On Monday morning we announced that we'd awarded the contract for our Discovery project to DXW Digital, a London and Leeds based agency that believe it’s possible for the public sector to become something recognisably, radically better, and want to help make that happen.

Having sorted out the formalities through Tuesday, our Barnsley contingent set straight to work on Wednesday visiting their trendy Leeds offices and meeting the team. After a tour and rather tasty coffee (thanks Poss), we made ourselves comfortable in their conference space and set out our expectations for the day.

Post-it notes setting out our expectations

Saul, Sharon, Marianne, James, Debbie, Zoe and I worked through the context of the project, a potted history to date, our ambitions, goals, hopes and dreams for it with a break for lunch somewhere in middle. We used more post-it notes in a single day than I think I've personally used in the last decade!

The whole process felt open, creative, flexible but at the same time really well choreographed. The energy only really dropped when someone mentioned lunch and that claimed our focus all too easily. Otherwise we got through an awful lot of material, highlighted a number of considerations, risks, issues and actions that we now need to follow up on - all of which will be digitised and made available as quick as we're able.

This was our inception meeting. A chance to set out where we are, where we need to be, to generate a shared understanding between us and importantly to gel as a core lead team. Next steps will include engaging with our bid partners (and agreeing with them how best to do this throughout the project), agreeing communication channels and carrying out our joint research.

On Thursday, we added our project to Local Digital Pipeline for visibility, documented a functional list of the capabilities of our Income Management System and clarified our availability for further meetings and activities over the remaining 10 weeks of the project.

Friday was a day of rest. I've put together these week notes and caught up with some non-project related activities. Next week, we go again and I'm very much looking forward to it!