTY EIGHT BRAINDUMPS! Well done if you’ve hung in there this far. Here’s what I’ve been up to this week.

I’ve been working on…

This might be a bit of a dull update, for which I apologise in advance.

Monday I had a bit of a dive through updating objectives on 7Geese and a run through Helpdesk tickets. We’ve had a influx of requests for hardware following a few team restructures and role changes, so I set the wheels in motion on the procurement front. My notes also tell me I fiddled around with servers for a bit but at the time of writing (Friday) I can’t remember specifically what that was!?

Tuesday I had a meeting with a company that exclusively dealt in helping people understand what’s happening on their network. I’m usually a bit dubious about these things as it often degrades into all out scaremongering.. DO YOU KNOW WHO’S USING THE FACEBOOKS ON YOUR NETWORK??!!. But pleasingly this was pitched as more of a sensemaking service. There’s definitely some value in having metrics on what applications are using what bandwidth. Particularly when planning for potential network changes.

Wednesday was a day off for child care. The weather was pretty sub-par, so we watched some films and made our own comics. I particularly enjoyed my 4 year old’s story about a ‘jiggly elephant’ who met an octopus and a ‘real giraffe’ in space.

Thursday I did some more work on <insert project> for the <bleep> team. We’re finally getting some developer resource so able to work through some outstanding issues. I’m keen to get it back in front of users as quickly as possible.. and I also need to find new and inventive ways to make the wider organisation aware of the changes that are coming. I may speak to my lovely friends in comms for ideas on this front.

Friday morning I spent working on <another project> which has been dogged by one really annoying bug. I’ve been trying to replicate the error that our users are experiencing for a while but it has been annoyingly well behaved. Thankfully it finally fell over on Friday morning so I was able to send all the pertinent information to the support team for further analysis.

That was followed by an interesting chat with colleagues about the potential of using web chat for our services. We did some work recently on measuring how much contact we got through different channels (phone, app, email, in-person etc.) as a way of benchmarking where we currently are. Overwhelmingly, the phone is currently the preferred method of contact. We ruminated on the possible benefits and pitfalls of web chat before swiftly arriving at the conclusion that we just need to prototype it with staff & tenants to get some meaningful data. I’m meeting with my line manager next week to look at what should go into our next digital transformation sprint. I reckon this is a good candidate along with Fuzzbot, the AI powered repairs bot.

Friday afternoon I went to Beer, Burgers and Bytes hosted by David Clubb. I was pleased to see a few familiar faces in attendance as well as some lovely new people. We had a good chat about CRMs and the potential impact of GDPR. Then I had a separate catch up with David about digital transformation, universal basic income, life and the universe in general (we covered lots of ground).

I’ve been thinking about…

The sliding scale of rebellion! From worryingly subservient compliance to belligerent loose canon, how much rebellion is productive? How far can you work outside the system before you’re just unproductively tinkering at the fringes? As a bit of a non-conformist I recognise the urge to circumvent the system if you feel it’s working against your goals. But that perhaps that’s not a first resort. Organisations are just big webs of relationships. Any sort of change requires collective effort, so I think there’s value in trying to bring people with you. Of course, you can’t always reach everyone no matter how hard you try.. in which case perhaps you should proceed until apprehended or leave your job and go somewhere else. :)

For the past few weeks I’ve had a fairly consistent yearning to do a podcast series on transformation. It would be a series of conversations with people who are working on making public & third sector services fit for the connected age. I would do this mostly because I’m interested in finding out more about people who are working in this area. If anyone else finds it interesting.. bonus! Current barriers for acting upon this idea..

  1. Time
  2. Any discernable podcasting skills
  3. Did I mention time?

Lastly.. here’s an interesting factoid to break out at your next dinner party.

I’ve been reading…

I’ve been listening to…

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