Week 83 at work

I end January feeling like the pieces are falling together:

  • agreed to house two setups for Bristol is Open a technology project between University of Bristol and Bristol City Council for four experimental types of internet connectivity
  • Went out to a field in Clutton just outside of Bath to see Simon from BaRAS in action doing a dig
  • attended an evening event talked about HTML5, ARIA and the open web hosted by accessible Bristol group at Engine Shed
  • Monthly meeting with our catering and venue partner Levy restaurants to see how we’ve been doing – great with room for further improvement
  • Sneak peek into the refurbished gallery 4 at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery which opens next week
  • Weekly management team review which has now moved to a public trello board to help us and for staff to see what we’re focusing on
  • 1:to:1 with Laura
  • Bailed trip to Cardiff for Core Cities

Week 82 at work

This week like my job started proper. I got up to:

  • Met with Gavin and started our first of many conversations about our services working together. Got to see Temple Street where lots of staff have moved to recently. Interesting uses of tech such as wireless phones so you can sit anywhere. Would take a lot to convince me open offices are productive though – the noises and phones ringing!
  • Spent half a day with our outgoing retail Manager Ollie to better understand our historic retail profit/loss sheets and get the low down on key issues
  • Went to my hang out with Bristol & Region Archaeological Services for an afternoon to meet the team and look at “quick wins”
  • After missing several trains to London I finally got to Museum Association “Lets get Digital” seminar day. I spoke about how we made our website and really enjoyed the question and answer session at the end. Always a pleasure to get invited to speak at events and Rebecca Atkinson and co did a fantastic job running the day. Rebecca wrote about the day.
  • I gave my personal view to HR about performance management within the organisation to aid their new performance management process due out this year.
  • Met Scott and Meagan from Play Nicely who helped us deliver the tech for Moved by Conflict
  • Monthly meeting with documentation and digital teams
  • Had our first proper management team meeting to hear Laura’s first thoughts on our service. One outcome is to move to using trello for all staff to see what burning issues management staff are working on to help be transparent
  • Budget review
  • I often half joke that we don’t want our very senior management at the council to know our names as it probably means we messed up. An “incident” not of our doing caused our Service Director to know my name this week. Awkward. I better get used to curve balls. I’ll be “ensuring” this particular issue can’t happen again. As long as you learn right?
  • Got featured in Bristol 24/7 about my Bristol top fives

Next week i’ll be onsite in a field with a member of BaRAS to see a project they are working on, sorting out our retail manager paperwork and getting into the detail of team costs.

Week 81 at work

This week :

  • Spent the day walking our retail shops and talking to staff with Peter Holloway who was here to provide an initial diagnostic  on the current state of things
  • Budget review with our accountant took the whole afternoon and is far from ideal situation so lots to improve for 2015-16
  • Reviewed our marketing and made suggestions to tighten up the process
  • Wrote earlier in the week that there will be tough days
  • First team meeting with my new team Modern Records
  • First proper meeting with Ian who runs BaRAS
  • Digital team catch ups
  • Lunch one day with wife and kid then another with mum – NICE
  • Budget forecasting
  •  A morning looking at the 2016 public programme

If it was easy I wouldn’t be doing it

Something happened today at work that didn’t go as I had expected. On my ride home I had time to blow off some steam. This evening I have been reminding myself that if this job was easy I wouldn’t accepted the ‘challenge’. Onwards.

One line to save lives: Please join NHS Organ Donor Register

Earlier today we renewed our car tax and upon completion the thank you page said “Please join NHS Organ Donor Register”. I thought that was an interesting message and wondered if it actually worked. I tweeted about it and as usual Matt Jukes already knew about this and pointed me to One link on GOV.UK – 350,000 more organ donors which is very impressive AND of course live saving.

Hat tip to whoever worked on that one line as it will certainly have saved lives.

Oh for a second I did also think “the cheek, I won’t have an accident…” but then remembered i’ve been a passenger in three car accidents with two of those cars being written off…wear a seat belt as they save lives too.

Week 80 at work

Everybody is back in the office now so lots of hellos, emails and getting back to the grindstone.

  • Started my first proper week in my new role
  • Started sprint 8 of the Hidden Museum project at Aardman HQ
  • Digital team 1:1 monthly sessions
  • Ran a few staff sessions on using trello for task/project managing
  • Agreed how we’d roll out our digital signage project
  • Agreed our website phase two project with Fay at the helm this time
  • Agreed our Q4 workforce development plan
  • Discovered which boards/sign-off we need to follow from Bristol City Council
  • Skyped with Mike Ellis about our work together in Q4
  • Reviewed my monthly budget forecast. I previously only had a few to look at!
  • Met Mary Godwin, our Arts Council England relationship manager to review quarter three and look ahead to 2015-18
  • Met with our catering and event partner Levy Restaurants to look at how we can resolve a few issues and work together
  • Handed over yet another project to my team. This time it’s the University of Bristol interaction cabinet project which Zahid will lead on and you’ll be impressed with
  • Approved staff casual salary which is pretty important
  • Waved farewell to Tim Corum who worked at the service for eight years
  • Realised that I give Fay too much of my old workload so will be more mindful of the impact of my job switch – sorry Fay

Next week I hope to review all my teams progress for 2014-15 and look ahead to cracking on with 2015-16.

Week 79 at work

My favourite quiet week of the year. With so few people at work across the globe I knuckled down to getting ready for my job job.

  • Enjoyed two days off for Christmas
  • Cleaned out all my 2014 paperwork yippeee!
  • Wrote a paper on all known data we collect to help me on a project to centralise
  • Walked around Bristol Museum & Art Gallery to identify outstanding issues to fix during january – some of our IT is creaking
  • Completed our Arts Council Q3 report on digital, marketing and audiences.
  • Got 10mins working on the front desk to cover staff shortages – fun and several Banksy enquires which makes me think what else can we do to give visitors info about our elusive chum
  • Started my job job as Head of Transformation on Friday 2nd Jan
  • Welcomed our new Service Manager Laura Pye to the service!