Housing data in the cloud: Weeknote, w/c 16.12.2019

This is the last weeknote of 2019. The team has worked hard to keep things moving over the last couple of weeks. I’m grateful for their continued enthusiasm in the face of winter germs, train strikes and general end-of-year weariness. 

I’m iterating my weeknotes based on some valuable feedback; I’m attempting to be clearer about progress and next steps. Here goes…

Bold ambition meets messy reality
When we started out four weeks ago, our ambition was to have (some) data migrated into the cloud by Christmas. Spoiler alert: we didn’t achieve this. 

However, we’ve made solid progress by:

  • Building the cloud platform 
  • Building and testing a VPN tunnel
  • Identifying a use case (solving a problem for users)
  • Agreeing on a database (postgreSQL)

Our workshop with AWS last week highlighted the need for a more indepth look at how we migrate data into the cloud. We will bring together infrastructure, data and developer colleagues from Hackney and AWS in January to tackle this problem. 

What we plan to do in the New Year
We took a pause from sprinting this week. Instead, we focused on tying up some loose ends. Getting the VPN tunnel up and running has been a blocker for a couple of weeks and we wanted to crack this before Christmas. 

On 6th January, we are going to re-group and kick off the New Year with a sprint refinement session. With our stakeholders, we will:

  • Remind ourselves of the goal for the prototype and what “done” looks like
  • Review progress against the roadmap
  • Brainstorm backlog items
  • Roughly prioritise these into 2-3 sprints

Things on my mind
Despite pace* being an agile buzzword, I’m less concerned about this and more interested in team cohesion. As we learn more, do we:

  • Have the right skills mix in the team?
  • Are we sharing knowledge effectively or still working in silos?
  • Have the right balance between doing “enough” for the prototype and the bigger picture
  • Manage dissenting views whilst maintaining progress?
  • Stakeholder engagement: what’s our responsibility vs theirs?

There’s much to ponder here. In the meantime, we wish you all a peaceful Christmas and a joyous New Year.

*I have a whole other ranty blog post about this word in my head.

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