Weeknote: 3 to 7 February 2020

3 A4 sheets with stick notes showing when 3 people last observed user research and when they're next due to observe to keep up their 2 Hours Every 6 Weeks

What leadership teamwork did I see?

  • As we discuss new ways of working for our product development directorate, I had catch-ups with several of our senior leaders who are figuring out what this means for their own areas. We have many demands on us as a directorate, and are working within constraints, but everyone wants to do the right thing for our staff and users.
  • I was honoured to join Katy, Lynne, Lou and Martin for a remote opening session for Services Week 2020. I enjoyed hearing about how they’re all tackling the challenges to better services at the Home Office, Defra, and Homes England. My team and I are so lucky to be part of this amazing cross-government community.

What inspired me this week?

  • Also for Services Week, Dean and Misaki presented at a Gov Design event about design systems. I wasn’t there for the main event, but got to see their run-through. I especially liked the point Misaki made about making sure the contribution process for the NHS digital service manual is genuinely inclusive.
  • I made a brief appearance at the content community of practice away day, brilliantly run by Eva and a team of volunteers from the profession. It’s great that they have opened up to guests from third sector organisations that also work on health and care content.
  • A couple of assessment centres for the next cohort of product & delivery and user-centred design graduate trainees to start with us in September. I’m always impressed by the candidates, and we had some tough deliberation in moderation at the end. When asked what they knew about NHS Digital, several of the candidates mention our work to widen digital participation, and to simplify the language in our communications with patients and the public.

What connections did I make?

  • We’re getting some outside help with job descriptions and assessments ahead of the next wave of organisational change. I had a good meeting with the consultant who is working on this with us, and at the end of the week, a call with him, Trilly and Mohammed who are leading on the relevant job descriptions.

How did I uphold the NHS Constitution?

“All staff should have rewarding and worthwhile jobs, with the freedom and confidence to act in the interest of patients.” – NHS Constitution for England

  • In some work on our product development operating model, I wrote that we will achieve pace of delivery by giving freedom to act to multidisciplinary teams of suitably skilled specialists. Freedom to act should be commensurate with the skill levels of the people in the team, which are spelled our clearly in their job descriptions.

How many times did I cycle to work?

  • 0 out of a possible 4 times, excusing myself because I’ve got a cold.