Weeknotes 390

This week I did:

Web page design isn’t easy

We did some interesting work on learning how to create high-performing pages. We don’t know what we need to learn, and we can’t learn everything we need to in one go. So we need to approach it by enabling intelligent failure, uncovering new barriers and challenges, trying things and knowing they might not work. Over time, this knowledge will coalesce into some good practice which we’ll be able to apply more generally, but for now it’s a very uncertain space.


I completed 52 tasks, an average of 10.4 a day.

I had two goals for this week, and achieved 30% of them (60% for one, 0 for the other).

I had 45 interactions with 23 people, the lowest of both since I started tracking. That’s suggestive of the direction my work is heading.

I had a realisation about how the small, individual tasks connect to big objectives. It’s kind of ‘the obstacle is the way’ thinking where I view a task not as a building block that contributes to the goal, but as removing a blocker to the flow of value. The more tasks you complete, the more blockers you remove, the easier value flows.

Graph showing the distribution of tasks across eight projects. The most important project has the most tasks completed.

This graph shows the distribution of tasks across eight projects. The more tasks completed, the more value flows. So the most valuable product should have the most tasks completed, which it does. This is how small tasks connect to big objectives.

2024 goals

Think I’m settling on the things I want to focus on this year. I’ve had three long-standing goals on my roadmap for a few years now, and each year I pick some opportunities to move towards the goals.

Contributing to the digital transformation of the non-profit sector

Continually developing my knowledge, skills and practice

  • Reflective practice: Writing Daynotes and Weeknotes regularly. It isn’t so much the writing that is useful but it creates a space for reflecting on what I’m doing and learning.
  • Formal learning: Microsoft Learn, GitLab Remote Working. I want to do a bigger course but want to make sure I’ll get into the habit of online learning again before I commit.
  • Informal learning: Reading blog posts, articles and books.

Leading an intentional life

I read:

Product Model Concepts

Marty Cagan’s product model concepts describe five shifts across culture, strategy, team, discovery and delivery that contribute to an organisation consistently achieving outcomes. As a body of thinking, it blows all the product management maturity models out of the water, and I think it’ll form the basis of the solidification of the function and discipline over the next few years.

Generative AI Framework for HMG

The government published it’s Generative AI Framework. It’s good to see statements like this: “Like all technology, using generative AI is a means to an end, not an objective in itself. Whether planning your first use of generative AI or a broader transformation programme, you should be clear on the goals you want to achieve…”

Talking about… AI and the charitable sector

Dr Clare Mills, Zoe Amar and Rhodri Davies talk about generative artificial intelligence. Obviously, it’s huge topic but the interesting part for me was about how AI is causing a shift in ways of working, and leading to the stealth introduction of AI in organisations. This pattern is almost regardless of the fact it’s AI, it’s just another piece of tech, but as we try to learn from the Post Office Horizon scandal one of the important lessons is that people without tech knowledge shouldn’t make decisions about tech in an organisation.

21 small thoughts (and counting?) about information architecture

I think this is really interesting idea. A collection of small thoughts about a topic (in this case information architecture). I have a bunch of paper record cards that I use (quite unsuccessfully) to collect ideas together. I wonder what small thoughts I have about charity product management?

I thought about:

Working to deadlines

Parkinson’s Law says that work expands to fill the time allowed for its completion. When a team is trying to work to a deadline, this law means that everyone’s work expands and the work carries on past the deadline. Some seemingly useful rules that might help to achieve fixed timeframe / flexible scope work:

  • Front load the schedule – Get more done sooner rather than spreading work equally across the time available.
  • Don’t estimate the work – Don’t ask how long something will take to do, ask when it’s needed by and then scope the work to complete it by the deadline.
  • Flex scope up rather than down – Start with the smallest, simplest version and add to it later if there’s time. That’s easier and more efficient than descoping.


Thought more about impact/effort mapping, impact/reach mapping and merging the two. I’m thinking that if impact and reach show the value then effort shows the drag factor to achieving that value. So that’ll be three blog posts I haven’t finished about this topic.

Random links

One of the funny things about the internet is how linking creates such information asymmetry. I got traffic to my website from ohpen.atlassian.net. Ohpen is a banking platform, which uses Jira, and which someone shared one of my blog posts. I don’t know which post or whether they found it useful. We put stuff out there but never know who sees it. The internet puts the power in the hands of the user. Obvious when you think about all the business models built on that idea, but interesting when you see it working at even the smallest level.