Weeknotes S4 E3 (2019 Edition)

Bumper edition!

I missed a weeknote Friday.. again. But this time it was to catch up with an old friend, so as reasons go, I think that’s a really worthy one. Hence, this is a bit of a mish mash of two weeks.

Low code

I’ve been looking around at some low code platforms. Ideally, we don’t want to build anything. We’d love to adopt things ‘as a service’. Unfortunately, the market isn’t quite ready for us in many places, so we need a plan B. We need to develop our own solutions based on user needs.

One of the sticking points of wanting to iterate toward researched user needs is having the capability to quickly try things out and iterate without eventually running into the issues of costly and time consuming change (be it consultancy/contractors or system suppliers).

There are, of course plenty of ways to technologically do this, but the question then becomes, how do you ensure that whatever tech you choose is sustainable in terms of ongoing development? How do you keep your development stack from getting massively costly and labour intensive?

My current thinking is that for where we are right now in terms of digital maturity, low code presents a relatively lightweight way to get going (*with some healthy caveats). Paul Brewer’s post on this has been exceptionally helpful in terms of identifying some guideposts for the future.


The other thing I’m thinking a lot about at the moment is how to shift framing from projects to one of end-to-end service delivery. Looking at a collection of projects (which are often defined as solutions) can often hint at the larger underlying challenges within a service. There’s also a danger that in tackling things as individual units of work, you end up perpetuating the disconnection that’s already present and is an inherrent part of the problem.

So next steps have to be about finding opportunities to work on things that a framed in the context of the whole service. And perhaps I need to ‘show the thing’ in terms of what those services might look like in practice. I realise this all sounds entirely sensible to me, and some other like minded colleagues, but is a huge departure from the norm for some.

Start now

An extremely wise and knowledable person reminded me recently, the perfect time to start is now. Don’t wait for condtions to be perfect, it’ll never happen.

I often wished I knew a little bit more, or had just a bit more time, or less competing demands. But really you’ve got to start where you are with what you have and figure it out from there. If you keep chosing the comfortable choice, when will change arrive?

Showing up

“Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it’s having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.”

I love me a Brene Brown quote. I think about vulnerability quite a lot because it’s such a hugely foundational component for doing better things. And I like this quote in particular because it’s a reminder that vunlerability can be hard or easy depending on how far outside your comfort zone you are operating. Having changed jobs this year, I’ve noted that I’m further outside my comfort zone than before and as a result, it requires more courage stay open and vulnerable. I have huge amounts of support in doing this, which is brilliant, but it does require a lot of concerted effort, especially when attempting to navigate ambiguity.

I’ve been reading…

Here’s a smattering of things I’ve found interesting this week.

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