Weeknotes Season 3 Review (2019 Edition)

Hello dear weeknote reader. This is me trying to get back in the weeknotes groove having taking a tumble.

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I’m really struggling with writing weeknotes at the moment. I sit down, start typing.. and then my brain starts to deviate. When I try refocus, it feels like that sensation when you try and push repelling magnets together.

This particular post has been sat in my drafts for.. *checks notes*.. weeks and weeks and weeks. Pressing the publish button on this one will be somewhat of a catharic experience.

Part of this is a bandwidth issue. Life is full at the moment with good stuff. There are small gaps and spaces for other things to happen, but they’re less predictable than before which is screwing up my previously tried and tested weeknoting rhythm.

I also think I’ve started to self-edit a lot of the content of these things too, especially where I’m working in ‘messy’ spaces where I’m in the process of figuring things out.

I’m sure I’ve had this epiphany before (..and I will no doubt have it again) but it’s good to reiterate to myself (again) that my weeknotes should be a bit chaotic and messy because they’re a work in progress and are hardly ever about a neatly finished thing.

And hard stuff is hard, right? Often the solution is just out of view. You try stuff, you learn things, you course correct.

Hardly a day or two goes by without me thinking about this excellent blog post on radiating intent by Elizabeth Ayer.

Radiating intent gives a chance for someone to stop you before you do a thing, in case it’s truly harmful

Radiating intent gives people who have information, or want to help, an opening to participate

Radiating intent leaves better evidence of your good will

Radiating intent shows others that adventurous behavior is acceptable in the org.

Weeknotes are a good mechanism for all of these things[*1].

So, I guess this is me, recommitting to working in the open where possible because I want to radiate intent for all the very excellent reasons above.

Out and about

Looking back, it’s been a great couple of months for going places and learning things.

  • Implementing the UKHousing Data Standard
  • Service Design Cardiff Meetup
  • UK HealthCamp
  • Welsh HA Digital Transformation Meetup
  • GovCamp Cymru
  • MapCamp

My one regret is that I didnt’ find the space to write up my thoughts from all these things, although I tried to tweet as much as I could in an attempt to capture some of the most pertinent points. (I should really try and collate those tweets at some point to make re-reading easier)

I also got to meet lots of long time Twitter chums for the first time IRL, which was consistently a really lovely experience. It was also good to see some familiar old friends once again.

More generally I am greatful that people lead with generosity and offer up their time and knowledge. I’ve had some really useful chats over the last couple of months that have helped develop my thinking. I’m hoping I can pay this forward in due course.

Ambitions update!

*wince*.. this is not going to be pretty. Brace for impact!

At the beginning of the year I wrote down some ambitions. Let’s do a check-in on where I’m at.

  • Get Healthy — Poor life admin this quarter! It’s been a reoccuring topic at home as we iterate through different ways of juggling demands. Which is another way of saying we’ve tried a few different things and they’ve not worked… yet! :).
    Grade: D
  • Refocus my work on my strengths — Coming up on six months in my ‘new’ job. There’s plenty of challenge and it’s enabling me to work on things that I’ve been abstractly pondering about for a while. We have the fundamental ingredients to do really excellent work. Considering this one achieved.
    Grade: A
  • The year of weeknotes — Wobbly third season. Only 7 weeknotes out of 12. I may need to embrace the minium viable weeknote to set myself up to succeed for the last quarter of 2019!
    Grade: D-
  • A basic grasp of Wardley Mapping —Went to #mapcamp. Listened to lost of clever people talk about making maps. Did (and am still doing) some more mapping practice myself. It’s reassuring to hear that even people who have been mapping for a while consider still themselves newbies. I’m saying this one is achieved.
    Grade: A-

What’s next?

The next time I write one of these…

  • We should have made good strides towards switching one big ‘ol chunk of legacy off which will simplify the technological plumbing and reduce complexity. This brings me deep joy.
  • I’ve got some ideas around making our work more open in an effort to ‘radiate intent’ both inside and outside the organisation. I would like to run some modest recoverable experiments to see what works best.

[1] — But not the only mechanism! It’s worth having a think about other ways to radient intent for the best chance of reaching different people.

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