Weeknotes – Ending 19/01/24

  • I really like this concept of ‘futurespectives’ as a way of scanning for risks before starting something. I’d like to try this for one of the big system implementations that we’ve got in the pipeline for this year – https://neil-vass.com/futurespectives-learning-from-failures-that-havent-happened-yet/
  • I stumbled across this collection of Wardley Map examples from lots of different contexts. I stashed this away for future reference because when mapping myself I often get bogged down in ‘am I doing this right?’. Some points of reference may help! – https://blog.stackademic.com/the-art-of-strategy-811c00a96fad
  • Lots to like in this post on why IT needs to embrace a user centred approach. It triggered a slight sense of frustration, which I realised was because I wish it was as easy to put into practice. There are a number of systemic drivers that promote commoditised thinking. And perhaps because things are treated as a commodity, there’s also a drive to reduce variation. That’s perhaps a direct contradiction to a user centred approach which encourages divergent thinking based on differing needs. – https://public.digital/2024/01/17/user-centred-it-why-best-practice-isnt-good-enough-in-information-technology
  • AI’s gotten good an imitating our faces and our voices, and now it’s coming for our handwriting! I don’t think my scrawl is that hard to immitate to be honest. And what passes as my signature on your average delivery person’s PDA is somewhat laughable. Has handwriting as verification had its time? – https://mashable.com/article/ai-handwriting-copy
  • Spreadsheets are a curse word in some circles, but I thought this post made some really pertinent points of why they endure and what they’re good at. I particularly loved the concept of ‘First to Gannt’. – https://www.designswarm.com/blog/2024/01/organising-design-or-why-you-need-to-care-about-spreadsheets/
  • I was chatting to someone this week about weeknotes and about whether the format needs to evolve. I’ve been writing these sort of things on and off for a number of years. The format is so incredibly flexible that they can be whatever you want them to be. Perhaps the only constant is that they are weekly? The value for me has always predominantly been for regular reflective purposes, and for sharing stuff that I thought was interesting or useful. That anyone else ever got value out of that activity was always a bit of a surprise and a very lovely byproduct.

    I was thinking of the current state of things, and it feels like there’s less discourse in public spaces in contrast to even a few years ago. Is that just me stuck in my own post-Twitter echo chamber? It’s difficult not to take my own feelings on this subject and map it on to others, so I’ll not make any sweeping statements and just stick to my own thoughts and feelings.

    For me it’s that somewhere along the way I got a bit burned out with ‘hot takes’ and I resisted the urge to write slightly ranty things about whatever was bothering me that particular week. That eventually extended to my social media use as well. Did I hit my negativity quotiant? Maybe! It’s been a weird/stressful couple of years, although I’ve thankfully emerged largely unscathed for which I’m grateful.

    However, there remains a lot of things that need improving and challenging, and is retreating from that in open/public space the right response? I stumbled across this post on over the weekend about ‘Hope’ – https://theasnow.medium.com/on-hope-acdfc70a35d3. These quotes felt pertinant…

    “Threat-based narratives feed our fear. Opportunity-based narratives, in contrast, help to cultivate hope and excitement about the future and motivate us to seek out the opportunity.”

    “Hope allows us to tell stories and craft narratives about what the world can be; rather than accepting it as it is.”

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