Weeknote 28.02.22

It seems ridiculous that I struggle to remember what I do when I reflect back on my week. And yet I do struggle. A terrible memory may be a contributing factor, but I also want to believe that it’s the nature of my job, too. My job as Service Owner at MoJ involves a lot of time spent doing lots of small discreet tasks that rarely add up to anything that significant – they have my attention for 30 or 60 mins, sometimes my partial attention as I try to complete work in parallel to talking. Then, gone. It can be a challenge to remember what a meeting is for, and why I’m there, as I bump from one to the next. So trying to couple these events together for the purpose of a weeknote narrative is hard. They’d make more sense as (really dull) tweets or instagram posts. Maybe that’s what I’ll try next week – aggregating moments from the week and see if there’s a thread.

So my week as a partially remembered list of things looks like this:

  • Benefits realisation feels fundamental to any goal but the amount of effort that goes into actually thinking about this is far outweighed by any actual benefit realised. Fact. OK, probably not, but it seems like it this week. Also, saving time and better data quality are not benefits to realise, they’re the things that could help you realise some value.
  • A meeting IRL with the management team and in Sheffield, the low light of which was discovering we have over 16 boards in our organisational area. That’s a lot of attention to manage, or avoid managing so you can get stuff done.
  • Engaging with GDS expert services to try and help deliver technical dev capability on a team. Didn’t know this support existed. Odd. Happy!
  • Engaging with a bunch of performance analysts to ask them to come and talk about their work, to try and help our teams understand that role and how we could benefit from using it. Baffles me how we don’t bake performance measures into everything we do and make it simpler and easier for all users to see *how* our services are doing. From my time at the Co-op it’s the single most powerful thing you can do to engage stakeholders in the development of a service.


  • Building regs require us to use Intumescent paint, which is paint that protects steel from extreme heat in the event of a fire, giving (hopefully) time to escape. Yet, the only proof of you using this paint for building regs seems to be a note you bought the paint. Any why protect the steel and not the wood when the entire floor is wood up 3 stories?
  • My chronic achilles pain is back. And I realise I take an almost obsessive interest in other peoples’ injuries, as this pain has been such a big part if my existence for the last 2 years. I offer up unsolicited and probably unhelpful advice on anything bad happening from the waist down; hips, knees, calfs and most especially achilles and feet. These two wonderful books are all I have to bolster my ‘expert’ claims. Call me if you have a niggle.
  • Octopus energy have told me that the two year fixed term price on our contract is ending and that the new tariff options will mean our household bill rising from just under £2,600 a year to over £6,889 a 265% increase! Gas rises from 2.89p per kWh to 9.65p per kWh, and Electricity from 16.51p per kWh to 35.14p per kWh. I’m still processing this but I do know that it is this kind of extreme change that will wake me into doing something radical with our energy consumption – insulating the hella out of the place, and looking at alternative energy (I think this may be a positive spin on what could just be an example of shock doctrine!)
  • I bought 7 pairs of shoes to try on because I didn’t want to have to travel to Manchester or, in fact anywhere, to have to try them. Unduly interested in the model around retail and returns. In Germany, apparently, there are far far more returns than in the UK and retailers and suppliers build this into their business models (fast, clear, hassle free process). I feel close to the German shopper.