We started the week interview Sheffield City Council using our revised discussion guide. They've recently undergone some changes with regards to the organisation of their IMS function and technologies and that made for a really interesting session. We decamped to Tamper afterwards which serves amazing coffee and unravelled the learning from our brains before climbing the stair mountain back to the car.
Having closed our survey on Monday, we then spent Wednesday in Leeds:
All of this would feed into our end of project report which we presented a lightweight version of to Dave Robinson (Head of Service) and Kerry Loy (Commercial Services Manager) at Barnsley MBC - where the aim was to discuss the viability aspects of our research. Based on everything we'd learned, was their the political will and support in Barnsley to take this forward... to an alpha project and potentially beyond. Could / would Barnsley be able to organise themselves around the work and commit resource to more delivery.
Having discussed all the various in's, out's, up's and down's the answer was "yes". We can and are prepared to commit resource to supporting an alpha activity - to take the next steps and see where we end up. I have to say I'm chuffed to bits at that. It demonstrates that the value of our work can be seen and the potential value of it to the public sector is clear. It's great news!
And with that knowledge I went into a video call on the Thursday afternoon with Jack Ricketts from Southwark Council and Amanda Pujol from Teinbridge District Council. Egle had set up an opportunity for us to chat as lead officers of 3 funded projects focussed on progressing back office systems. I'm so glad she did, I found it so reassuring to hear similar stories and experiences in their projects as we were having in ours. Not only that, but I've made a couple of new contacts for the future there and while Jack's project had just completed its alpha phase, I'll be looking to support Amanda's discovery phase as that progresses.