Weeknotes 06/10/2018 – Week 5

Five weeks in and this is still not feeling too natural. A well timed reminder on my phone on a Sunday evening reminds me to publish them. I occasionally jot notes throughout the week but it is not quite free flowing fully formed habit yet. The structure also feels a little forced. Some stuff about personal life and then some stuff about work. This week I am going to mix it up a bit. I will talk about work first. One day I hope my weeknotes are as natural and funny as Alice Bartlett’s Weaknotes. They never will be, obviously.

This week was a tough one at work.

Got a few things live (an update to our FAQ which tidied lots up and added search, also updated our pricing section which is used in four areas of the site) that had been hanging around a while at the back of a long queue of other work. First designs and front end builds from some of our relatively new staff and I am very pleased they are in the wild and to see how people use them. One of them is already showing a lot of promise.

I managed to miss a couple of things though (Left something in that compliance did not like/get to see before it went live, and we broke some URLs to the FAQs) and we had to do a couple of last minute fixes which really annoyed me. I blame myself quite strongly when things like this go wrong but the act of putting things live has to be the priority.

It has taken a while to get those things live as we have a lot of things on that are not so customer facing (Rackspace – AWS Migration for example). More good customer facing features to come over the next few months as we get into the momentum of getting things built and live in far shorter cycles (I hope).

The two things that went live have not been tested with users which is obviously bad. I am trying to get a far more user centric thing going on but it is taking time. I am struggling with getting research being simple to carry out and that is holding things back a lot. We have some challenging compliance and data issues to resolve and I am the worlds most impatient man when it comes to bureaucracy and policies and governance, annoying words that all mean you have to write hundreds more words.

I am pretty sure we are over complicating things (huge bias/lack of knowledge sirens blaring here) so I sought help from Twitter/Real Life. I got some lovely advice from the folks at Paper and Leisa and Ross and Dean. They all think we are over complicating things too but they may have been biased by my biased view. Next week I will try and work on a process that means we can easily and repeatedly test with users in a fast enough way to be compatible with sprint pace.

In more pleasing news I finally got a squad together on a project to revamp a large part of the way U Account works. The majority of the team are new to agile and we are working it out as we go…that’s basically what agile is though yeah? It has been great working through a few things in a small autonomous group. I am trying to find the right balance of encouraging others to contribute and collaborate (although still a lot of looking to me to tell people what to do) and telling people what to do.

This list passed me buy in one of my Internet feeds and made me grin/grimace in light of so much of what I said in the last few paragraphs.

Awkward switch to my empty/repetitive personal life. Finished watching Killing Eve. It is as god as everyone says. Struggling to find a new TV show now though, any tips? Watched first episode of 28 days later Series 2. We watched series one pretty much when it came out in 2015. We could not remember a thing about it and my Wife said we used to drink a lot back then while watching TV. Old age and boozing at home mean my memory is getting ever worse.

Managed a couple more runs, with a couple of (very) little hills added in. I have signed up for the Percy Pud 10k on the 2nd of December so need to keep at it. Being very strict with food intake and going to try and go booze free from 29th of September to 20th of October i.e. dates when I have events that cannot by alcohol free. Seeing some results after almost four weeks. Managed to get into some smaller waist jeans like a winner. Slimmer of the week award on Monday at weigh in surely (I am not in weight watchers just ‘competing’ against my wife)

Made a flying visit to the Wirral on Saturday for my Sister-in-laws 40th. Went to Hickories in West Kirby for some spare ribs, washed down with a glass of water. Party time.

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