Weeknote: 24 to 28 February 2020

10 index cards with discussion topics arranged on a paper grid of timeslots and meeting rooms
Unconference agenda co-created by participants

What connections did I make?

  • Met more people who care deeply about digital, data and technology (DDAT) skills in health and care at the second of the DDAT in health unconferences, this time in Leeds. As in London the week before, the event was excellently run by the organising team.
  • Had a call with a consultant who is helping us to improve our NHS Digital graduate traineeship scheme.

What inspired me this week?

  • Another great book, refer, and manage appointments show and tell. The team now have a really clear framing of the problems to be solved and are moving on to what future models might look like. Working in the open is important, so I’m pleased that the discovery team are now free to talk a bit more about what they’re learning.
  • Conversations with a couple of people who have requested to join the Digital Services Delivery profession that I lead. We’re a growing profession, and it’s great to see people wanting to join our community and develop their careers with us.

What feedback did I give?

  • I’ve been impressed by the thoughtful and timely way that practice leads for product and delivery management have assessed the profession change requests, including detailing their reasoning so that if people don’t join our profession at this time, they can understand why not, and what they can do to move forward in their career.
  • I provided input to some important work on a portfolio lifecycle. As we move to a service-led model, we need the lifecycle to be a whole product/service one. Through the process of operating and improving these services, from time-to-time, we will identify new work of a scale and change that requires a programme, but not everything we do with our products/services will be a programme, or need to be contained in one.
  • I gave verbal feedback and followed up with an email about a slide that I thought sent the wrong message about our organisational transformation. I trust the people working on it to find a different way of getting their point across.

What leadership teamwork did I see?

  • Working with head of design Tero, and a new senior colleague in another directorate to sift applications for some user-centred design roles. I’m impressed by the other directorate’s efficient approach to running the recruitment, and plan to borrow the best features of this when hiring for other roles in future.

How did I uphold the NHS Constitution?

“The NHS pledges to… provide support and opportunities for staff to maintain their health, wellbeing and safety” – NHS pledges to staff

  • A couple of things happened this week that reminded me of the need to ensure our staff feel safe and supported at work. I’m going to talk further with the team about those.

What do I need to take care of?

  • One of the team has shared some heartfelt and valuable feedback about what matters to them. With their permission, I hope to share this with my senior leadership team colleagues.
  • A conversation with a colleague from a minority ethnic group made me aware that tensions around coronavirus are already leading to racist assumptions and comments in public places. I hope I’d notice and call it out if I see anything like that.

How many times did I cycle to work?

  • 0 out of a possible 5. No excuses.

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