Friday, 18 June 2010

Brighton - what a pleasant place

It was time for the Delivery Management meeting......which in case you don't know is a meeting of a group of people from various government sectors and departments who all belong to, or are eager to promote, one of the most senior and practical competency streams from the SFIA framework . These periodic meetings are worthwhile for a number of reasons. Firstly, they always meet somewhere interesting, Brighton this time, and focus on input from local hosts, secondly, it is a great group of interesting people from whom you cannot fail to learn something and, finally, 'delivery management' is at the sharp end of what we have all got to do.... deliver stuff!!

We started out last afternoon / evening (16th) with a guided tour of the Pavilion, courtesy of Brighton and Hove City Council , which was fascinating - it was my first time ever in Brighton so everything was new... We then met up in the local Pizza Express where, alongside eating, we had robust discussion on a wide range of subjects, not least of all procurement across government - it was 'Chatham House' to save all kinds of embarrasment!

Anyway, the real business was today, again hosted by Brighton & Hove,  at which we heard about progress from G Cloud and the Apps Store. This was a great presentation with lively discussion and some really positive Cabinet Office input. There are still a number of IT types of varying seniority (none of whom are part of this group) who still prefer the 'ostrich' approach to cloud, or, if you prefer, they are playing the metaphorical 'King Canute' and trying to stop the tide. Oh dear! This doesn't mean there aren't serious questions to answer and issues to resolve but that's what you expect when you are pushing the boundaries. We then had a great presentation and discussion lead by Brighton & Hove which outlined some of the real issues faced by the council and some of the plans for transformation and improvement in service delivery. Much of this goes under the 'strap line' 'Getting the Council you deserve' - which of course can be taken a number of ways... We finished with a round up of news and information from a variety of areas including Cabinet Office, Home Office, MoD, Transport, Local Government and Fire.
This group is one of the more proactive strands emerging from the Government IT Profession (although it's not at all certain what's happened to that initiative......) but it now offers value that goes beyond GITP and should certainly outlive it - although we are all hoping to see GITP alive and kicking again very shortly.

For those that don't know, our 'flagship event' Socitm2010 is in Brighton from Oct 10-12, and it is shaping up to be a really great event which not only has some great speakers lined up, but will also deal with live issues faced by CIO's, IT Directors, Resource Directors and Service Delivery Managers across the public and third sectors. Having had my introduction to Brighton this week I am really looking forward to October.

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