Weeknotes 383

Some stuff I did this week:

Among other things

Some of the things I did this week:

  • Wrote a few one-pager type documents (although they are always much longer than one page) for different products. I’m trying to make them a default for projects to help keep them aligned on what is good for the product.
  • Chatted about data collection and how the work we’ve done over the past year to standardise it isn’t going to work for the future, so we need a different approach.
  • Did some solution design for a product that collects and manages stories. We have an interesting problem of quantity vs. quality to figure out.
  • Worked on contracts and finance for suppliers.


Didn’t achieve any of my monthly goals for November. Almost everything I thought would happen in November, didn’t. So, how do I get better at predicting an uncertain future? Of course, I can’t. Any goals are always a guess about what might happen in the future, and the further away the future, the harder it is to guess.

Achieved 50% of my three weekly goals. One goal was fully completed, another was only 10% completed. I think that’s the widest variation I’ve had.

Completed 60 tasks this week, averaging 12 a day over five days (even though I was on leave for one day and only did a couple of things that day).

After four months of tracking:

Table showing number of tasks completed over the past four months.
Graph showing tasks completed over the last four months.

What does all this tell me? It makes me think of ‘Think big, start small, move fast’ thing. Maybe the way to achieve things is to have big objectives, measure the small things that contribute to them, and focus on making as much progress as possible. The middle, time-bound, goals for weeks and months aren’t very helpful.

I read this week:

Move fast and fix things

Started reading Move fast and fix things by Frances Frei and Anne Morriss. They reveal the five essential steps to moving fast and fixing things:

  • Identify the real problem holding you back
  • Build and rebuild trust in your company
  • Create a culture where everyone can thrive
  • Communicate powerfully as a leader
  • Go fast by empowering your team

Autism Doesn’t Hold People Back at Work. Discrimination Does

Interesting article by Ludmila N. Praslova. “Research indicates that masking/camouflaging is unsustainable and damaging.” But there isn’t really an alternative. Even though “… autistic professionals can be up to 140% more productive … and research shows that professionals on the autism spectrum bring valuable strengths to the workplace, including (but not limited to) understanding complex systems, independently focusing on tasks, reliability, and loyalty”, the nature of organisations inevitably lead to feeling “excluded and invisible.”

Alternatives To Product Managers

Marty Cagan talking about alternatives to product managers, “If you define product management, as I do, as being responsible for the value and viability of what gets built, then there really isn’t an alternative to product management – someone is doing this one way or another.” I really need to finish the post I started about which other roles take on the tasks of product management without product managers in charities.

Thought about:

Hiding work

Does having a few clear priorities, by which I mean some work that is talked about and focused on more than other work, inevitably lead to making lots of work not visible? And what might the alternative be? Wish I knew. But it should probably start by making the work visible. All of it. The big and the small, all work equally visible. And maybe, if an organisation doesn’t know all of the work it has in progress, that’s a very clear sign that it has too much work in progress.

Speculative data collection

I’ve been thinking for a few weeks about collecting data that you don’t know if you’ll need but collecting it just case. Obviously it needs purpose and boundaries, but perhaps with some long term vision it could help with future strategy development.

Is it a product?

Saw a TV ad for Nurofen’s See My Pain. It helps women get their pain taken more seriously. There’s a website and users can download a pdf. The downloadable pdf helps users track their pain and get medical professionals to take notice. So, is it a product? It has an identified audience with a user need, a value proposition, and presumably, business goals around increasing sales. I hope it’s an MVP to test a hypothesis of whether people will engage online and download the pdf before building anything else. Imagine having the budget to run a TV ad for an MVP.


Still thinking (slowly) about the next steps in achieving my goals. I haven’t done any formal education for a while so want look into what course to do. And I need to figure what the next step is for my career.