Weeknote: 27 to 31 January 2020

Lettering on wall: "Accessibility lab" with arrow pointing to right

What inspired me this week?

  • The design team away day brilliantly produced by Brie, Becca and Andrew. I couldn’t stay for the whole day, but it was lovely to see the community assemble, and to hear head of design Tero and practice lead Dean outlining their vision for design at NHS Digital and beyond.
  • Starting to work with Ben, our new exec director.
  • The Book, Refer, and Manage Appointments team show and tell. Don’t want to steal their thunder because there’s a blog post coming soon.
  • The reactions to my blog post about delivering digital services. (Though judging by the people who responded, I realise that what was meant to be an informative guide for people unfamiliar with this space might have accidentally turned into a work of Service Manual fan fiction. Writing it made me feel better, but maybe a more measured follow-up is also in order.)
  • The new accessibility lab taking shape at Bridgewater Place. It opens officially for business on Monday.

How did I uphold the NHS Constitution?

I encouraged a colleague to ask the four questions in NHS Digital’s “what matters to me” campaign. I think they’re great questions:

  • What makes me feel included personally at work? ​
  • What do I think makes other people feel included?
  • How do I know?
  • Have I ever asked them?

What feedback did I give?

  • I reviewed new drafts of job descriptions for some of our roles. It’s a fine balance because the job descriptions need to align as closely as possible to the Digital, Data and Technology (DDAT) Capability Framework, while also fitting with the NHS’s Agenda for Change structure which we follow at NHS Digital. I emphasised the importance of being clear on the different levels of skill and experience defined in DDAT, from awareness through working and practitioner level and up to expert.

What connections did I make?

  • A good catch-up with Marc, Vanessa and Andy who lead the Communications profession at NHS Digital. We talked about how we could work together and learn from each other as profession leads.
  • Meeting with Katie, who joined recently as a user researcher. It’s great to have her join the brilliant band of user researchers based in London.
  • Coffee with a former colleague who might be interested in some roles we have coming up.
  • A call with a service design leader from another sector who has an interesting book project in mind.
  • A call with Katy and Lynne to discuss the services week launch event which we’re part of on Monday.

What leadership teamwork did I see?

  • Richard bringing together very clear, well-presented data to help the Product Development senior leadership team make some important decisions.
  • Some of the people who will be involved in the next wave of organisation change got together to understand what’s coming up for us all in the next few months. Having been through one wave already as a change lead, I now have some inkling of how the process works, but for some others it was new, and a lot to take in. It’s really important that we’re all able to tell the story of why this change is needed. Afterwards I regretted that a couple of other people should have been there had not been invited. Need to make sure they’re included next time.

How many days did I cycle to work?

  • 3 out of a possible 5.

What do I need to take care of?

  • Making sure our current cohort of graduate trainees get a good choice of placements where they’ll be supported by experienced user-centred design and product & delivery practitioners.
  • Next week, we also have assessment centres for a new cohort of graduates. We need to make sure they have a good first experience of our profession and will be motivated to join us in September.

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