Weekly Braindump #45

Ship Turning and Audacity.

Hello! Here’s what I’ve been up to the last 7 days.

I’ve been working on…

I forgot to note down the specifics of what I did (again). So here’s a slightly abridged recap of the week.

This week our ‘Turn Your Ship Around’ group reconvened for a first time in a while (like.. at least a month?!). We’ve got some new recruits which is ace because that means new perspectives!

We had a chat about what we could do to speed up our progress through the workbook. We’re currently on chapter 8 and there are 29(ish) chapters in total!! At the current pace we’ll be finished around retirement age (haha! Joke! As if such a concept will exist by the time I get there!)

Some delay has been caused because we get stuck into quite deep conversations about why we work the way we work. Sometimes the delay just because people miss a few meetups so we have to stop and recap a bit.

So.. change of tack. I suggested setting up a new fangled digital comms channel so people who miss sessions can keep pace with the rest of the group. This would enable us to communicate asynchronously.. which seemed like a good idea with more people and more schedules to juggle.

The group also suggested trying to whip through the chapters faster so we spend less time ruminating and more time trying to put some of the principles into practice (and potentially talking about that instead). I’ll report back on how this goes!

What else?

I got to fiddle about with Audacity (free audio editing tool) to add a prompt to our hold music to remind people that we have digital services! Example of taking (slightly rusty) skills from seemingly unrelated side projects and putting them to good use in work time?

What else?

I spent a good chunk of time trying to rationalise how call routing worked for one of our departments. It was that thing where there had been several structural changes in the space of a couple of years and nobody had sanity checked how the team was configured to work for a while. A bit of undiscovered organisational debt.

After doing some archeology through layers of business decisions we simplified things as much as we possibly could and I mapped everything out on a Google Draw diagram for future reference (lesson learned from last week.. document and share all the things all the time!).

What else?

Had a bit of a team chat about how to run a discovery effort for web chat. There’s two parts to this as far as I can see it. Firstly, understand what tenants need from this type of service. Secondly, what do our staff need from it? How will a relatively small customer services team manage to switch between different communication channels on the fly?

As we were talking about it we started asking lots more questions and offering potential answers. At this point we managed to save ourselves and realise that the best course of action was to experiment with the concept and to get some hard data first.

It’s funny how easy it is to fall into the trap of using assumptions as real facts… even when you know better! As technical people who predisposed to solving problems I think it’s all too easy to bake up 3 or 4 solutions without blinking.

I’ve been thinking about…

I’ve previously made a comitment to complete 52 braindumps. I’m still firmly on course for that but I’m definitely looking forward to the point where I can take a break from them for a bit.

They are a useful barometer for my own ebbs and flows, and they’ve helped form links with other people working on similar stuff which is ace. But I do find them hard to write sometimes. Having said that, developing the discipline of doing one every week feels like it’s done me some good.

I think I’ll do a bit of a review at the end of this run and see how I might tweak the format.

I’ve been reading…

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