Weeknotes S2 E9 (2019 Edition)

Happy Friday!!

And for a refreshing change, I’m actually writing this one on a Friday!!

I am very much onboard with the idea that there is no wrong way to write weeknotes. They don’t have to be every week, they don’t have to be written on Fridays, they can be lengthy, they can be brief, they can follow a set format.. or not. Do whatever works for you. 🙂

For me, there is most definitely value in writing weeknotes on a Friday as (from experience) that is the best time empty my brain of learning so that I can properly switch out of work mode and be present over the weekend.

Sometimes they are rushed, waffly or partially formed, but I find it helps maintain momentum to keep the habit going. Having spent much of last year *not* writing them and feeling all the poorer for it, I’m committed to keeping it going this year in whatever form I can find sustainable.


The LocGovDigital Pipeline popped back in my head again. Mostly because I/we are currently thinking about the future. I think it’s quite a useful model for helping councils figure out how they can work together to modernise service delivery.

I remain convinced that Service Design is part of the answer to ‘how might we deliver fit for purpose modern services’, along with a load of other emerging capabilities as demonstrated on the diagram below from Barnardo’s. (Ace find via PollyRT who spotted it in Jukesie’s slidedeck about ‘Designing Hiring’)

Full sized version here

I’m still grappling with the question of what the minimum viable version of this might look like for an organisation that isn’t a medium to large sized public institution.

According to this list, there are 1670 registered social landlords in the UK of varying size. That’s a lot of organisations doing similar sorts of things.

I wonder whether smaller organisations are more predisposed to agility but lack resource, whilst larger organisations are slower to change direction but have more resource. Or perhaps that’s the wrong lense to look at this? Perhaps pioneer, settler and town planner is a more suitable way to think about different registered social landlords and the contribution they might each make?

This is one of the (many) reasons that I’m passionate about working openly and embracing open standards, because it’ll create a common language for multiple housing associations (and councils!) to better join up their efforts to improve service delivery in housing without having to do absolutely everything themselves from a standing start.

The pipeline is definitely part of that and I think it could be productive for Housing Associations to get involved in it rather than go off and attempt to create their own thing.


This week I’ve been (re)introduced to the concept of stakeholder mapping.

A stakeholder map. Photo Credit: https://www.smartsheet.com/what-stakeholder-analysis-and-mapping-and-how-do-you-do-it-effectively

I think it’s interesting how you might map stakeholders in wildly different places on the basis of power dynamics.

As a citizen, I might have low interest in how my council are designing their service to take council tax payments. But my council should be fairly tenacious in understanding what I need to be able to successfully make a payment. Or, to put it another way, I should have quite a lot of influence over design decisions as a ‘stakeholder’. I would firmly fit into the ‘anticipate and meet needs’ quadrant.

The opposite of this is the train ticket vending machine with confusing buttons, baffling fares and poorly written instructions. Why does this happen? Because the person who would ultimately use it wasn’t considered to need any controlling influence over the design of it.

Perhaps what this tells us is that to design services that are fit for purpose, we have to ensure that those who will ultimately use them exert a suitable degree of influence over proceedings. And if they aren’t in the room, we have to find ways to include them. That includes leaving the room to go and meet them where they are.

Then I started thinking about overlying the social discipline window from restorative practices on top of the stakeholder map. What that might look like?

I‘m not sure this totally works because TO doesn’t seem right.

TO implies low support paired with high control and limit setting. This would typically look like a very authoritarian relationship where one person weilds the power. I’m not sure the person being done TO would consider themselves of high interest in that situation.

I think the problem is that ‘Interest’ doesn’t neccesarily map to ‘Support’. ‘Influence’ and ‘Control’ do marry up quite nicely in an inverse manner. High influence means lower control for others, and vice versa. Hmm.. something to think on.

I was going to cut these last few bits out because it might be utter jibberish (high probability at this time on a Friday evening) but I don’t think I put enough unfinished stuff out into the world to show my workings. So, I’m keeping it in!


I’ve been consuming…


That’s it. Well done for making it this far. You clearly ooze stamina.

Please enjoy this gif as a sign of my appreciation. See you next week!


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