Weeknotes 352

This week I did:

Spreading calmness

We finished the first sprint for a new project and retro’d how we’ve been working. The main theme that came out was how calm it felt. We’ve started together, set our cadence, pre-prepared our stakeholders, agreed our goals, and that if we don’t get things finished as intended it’s ok. I hope it becomes the usual way we run projects.

Data architecture

Thought a bit data architecture; what problem it solves, what level of detail it should contain, how we keep it up to date, how it helps categorise data types and sources. So many questions. Vaguely related, I wondered about activities and artefacts that aren’t directly value-creating for our users and have an ambiguous purpose. Some might be looked at once and then never again, some are useful for capturing a point-in-time understanding, some become the foundation for long-standing valuable things. How do we tell the difference?

System-shifting product management

I started writing a paper to explain the what and why of system-shifting product management. I’m hoping it helps clarify my thinking and becomes a source for others to refer to.

Responsible product managers

There doesn’t seem to be a lot out there on the subject of responsible product management (how we make products that are accessible, ethical, inclusive, safe, sustainable, etc.) so I might try to put together some resources and create some kind of guide.

And I read:

Leading Charities in a Digital Society

This very cool post about the next wave of digital transformation in the charity sector talks about the fundamental dissonance between how we work and the digital environment we now work within. And it lists eight things that start to make up ways to resolve the differences; things like understanding user needs, creating feedback loops within services and with teams, and embracing flexible, modular technology which can evolve over time. It feels like there’s some kind of vision for what it takes to be a digital charity emerging.

Why do we theorise in isolation from each other?

Adrian’s post about the problem of charities creating a theory of change in isolation of other organisations that are part of the same network makes a really interesting point.

And thought about:


‘Inputs > Activities > Outputs > Outcomes > Impact’ makes a lot of sense if a team is organised around a value stream. It helps the team understand what inputs they need (things like the tech they have available, knowledge and expertise, other resources) and what activities they’ll do in order to deliver outputs that achieve outcomes.

What a time to be alive

One day we’ll look back on being the last generation to know the world before the internet, to have witnessed the dot com and the crypto bubble, to have lived through the first AI boom, and to have seen the rise and fall of large social media platforms.