This week has been mainly catching up with lots of folks so I thought I would structure the weeknote by who I have talked to:


Oli and I are both based in the south west and both part of the agile in the ether community but we’ve never met face to face before. On Monday we righted that wrong and met for lunch at Double Locks in Exeter. Oli has just joined Public Digital after 20+ years in the civil service. We had a lot of experiences in common (I was a civil servant for 14 years) and have worked with similar people or the same/adjacent organisations we even sussed out we were at Plymouth University at the same time.

It was a lovely chat, not for the first time it felt like catching up with a an old friend rather than meeting IRL for the first time, I had a similar with Randy at agile in the ether Liverpool meetup earlier in the year its a real testament to how well Emily nurtures that community if you haven’t been before you should check it out.

We talked about a lot of things. I think my biggest takeaway was Oli reflecting on a conversation he had had with Audree, where he hypothesised most challenges emerge from money and mindset, Audree’s view was that it’s mostly just mindset. If an idea is worth pursuing and you can get people on board, the money will emerge. I’ve been thinking about that a lot this week.

I’m really pleased Oli has started weeknoting too, it’s a great reflective post, looking forward to seeing more!


Will and I worked together at Delt (Oli and Will also worked together at the met office, such a small world). We haven’t really caught up properly since I left Delt and it was great to see him again.

We talked about common challenges, how transformations usually just end up layering yet more process on top of what already exists rather than removing things. How transformations are like the senior leader version of CV driven development and platform engineering. I’ve linked Will up with Denys at the co-op who is doing some interesting things embedding product practices in a platform team there. I hope the relationship bears fruit for both of them.

We also talked about our families, moving house, the lack of cafes near where we live and ice hockey (Will plays but now has to schlep to Bristol since the local rink closed down, now that’s commitment!)


I’ve admired Rumman’s work for a while so I was really excited to meet. His blog posts are always pragmatic real world examples of how to embed good agile delivery practices in gov. His post on digital front door: Alternatives to business cases should be read by anyone working in governance roles in gov in my humble opinion.

We talked about governance and different approaches in consulting roles (Rumman has recently joined softwire). I was very excited to hear he has a governance post in his backlog, looking forward to reading that, and I should really get on with my governance as a service mega post that’s stuck in the backlog.

We also talked about GDS and how it’s a bit of a beacon for lots of folks doing digital in gov. The example set there reflects how things are done in other departments, it still acts as an example of what good looks like. I wonder to what extent that is understood and affects decisions made there?


Doug and I have never met either but I did work with his wife Hannah at NHS Digital (It’s a small world after all). We had a good chat about his MSc in Systems Thinking, he’s blogging about it as he goes. I like to think I think in systems but I read his work and realise I don’t know half as much as I think! We also talked about the state of the contract market at the moment (you should hire him!), and how it has become harder to find out about meetups since everyone has migrated from twitter.

I enjoyed the chats, on reflection it would have been nice to speak to more women, if you fancy a chat give me a shout.

In other news.

Phoebe and Han’s trip to Stoke Mandeville was good, Phoebe tried loads of new sports, she particularly enjoyed rifle shooting (yikes) and tennis and even won an award.

Freya had an inset day on Friday so I took the opportunity to book me and her and MArk on a surfing lesson at Bigbury, we really enjoyed it. Freya was really good, Mark and I floundered around like seals. Freya is doing a weekend of shows this weekend as part of Plymouth Performing Arts Academy

Selfie of me in a wetsuit grinning happily because I’m going surfing

Birthday-geddon hits chez Ames soon, both our kids were born in July, next weekend is Freya’s birthday so I need to get on the ball getting the garden ready for her party.