Weeknote 12: 50/50 (Week 9, 2018)

So, after getting weeknote 11 out early and supplementing it with a “weeknote 11a”, I’m writing weeknote 12 the following Monday morning, on the train, which kind of defeats the object of a weeknote to wrap up the week.

To be honest, last week was a bit… well, I don’t know how to describe it. Busy, stressful, cold, fun (in parts) – and the weekend that followed had all the same elements.

Highlights included a long-overdue catch-up with @DavidHughes, watching my 13yo’s first cycling session on rollers and towing my 11yo around on a sledge hooked up to the back of a mountain bike.

Unfortunately, I also fell down the stairs at home and broke the screen on my Surface Pro 3 (the two incidents were unrelated).

My work was also split between two projects – with a “critical design review” for the supplementary information system built around Microsoft SharePoint and Power BI. The technology is the easy part – getting individual subject matter experts to work together (it’s not four designs – it’s one solution) has been more challenging.

In the second part of the week, I got properly stuck into my Modern Workplace project (part-time has not been cutting it – it really demands my full attention). We have some demanding timescales for the first phase and it’s all hands to the pump. That means I’ve rolled up my sleeves and got stuck into establishing the build processes and workflow. Just like these delivery robots, I wasn’t letting the snow put me off…

I “battled” to the station (more accurately, drove along some gritted roads with a slight snow covering and some drifts at the side), caught a delayed train (so still got to my destination at the intended time) and got to my customer site (which was like the Mary Celeste…), only for the customer to close the site at lunchtime and send us home – but I still needed to image another pile of SurfaceBooks! It was frustrating but it was also a self-imposed deadline – we just need to catch up over the next few days instead.

On the tech front, I have some thoughts bouncing around my head that haven’t quite formed into blog posts yet… again, two halves – one work-related and one personal:

  • One is about the use of collaboration tools at work (like Microsoft Teams) in place of email. Putting the tech in place is easy. Getting people to use it is not. I’m still getting documents sent to me attached to an email message.
  • The second relates to a remortgage. After getting the mortgage approved in principle, we’re into conveyance with a management company in front of a “panel” of solicitors. They phoned and texted and gave me 24 hours to complete an online form (that didn’t save progress and didn’t gracefully handle input errors) after which I had to print it, sign it (with witnesses) and send it off to a solicitor. It’s a complete mis-match of digital (done badly) and analogue. An anti-pattern for digital transformation if I ever saw one…

Right. Nearly at my destination now, so time to sign off. I’ve got some PCs to build before I switch back into architect mode!

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