SEPA week 03

This week’s broad context

Quite a busy week with a good level of cognitive load. It was my last week with the Democratic Society and context switching between them and SEPA was difficult at the start of the week. I am full-time with SEPA now and knowing that has immediately affected how I feel in the role because I can totally focus on just the one job. A really interesting and exciting week for me because I got to see a show and tell from a co-located in-house agile team learning service design approaches. We are starting to identify where our work overlaps with theirs and proactively getting involved in doing work together.

This is what I learned

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Meta: a picture of Dug taking a picture of internal workshop post-its

Through our proactive linking with adjacent agile and service design teams, we had the opportunity to take part in an internal user (users of internal processes and systems) workshop. I learned a lot about how people inside different departments and silos interact and link, I started to see first hand the patterns of pain points across different functions and I learned more about a service SEPA provides to other public bodies, Safety (or lone working) Cover. I also learned that ‘complaint’ has a number of definitions in this place. From here on out I will be sure to clarify when I am looking for data for customer complaints about a SEPA services as opposed to data for environmental complaints coming from customers. This clears up a big red flag I had against hearing SEPA staff talk about some customers as ‘complainants’. I can look back and giggle now but it’s just one example of how I need to do better to question everything and to try to stop making assumptions in everything from the use of a word to how people are understanding our ways of working.

This surprised me

At the internal workshop I got to glance sideways across the organisation’s coal face and what I saw is a good number of allies and champions. In my first two weeks here I saw enthusiasm for UR/SD and agile working in our immediate and deliberately created ‘innovation space’. What I saw in this week is where the keen beans are in Finance, Customer Service, Governance and Planning. I wasn’t expecting the level of support, especially in places where I worried there might be engagement or workshop fatigue and some hesitation about working with an external consultant. There were a number of people in the workshop who proactively mentioned creating a community of practice around our collective emerging work and new ways of working too. That surprised me because in the past this is something that is rarely ever mentioned without some nudging or cajoling. I’m very excited to spend some time focusing on building an internal community and linking my new colleagues to my existing communities.

This frustrated me

Again, a very punctuated week making it nigh on impossible to focus on a task.

What I will do next week

Still working on internal outreach for research. There are some implicit boundaries or rules around our team not directly contacting members of staff (as opposed to being e-introduced first by our Project Manager) and it’s an interdependency that has caused slight delays.

Posted in: Weeknotes

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