HackIT 3.0 weeknote #2

Week ending 08/07/21

I’ve been in post for a couple of weeks now as the lead organisational change manager working to support our Divisional Management Team (DMT) to deliver HackIT 3.0. 

In that time, I’ve been reading up on the evolution of HackIT, from a time when it was perceived as one of the lowest performing parts of the Council to now, when it is regarded as one of the highest. A reputation cemented by your incredible response to the unprecedented challenges of a global pandemic and crippling cyber attack.

Against that backdrop, you might question the timing of redesigning the whole service, whilst still dealing with the ramifications of those cataclysmic events. But those events also showed the absolute need to keep evolving as a team, improving security and implementing the most effective use of new and fast-changing technologies in order to best serve both our staff and residents.

DMT were also conscious that putting pre-pandemic plans for HackIT to transition from start up to scale up on a long hiatus could increase anxiety and leave people less certain about the future.

I’ve also been reading all the feedback that has so far been produced, both individually and within teams, in response to the vision laid out in ‘Towards our future shape’ and trying to work out how all those pieces of a puzzle might fit together in an overall organisational shape.

But this is not an academic exercise, this is about people. So over the past couple of weeks, I’ve set out to learn more about how all the individual teams that currently make up HackIT work. I started with team leaders, not because they are more important, but to get an overall view of what services each team delivers and how they do that. 

I’ve had some really open initial discussions with Steve Addison, David Durant, Richard Smith, Felix Tomlinson, Chris Lynham, Sandrine Balley, Lisa Stidle, Darren McCormac, Paul Tyler, Sarah Donegan, Marian Andoh, Judith Beckford, Mal Morris and Zoe Tyndall. These chats have been really thought-provoking and I’m looking forward to booking more in the next couple of weeks. 

A number of other colleagues have also contacted me to offer their support for this work including Rahma Mohamed (service design), Lucy Clifton (relationship management), and Alex Parsons and Lewis Sternberg (delivery management) who have both been doing some interesting research into Communities of Practice (CoPs) which they shared with me. Further examination of what value CoPs bring to individual development, team health and organisational structures will no doubt help shape HackIT 3.0.

I also very much enjoyed working with Cate McLaurin, Emma McGowan and Rob Miller to facilitate two more HackIT 3.0 workshops. The first explored how we can develop clearer career pathways within our new structure, and the second asked further questions around standards and assurance prompted by discussions in an earlier workshop held in May.

This week was also a chance to bring team leaders together with DMT to check in and get feedback on how the HackIT 3.0 engagement is going so far. What we are doing well and what we could be doing differently. Some of my takeaways included a reassuringly positive reaction to our general direction of travel, but also the desire to have: more detail on our timetable; a roadmap; what types of roles might exist within a new structure; and a high level summary of why HackIT 3.0 is happening and what it needs to achieve. 

That’s an ongoing conversation, which everyone is invited to participate in. To do so, you can contact me directly, or join the #hackit-3-point-0 Slack channel, and watch out for regular updates via Google Currents and show and tells.

Coming up next week:

I’ll be publishing summaries of those two workshops via Currents and inviting those who were unable to attend to contribute their views.

We hope to start a recruitment process for a Product lead, one of three anchor roles that will help us build HackIT 3.0, and also for the pilot product team in document management.

Hope you all have a great weekend. 

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