Digital northern monkey by day, bookworm and Disney geek by night. Can be found championing #agiledelivery at #DWPdigital

As someone who thrives in a face to face environment, moving to 100% online was a shock to the system, I even said it wasn’t for me! Here’s what made it initially bearable and eventually rewarding for me personally.

When I joined DWP Digital way back in Feb 2020, I wasn’t to know that I would have FIVE WEEKS to experience my new working environment, before we were all thrown into a virtual Groundhog day, where everyone ate banana bread for breakfast and shouted “You’re on mute” at previously sane colleagues on lagging internet connections.

Now we work in digital, we know our way around, we know our mouse from our elbow. However many of us, myself included, operated in a world where collaborative breakout rooms filled with whiteboards and a mountain of post-it notes and markers were necessary for us to do our best work (or so we thought!). …


As we get closer to the big day we thought we’d share some questions we’ve received over the last few weeks, and the answers of course!

Who is the event for?

GovCamp North is open to anyone who works in or around public services. Whether they are in local government, a central government department or ministry, or if you work in an arms-length-body, agency or third sector organisation delivering or supporting public services.

What is an unconference?

Basically, it’s a conference without predefined topics. There is a high level structure and theme, but actual topics are generated by the participants on the spot.

Why an unconference?

Simple, less upfront planning (so lots of time for us to put our feet up — KIDDING!) …


As we get closer to the event we wanted to share updates on our planning and decisions.

What have we done this week

Trying to react to feedback regarding ticketing and upping our comms game.

Ticketing

Google Forms has proved a big issue so we’ve provided an alternative for users to simply email us. We also had feedback that the date wasn’t very obvious so we’ve improved that on social media and on the website.

Comms

Given the closeness of the event we are now all hands on deck with comms. Shout it from the rooftops!

Learning

Alongside the day we have fleshed out our plans for L&D opportunities. This is something we have discussed from the beginning but this has changed since going virtual. You can read more about this in Imran’s recent L&D post. …


As we get closer to the event we wanted to share updates on our planning and decisions.

What have we done this week

Ticketing went live this week so we’ve been busy telling anyone who will listen!

Ticketing

We had some issue with ticketing, mainly that Google Forms isn’t accessible from some work devices. We’ve been investigating other possible options. If anyone knows of any secure, free and widely accessible form generators please let us know!

Comms

Now the ticketing is live we’ve been telling anyone that will listen. …


As we get closer to the event we wanted to share updates on our planning and decisions.

What have we done this week

What a productive week! Ticketing finalised and ready to go AND a new website!

Ticketing

We’ve been working up the timings for ticket allocation and release. Aiming to get the application form out early next week so watch out for that.

Comms

We’ve been reaching out to several comms teams to see if they can help us communicate to their department about GovCamp North.

Starting to up our social game with more regular posts and targeting some of our networks to increase interest and get the word out. …


As we get closer to the event we wanted to share updates on our planning and decisions.

What have we done this week

This was a very productive week for many, lots of exciting things to share and update on.

Sponsorship

We’ve drafted an open call for sponsors and have sought some seed funding from UK GovCamp.

We’ve got a clearer idea of costs and have been working on the different sponsorship packages we will offer our sponsors.

We’ve agreed that we will have a code of conduct that will also apply to our sponsors so that we create the right type of environment for attendees.

Comms

We’ve engaged with a few comms teams both locally and nationally to try and get the word out. …


Find out why the organising team got involved with GovCamp North and why they feel such an event is important.

Sharon Dale

Since discovering UKGovcamp in 2015 I have attended every one except in 2017 when I had flu. It is a fantastic opportunity to meet and learn with public service heros, all passionate about making things better. In 2018 I ran my first session #NotJustLondon which was about the London centricity of events. I am delighted to be involved in making something inclusive happen in the North where I have lived for 20 years (this time) and even more so since we are making it available online and can be even more inclusive. …


Lockdown lows (and a few highs) and what I’m trying to be thankful for.

I have no clue what day it is let alone what week it is so strictly not an episode! I just know that it’s been a while since I checked in with any #weeknotes. I don’t feel like my usual format will work at the moment so instead I thought I would gather together some thoughts that have crossed my mind in the past 6 weeks WFH so I have some sort of “record” of the experience…. good and bad!

The daily “juggle”

I say juggle, it feels much more like plate spinning. “Juggle” implies a level of control, and that is far from reality. Instead, I feel like I’m spinning a series of plates, trying to keep as many of them spinning at once as possible. Jumping from the “work” plates to the “family” plates and back again. …


#GovCampNorth discussions, IWD2020 at the Manchester Hub, #IamRemarkable workshop and I start my first assignment.

Monday Started the week determined to get myself onto some of the workload today. As a Delivery Manager my raison d’être is to deliver and as I’m now nearly a month in I really feel like I should be doing this.

I’d be lying if I said this meant I knew what people are taking about a majority of the time BUT, I’m getting there slowly. I probably need to sort out some training but haven’t a clue how to do that yet…. …


The one where I realise my working environment, is a bit like our fridge.

Monday I really feel like I’m getting into the swing of things now. I’m not actually doing any “delivery”, but I do feel like I’m contributing and that’s been really helpful for me.

I’ve started to attend the daily triage calls to get a better feel for the work that’s landing within TS, I might not understand much of the terminology but I’m starting to pickup which teams do what and what sorts of projects are coming in.

Tuesday Today I was able to access the very final piece of the puzzle. I can now access and see a project end to end, from when the request comes in, all the way to through delivery. This has been so helpful as I think I finally “get it”. I decided to put together a little flow diagram to help me see all the different possible outcomes for the projects as it goes from request, to delivery and finally to production. It’s obviously very top level at the moment but I plan on asking a few of the wider team for feedback tomorrow. …

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