For a change, pretty much a copy and paste of my Evernote doc for this week, with a couple of snips and a couple of non-work things slung at the end.

Lots of thoughts about delivery, what’s “good enough”, do we actually have a widespread “product mindset” in gov (and not just in digital teams)? See a lot of get something out there. Talk talk of a product mindset. Where does the value come into this? What is a “good product”? Nice blog post here on value.

Be realistic about what can get done - by being explicit. A little planning up front isn’t anti-agile. A little order helps you know you are making progress. Don’t hide the detail.

Detail on designing: With lots of “business process” about how much does an interaction designer need to know and how much do they need to be involved with scratching for the detail? How immersed do they need to be?

Design work: Explaining how you got to where you did. Show the sketches. Share early, share often. But is there too often, when is too often, so the team members don’t feel trusted?

Also: Focus on do one thing well - or at least well enough. Hard to do when you’re juggling a few things, hour to hour. You want to bathe in a problem not get a bucket of cold water thrown at you.

Story points, “size it”. Size what? Complexity? Risk? Effort? If effort what kind of effort? If time why don’t we just use days/bits of days? Common currency of language. Story points and getting through them is the currency of “velocity”. How do you express the value of new features and improvements released? Getting them out there is the top of the hill.

Related: The problems that need to be solved by do design work. Think about possible ways of solving the problem. See if any of your thinking works/is better. Can you get a better way into actual use?

Lots of discussion through the week (not just at work) about agile, about process. Too often working out what we are doing, what we are designing goes through the same journeys as they ever were: It’s about exploring. Agile hasn’t made that any different or better. Working in two week cycles hasn’t made that any better. there’s always been a press to get something designed. The tipping point is can we respond to what people are actually using?

Ways of working feel like the eternal niggle in any team. Flow, collaboration, “working on things at the same time”, being given tasks versus being given problems. Go micro first: Understand what your role does and how it interacts with those that feed into your work and how your work flows out to others. We had an hour workshop in the Jobs team to look at this. The structure of the session:

  1. Get together with anyone else who has the same role as you. Agree between yourselves to come back to the group:
    • What is the purpose of your role?
    • How would you describe your role?
  2. Get back together with anyone else who has the same role as you. Agree between yourselves to come back to the group:
    • What do you need from other roles to do your role?

Interesting to note the things people feel they shouldn’t be doing, either explicitly or implicitly. For when we meet next the squads have to think how they can put work through their squads.

Lining up a consistent way of sharing versions of design work. Having clear commentary:

  1. this is what we have done
  2. this is where we are using it
  3. this is what is next
  4. this is what we could do afterwards

The service design work I am trawling through should help with that, but it won’t solve that - just repping others’ work.

Had a nice little end-of-week hook up with a gov department that seems to have been doing similar work.

A long week down, another long week ahead next week. Reminded a bit the last few weeks of The Only Way Out Is Through.

It was only at the tail end of the week I got my run on. Terrible looking after myself from myself. Next week will be better. Sunday’s run was fun though.

Toy Story 4 is probably the second best Toy Story. Don’t @ me.

Finally, the double diamond is 15 years old.

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