This isn’t a blog post of all my 2020 achievements, like all of us, surviving was more than enough but here’s just a selection of the things I’m proud of achieving along with the rest of the Deeson team over the last twelve months and a few personal projects that have brought joy this year too.
My focus this year has been primarily spent on the following:
I’ve been working with the transformation team at Imperial War Museum on their new membership offering, this project has involved working very closely with three different partners and their in-house development team who have been building out the API. This project is due to launch early January 2021.
We rebuilt the ticketing journey for one of the UK’s biggest cultural attractions this involved moving away from the ticketing platform SRO to Tessitura. We took the opportunity to start from scratch in terms of UX and design, completely re-imagining the customer journey. The result is a very simple, elegant react/drupal headless front end but behind the scenes has a very technically complex architecture sitting behind it.
I was also really pleased to see the new Southbank Centre website we built on Drupal 8 go live in September. The results are stunning and I really love the simplicity of the front end and the playful interactions. It was great to work with such a big brand and talented team.
My personal highlight of the year was the work we did with Generation Global, hit heavily by COVID, we built an online learning platform within eight weeks from concept to launch. I loved the pace and enthusiasm of the team working on this project and the agility the team showed, it also gave us the opportunity to refine our Kanban delivery process.
Towards the end of the year, I was taking on less project work and investing more time in developing the strategy for the agency, line management and new business. It was great to see the effort pay off with winning two new clients in the last two weeks of the year.
In September, I took over the line management of our four lead developers who are responsible for delivering projects. I’ve enjoyed providing them with the mentorship and support to help develop their skills in leading teams. It’s been interesting to line manage a team who aren’t from the same discipline as me and I’m looking forward to establishing more ways this group can work and support each other next year.
In the last few months, I was also asked if I’d be happy to assist with change management for a project within the wider group. It’s been great to have the opportunity to do something a bit different and work with new people. I’ve been fascinated by the change management aspect of this project which has already taught me a lot.
I’ve also been spending more time focusing on my own personal development, I’ve got a lot from a couple of sessions with Tony Piper and have started to do some value mapping work to better understand what I want from life and my career.
Building culture and community
I’m pleased with a few of the initiatives I’ve led at Deeson too, Wellbeing Wednesday’s, a book club, encouraging the team to leave the house and post a photo on the one-outside-photo-a-day Slack channel and working to establish some processes and documentation for our new CMS service offering.
I’ve also organised and hosted two communities of practice for the delivery manager’s across the wider group and I’m looking forward to building these relationships with my peers more next year.
Out of work
A few of our highlights this year. Despite the challenges this year has brought, we enjoyed a lovely summer — lots of walking and enjoying being closer to the countryside. I purchased a hammock which I spent a lot of time in and we enjoyed the garden so much that we decided to landscape, it’s been great to embark on a personal project and see it evolve (that experience is a whole other blog post!)
We had a lovely break to Cornwall in August and had brilliant weather each day, some compensation for not travelling abroad this year. It was lovely to travel around Cornwall (tier 1), visit family and swim in the sea.
We also joined the Bitten Oxford team this year, an Oxfordshire based food blog and have enjoyed trying some new restaurants and reviewing them for the blog. It’s definitely been one of the best decisions we made this year!
No surprise to many but coffee has also continued to give me joy, I even did my own lockdown coffee tour from home, working my way through some of my favourite London coffee shop coffee’s. It’s been lovely to have regular remote coffee chats with some of my closest workmates and old colleagues.
It looks to be a busy start to 2021, I’ll be leading on a discovery project for a new client which is due to complete in February so we’ll be hitting the ground running after the well deserved Christmas break.
We also have plans to start collaborating with more of the companies within the group which will be exciting. We’ve already started partnering with FutureGov on a couple of projects and it’s been fantastic to work with some super smart, kind people who are great at their craft and equally love doing the right thing.
I’m sure, good things are ahead.