Weeknotes 391

This week I did:

It’s all about the feedback loops

Feedback loops are one of the most fundamental first principles of digital work. It’s what makes the digital mindset and ways of working so different to traditional linear way of working. This week had lots of good examples of us building in feedback loops so the team can learn. Retro’s, playback, audience validation and data analysis. They still feel a bit inconsistent, but it’s really great to see then getting established.


I did it. I got my weekly average under 10 tasks a day. This week it was 9.6 as I completed 48 tasks over 5 days. The target of under 10 is part of me trying to spend more time on bigger tasks. I know everyone says they want to do that, but it was only possible for me because I have the data.

Completed 60% of my weekly goals, twice as good as last week and most definitely connected with me reducing the number of tasks in favour of working on bigger things.

I read/listen to:

Systems Practice Toolkit

This, from NPC, is awesome. “The problems we face in the social sector are complex. But we often approach them as if change is linear and predictable. We are meeting complexity with simplicity. To be more effective, we need to think and work more systemically. If the goal is to change the system, then systems practice is how we get there.”

Understanding LLMs

Torchbox’s AI resources for non-profits developing an AI strategy (which they all should be) are brilliant. “All nonprofit leaders – whether they want to or not – are going to need to develop a strategy for these changes. There are opportunities for those who take them.”

Now let’s figure out how we mix AI and systems change.

The state of product management

Jason Knight, on the No Nonsense Agile podcast, talks about “The over technicalisation of product management is one of the biggest barriers to product management”, and how product management is broad in scope and responsibility.

Why do Agile Initiatives fail?

Because, really, what problem does agile solve for organisations? And even if you can answer that (and I bet you can’t), is that problem worth solving to the amount of investment in change that it requires? Almost always not.

And I thought about:


You know the dangerous animals of product management? I randomly thought of PIG’s, Prematurely Initiated Guesswork, this week. A PIG is any product work that lacks validation. It’s purely a guess, but it’s going ahead anyway.

Modern task management

Usual task management is cumulative, it assumes that if you do enough of the right things then you’ll achieve the goal. My approach is subtractive, it assumes that if you remove enough blockers (each task is a blocker) then you free up the flow of value. It takes away the need for upfront planning as ‘the obstacle is the way’ and the next task reveals itself as something blocking you from achieving the goal. It feels like a more modern, digital way to approach task management. It’s based in lean and theory of constraints, it avoids upfront planning, it uses data.


Maybe it isn’t that things change that is the problem, it’s how they change. Too much, not enough. Too fast, too slow.