Museums, Notes

Week 58 at work

A significant reduction in emails and meetings means it truly is summer holiday time. Allowing me to:

  • Put out a call for a Marketing and Communication Officer maternity cover post [I'd call it part Content strategist]
  • Finally went on our staff induction tour which was fantastic and led by Ray Barnett.
  • Agreed on our White City exhibition which will run at Bristol Record Office from 7th October
  • Got very close to completing a secret project [better to ask for forgiveness right!]
  • Spent a lot of my work planning activities for the rest of the year. We have finally moved to some better project planning processes and this took up a bunch of the week
  • Agreed our next batch of digitisation work
  • Remembered we’re playing chess not checkers

Not childish but childlike

Recently i’ve been trying to smooth the rough edges around kicking off new projects. Mostly using the GDS service manual as my north star. Yet I keep having a nagging feeling that not all the pieces of the puzzle are sitting in front of me. It dawned on me that although there is tons of great advice on running a project, there is a lot less on the proposal and justification for non-profit projects. I’m often missing the point of WHY the project or proposed method is even being starting. To this end I’ve probably been frustrating people recently by constantly asking “WHY?”. You want to use the exact same approach as last time WHY? Were there complaints and if so WHY? WHY can’t we do this differently? WHY are we committing? WHY if we’re so busy would you want us to do this? WHY can’t I say no?

I want us to be as clear as possible that we’re focused on the core reason for us to start a new project. Asking WHY really helps all of us refine our proposals. Once we know WHY we’re doing something it’s a lot easier to enjoy the ride!

Museums, Notes

Week 57 at work

Things I got up to this week:

  • Reviewed our current  media licensing activity with collections and documentation
  • Decided how we’d carry out our 400 exit surveys starting next week. This information is critical for accurately understanding our audience
  • Met with Prof John Cook from UWE ‘Arts and creative’ to see where we can work together on ubiquitous computing, people and sensors
  • Kicked the tires on our online shop which we hope to launch in August
  • Finally got the green light on online tickets (may of promised this before!)
  • Agreed how to reduce our digital and audio visual budget by 20% for Moved by Conflict
  • Chopped it up with MA student Heather Hammer about ‘why and how’ for all things image, video and audio
  • Enjoyed a post work social drinks session with some of the service on a boat!
  • Had a demo of Bristol City Council’s new open data platform which is pretty impressive
  • Reviewed current activity for our online collections tool with Mark doing an amazing job
  • Planned and kicked off new ways we resource and running projects across the organisation


Museums, Notes

Week 56 at work

A week of blue skies and hot weather made a welcome change. I got up to:

  • Started full steam ahead with using Basecamp for our projects and it has already highlighted little details with big impacts that could easily with slipped by. I’m already noticing a reduction in meetings which is great
  • Had our quarterly meeting with our major funder Arts Council England. Lots of hard work last week in preparing for this meeting paid off.
  • Paul and I discussed how we can get cracking with using an iPad as a way to record and edit audio instead of pocket recorders
  • Ran a half day kick-off meeting Aardman and University of Bristol for a new project
  • Chopped it up with the education team about why we blog and how they can get started. I was pleased to hear others are also interested in blogging so I hope to run a series of mini workshops soon
  • Met with Stephen Gray to see what plans he has for using an oculus rift headset in our Moved by Conflict exhibition.
  • Enjoyed my regular meeting with our IT Services account manager. I fed back about our Arts Council plans for 2015-18 and discussed how we could best have a voice in any IT strategy seeing as we are the customer after all
  • Contributed to our monthly senior management team session
  • Had a sudden lightbulb moment about the direction for the website ‘phase 2′ and got to planning it
  • Spent some time reflecting on how difficult change is in an organisational culture
  • Enjoyed an end of week drink with a fair few colleagues as we said farewell to a few members of staff