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Weeknotes 07-11 Jan 2019

Happy New Year to everyone that I’ve not see to say so in person! I had a great Christmas break. I was last in the office on Tuesday 18th December, although I worked from home on the 19th in the morning to finish off some things and do almost a year’s worth of T&S claims. My wallet was fat with receipts, but alas no money. So I fixed that, or at least got rid of the receipts. I started back at work on Monday 7th and worked from home, ostensibly because I needed to write the second essay for the Project Leadership Programme (PLP) that was due on the Tuesday ahead of Module 4. In practice I ended up speaking to lots of people about things that had cropped up, and giving directions etc. So the paper didn’t quite get written, although I did read rather a lot about leadership. I’ve got an extension until the end of the month to finish off my PLP essay.

This Week

This week I have mostly:

  • Caught up with what happened since 18th December.
  • We finished our first campaign plan to recruit under the success profiles methods. On Monday we discussed with HR how we advertise the post externally in a way that will ensure non-civil servants might see it. I reckon from the conversation that it will take us another 2-3 weeks to get the advertising element sorted out, so the post ought to get advertised at the end of January. That means that it should be live for applications for most of February (we’ll allow at least three weekends for applications). So if you know anyone in the Leeds area that enjoys writing business cases then do please ask them to keep an eye out for our post and share the link when it is advertised.
  • I also spent time with our HRBP and senior HRBP looking at how we can improve our workforce planning and take it to a new level where we integrate the demand forecast element (which we’re pretty good at) with the succession planning, talent management and professional development work. This looks like an interesting thread.
  • I spoke with the project resourcing lead in DEFRA about how we can help them find people for EU Exit work, and also share merit lists where we have them. DEFRA are going to be sending me the list of roles that they are trying to fill so that we can offer them to people that need to be posted. These are likely to be loans, so a good development opportunity that will let you return to DWP at the end.
  • On Tuesday evening and Wednesday I was at module 4 of PLP, this is the last of the classroom parts of the programme and represents the end of Phase 1. Phase 2 is about putting what we’ve learnt into practice, getting some more coaching and then ending with a second 360 degree feedback exercise to show how we’ve developed. As always I found it an interesting session. There was a new part to the module about networking and the value of doing it, and how we ought to do it properly and not just collect business cards. Mostly common sense, but interesting none the less.
  • With the SLT we had a couple of conversations about how we take forward the people survey results and ensure that we respond positively and effectively to the feedback we’ve had. The conclusion was that we would use our divisional awayday groups to do this in the short term and set up a longer term people group with careful terms of reference to ensure that it is properly representative and that the members involve everyone in providing feedback and making improvements to how we work happen.
  • I spent some time thinking about our strategic impacts as a team, and how we can help the profession improve over the course of 2019. I also booked my sessions at the IPA’s Project Delivery Conference next Wednesday in Westminster Central Hall.
  • Last but not least I read several papers on suggestions from the team on being more effective and more efficient in supporting the profession. There were some fantastic ideas in there, and I’ve booked time in to talk to various people about how we take them forward.

Thanks to…

This week’s thanks go to:

  • Helen, Viv, Sharrion, Ian, Tom and Jamie for sharing ideas on how we can be better at what we do in 2019.

Outside Work

There’s way too much gone on since the last weeknote to list it all. This week was back to cubs, having formally swapped to the new pack as its only fully trained leader. Warren Pack of 5th Reigate meets at 17:45 on Thursdays in our scout hut. So this means my new work pattern involves an early departure on Thursdays to ensure that I make it there on time. We’ve got two adults and nine cubs at the moment, and we could easily run with five adults and 24 cubs if more people wanted to join in and help. We started this term with a campfire and some games outside (even though it was cold and raining a bit). Over the term we’ve got a night hike, cooking, junk modelling, wide games, disability awareness, and archery planned, amongst other things. We’ll be joining my old pack for a sleepover at the end of March, and the other pack for a camp in the summer. It looks like it’ll be a lot of fun!

Next Week

An almost normal working week, although I’ve swapped my usual non-working day from Wednesday to Tuesday so that I can go to the IPA Project Delivery Conference on Wednesday. Monday and Thursday are both back to back with meetings again, and I’m interviewing people for G6 Project Manager posts for most of Friday.

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