Weeknotes 344

This week I did:

Website technology strategy

Most of this week has been about applying our technology strategy model to our website to identify where to focus our efforts to get the most value. It worked really well and helped us focus on the things that will improve the infrastructure and get the value from doing so.

In the zone

Add more to productmanagement.zone. I like the filters. If you want a book on strategy or a podcast on discovery, using the two sets of filters you’ll be able to find them. One of the things I need to figure out is, for things like podcasts, should I list each episode or just the podcast. The filtering works better if it’s the individual episodes but it’s a hell of a lot more work.

Starlings and geese

I wanted to write a blog post about starlings and geese as analogies for patterns of team behaviours. Starlings are about to respond to each other and change direct quick, whereas geese are aligned and go a long way together. But I couldn’t make the blog post make sense so I just tweeted it.

Posthuman professionalism

I’m interested in Posthumanism as one of my pillars of thinking for system-shifting product management, so I went to a talk called Posthuman professionalism. It was mostly about the education system, but I found it really interesting from two angles. Firstly, it described posthumanism as post-vitruvian (appreciating difference rather than the ideal human represented by Vitruvian man) and post-anthropocentric (accepting other forms such as digital, plant and animal as equally important rather than thinking these things exist for the benefit of the human species) which is what I like about it for product management that is user-rhizomatic. Secondly, it asked the question of what it means to be a professional, whether it has to be about giving over control to an organisation or whether posthumanism shows a different way of being detached from the organisation. It gave me a lot to think about.

February’s retro

I did my retro of how February went and what I did and didn’t do.

And read:

Knowledge Production and Intellectual Legitimacy

This essay talks about the the dynamic between creating new knowledge and legitimising it as useful product. The same dynamic occurs in many places in many ways, always with the same challenge. It happens across society and institutions, and it happens within fields of knowledge and within organisations. The constantly shifting power of influences in these allow for varying degrees of balance between the new and the existing knowledge, the and the well-established practices. So, the challenge for organisations wanting to be innovative is in how they manage those tensions. Too much new knowledge too quickly doesn’t get legitimatised. Too much legitimacy prevents new knowledge from being accepted.

The Marshall Model of Organisational Evolution

The Marshall Model of Organisational Evolution describes a model for understanding how organisations evolve along an axis of “effectiveness” from ad hoc to chaordic (with effectiveness being defined around minimum waste and maximum productivity).

Toward a Typology of Critical Nonprofit Studies

I’ve thought for quite a while that the charity sector is anti-intellectual and that the ‘doing’ is based on personal experience rather than being rooted in well-established theory. This literature review shows that even scholarly work in the not-for-profit space often fails to engage with critical theories. Such a waste of knowledge that could be put to good use.

And I thought about:

Speed of work

Different types of work progress at different speeds. And the speed is better defined by the characteristics of the work than by external things like deadlines. Work that is well-known, standardised, repeatable and predictable progresses at a different pace to work that is unknown, novel and creative.

Lightweight governance

Thought a bit more about lightweight governance, that is governance that is built around enabling people by giving them the knowledge and decision-making power rather than heavyweight that uses permission and control to centralise decision-making. I’m keen to explore this more and develop it into something useful.

Team identity

Wondering about the purpose of teams, what their role is in an organisation, and whether we have the words to explain it. And how teams see themselves and how other see them, and whether those two are the same. Don’t suppose there are any answers, especially in complex adaptive organisations where those roles shift depending on the people and how they interact.