Retrospective September 2021

This month’s lesson: good relationships are just as important for doing good work as good thinking (that’s not a new lesson but this month has shown me how important it is again).

Contributing to the digital transformation of the charity sector

Happy with the work I did on Identity Verification. It has some solid thinking behind it based on the Gov standards, achieves a good balance between the needs of the organisation and what will work for young people, and involved some good stakeholder engagement that has been built up over the last year.

The solution design I’ve been working on this month is in really good shape and is on schedule. I’ve been refining our product discovery, definition and design process using a deductive approach where we start with big things and break them down into smaller things. I’m not yet at the smallest user story level yet, that’s for next month, but it has proved a reliable way to show the causal rationale from the goals to how we’ll achieve them, which makes it easier to bring people along on such a complex project.

Learning about innovation, technology, product and design

My testing of interest in started with using Tweet100. After 8 out of 100 tweets it has achieved nothing. I’ll let it continue until the end of the year and see if it picks up any subscribers but so far the project isn’t looking like one to be investing time in.

Adjacencies is the other project I was supposed to be testing this month but haven’t done much on. I’ve received some weak signals about how discipline-specific individual silos could be a problem in cross-functional teams, but nothing about whether learning about other disciplines would help to resolve the problems.

I started a Foundations on Humane Technology, which wasn’t on the plan but I’ve found really engaging. It’s got me interested in doing courses regularly so I’m going to try to ensure I’ve always got one on my delivery plan.

I continued to write weeknotes on schedule every week.

Leading an intentional life

I’m still living as a digital nomad and enjoying it everyday. I’ve been thinking a little about how I feel comfortable talking about my weird lifestyle at work. I wonder if it’s a combination of the lifestyle making me care less about things like what impact it might have on my working relationships (I’d certainly have been aware of that in other places) and the team environment I work in feeling safe enough to be open about it.