What a week it’s been! I think I was ready for this week to be over by Thursday.
This week, I realised that a significant impact of working remotely is thinking about how to map things on a matrix, which did not require any thinking before because we just used whiteboards.
What went well
On the Replatforming discovery team, I spent some time this week talking to people who have done this sort of work before to understand what they’ve learnt, challenges they’ve faced, what worked well or didn’t. We’ve not synthesised those learnings yet but we’ll us them in our own plan.
Urmi and I organised a stakeholder mapping session to make sure we’ve identified all the stakeholders for our work. We collected stakeholders in a trello board then mapped them based on the level of power and interest using labels. This helped us develop or review our strategy for communicating with each stakeholder group.
We’ve been collecting information using the zettelkasten method and we had a list of assumptions and unknowns. I prioritised them with the team based on their level of risk i.e how risky is it if we are wrong about this assumption? or how risky is it if we don’t investigate this unknown? That gave us a prioritised list of things to investigate and evaluate next week.
I think we are at a point where we can go back to the drawing board and refine the outcomes we want and how we want to share what we learn at the end of the discovery.
On the Accessibility team, I spent sometime reviewing current accessibility problems and making sure we knew enough about the problem to either fix it or investigate it further. That review helped create a template of information needed when people add accessibility issues to the backlog – like a clearer description of the problem, the impact, expected behaviour, the source and if it fails to meet the expected international WCAG 2.1 AA accessibility standard. This should also make prioritising easier.
I’m excited that we will be investigating some accessibility issues related to translations and hopefully chip at that problem a little.
What could be better
I kept thinking about why this week was so exhausting. It’s a bit of a stretch managing 2 product but this week was particularly exhausting and I think I know one of the contributing factors – both teams are currently working in 1 week cycles but planning week after week can be exhausting.
One week sprints are often helpful at the beginning when you are learning a lot quickly and just have enough defined outcomes for 1 week. The idea was that we can be flexible and think about duration at the beginning of each one but we’ve not quite done that so I think we might be at a point to review.
In other news
I’m going to be a lead educator for GDS’s new introduction to product management course. It will be live on FutureLearn in August. Steve (who will also be a lead educator) and I met with the course organisers to review some definitions for the glossary. I’m hoping I’ll have some more time to review the course next week.
I decided to start using flexi time, which is a form of flexible working within the civil service where you self record the hours you work and take time off for the extra hours. At the very least it’ll help me see how many extra hours I put in and fix that. Lots of people do this, I’m not sure why I haven’t till now.
I also took my son on his first play date since the lockdown. I also met (virtually) with my small circle of product friends which I am so grateful to have.