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This Lockdown DOES Feel Different

Team PUP: Week 1 Update

"Team PUP", what the hell are you talking about Mike?

Team PUP is the name we have for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) "Procurement project" being run through a CreativeHQ "accelerator programme" that in itself is named after the Government's Result 9 focus, hence R9 Accelerator.

Wow, that's a mouthful eh ... and we're all sitting pretty at BizDojo (115 Tory St), come visit.

There are 5 other 'projects' trying to deliver an MVP in 12 weeks that will then go forward for "investment" (whatever that turns out to be) but this is not about them, what is "Team PUP" and here is our official line:
Better procurement 
Problem: B​usinesses report that current government procurement processes are overly prescriptive, are not outcomes based, do not support innovation and favour larger suppliers. Opportunities exist to source innovative solutions to enable meeting of outcome requirements and to allow any company in NZ to apply for a tender regardless of their size and/or resource limitations. 
Ok, so we've all got the context - there are almost 5 members of the Team PUP:


So, what have we been up to?

Oh, oh - before I start you should know that these are MY thoughts on the week, not the official team report back nor some sort of programme review, this is all just my thinking - I'm sure Ed, Nigel, Ash and Paul will have different views .. maybe they'll leave them in the comments ;)

Last week was the official opening of the programme and we all moved into BizDojo but there was a series of "getting ready" full and half day sessions the week before. Of these "here's the programme" and "let's get ready" the only session I gained anything from was +Dan Randow's "Team building" 3 hour session - something I will be leaning on this and the coming weeks.

And "team" is the initial and on-going first hurdle - when is it not!
Getting a stable team working in a different physical environment, using technology they're not used to on a problem that's undefined in a structure that's ever evolving (hey, we're iterating) is my biggest challenge. Luckily the core is committed and I believe we have the support to work through it all - behaviour can only be my guideline as talk is talk, and let's be honest government workers are used to talking a lot but, generally, doing less.


Last week was settle in, get some structure and tools and start the 2 week process of finding out which little bit of the whole kit and kaboodle we can actually affect - we have 12 weeks. We spent time talking with "internals" and have a swathe of info digest. My advice to the team is to let the stories unfold, discover the nuggets (sometimes unspoken) and keep recordings of everything - we have too much to physically document and too little time to do anything else.

I then disappeared to the OS//OS conference for 2 days - terrible timing!
However Nigel and Ed ploughed on regardless, yay for awesome people!


This week is consolidate the team, focus on our research and start to review our nuggets ... we have much to think about already and much to do. Beer will open the creative flows when we bring it all together at the end of the week with our many "hypothesis".

I'm also focused on building an advisory board with people that will be critical, give guidance and most importantly keep us all on track.


I know some want to know how the CreativeHQ programme side of things are going and so far the quick answer is OK. Laura Reitel, Brett Holland and Brett Calton are almost always available, are open to hearing our requests and really really want us all to succeed - this is a great start.

Our biggest beef is the overwhelming amount of calendar invites being chucked at us which, for the life of us, we can't stem no matter what we ask for. Merely bombarding us with "sessions" may seem like "adding value" but no-one has asked us - it just seems to be the programme is going to trundle along even if we weren't there. If we were all young, lost puppies in a sea of possibilities as "accelerator programmes" are generally aimed at that might work, but we're not and it's merely hurdles in the way of progress. Actually, the sessions all can add value but I feel out of control, given no context and generally swamped. We will deal with it though.

I will provide 11 further updates as we progress through the programme - expect me to ask for help, advice and opinions, don't hold back ...

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