Weeknotes 14/10/2018 – Week 6

This week I managed a day working at home on Tuesday for the first time since early summer due to busyness in the business. I had even cleaned and tidied my desk in preparation. It was very productive and relaxing.

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Sunny autumn afternoon

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Mid way through Sprint 0 on our ‘Manage My Money’ project. Really enjoyed working closely with one of our designers this week…I prefer pictures over words as you know they paint a 1,000 of them. A prototype destroys a 1,000 meetings etc. The designs are driving understanding of what we want to change. There is a lot of detailed work required though to build the things we need. Lots of work this week on the wider requirements for the work. Need some practice on how to write good user stories and also define detailed technical requirements. Thankful we have smart designers, BAs and devs to help because I need it. I also need to pull my finger out on getting things written to define the product direction a little better but to help with getting more of a shared understanding across the company.

I am also trying to work out how to do more experimentation in delivery. Empower engineers / designers to have a crack at solving some problems / trying some new features without the full on corporate bureaucracy but being aware of the need for all the prioritised work to get worked on. Tricky balance but I would like to push it towards doing shorter things more quickly and seeing what happens. Getting stuff in front of customers quickly to try and solve problems but also show momentum. Hopefully next week we might get the first pieces of the project live.

Attempts to make user research a little easier to do regularly are progressing. We have to map out each process and step required to show we are doing everything by the book. Also need to get some new tools approved for use. A painful process but necessary and worthwhile. Still painful though.

Lots to learn and think about in this great list of Internet Era Ways of Working by Tom Loosemore. I hope he writes a long series of follow ups on how to get started with some of these because I need some help with these things too.

Outside of work I finished reading record of a spaceborn few by Becky Chambers. I have really enjoyed her travellers series. This one focused on those struggling with the travelling or having been travelling all their life and not knowing a planet based home. Very good. I also managed to rattle off a book inside a week which I have done very infrequently since the arrival of our children. I bolted through Slow Horses by Mick Herron. A splendid modern spy thriller set in 2010 London. With a splendid twat of a lead character in the rotund and grumpy shape of Jackson Lamb. I am going to have to get hold of the others in this series. Proper page turner.

Talking of slow animals I managed to run just under 7k on Thursday. Only six weeks until I have to run 10k. Hoping to start running to work at the start of November which is 8k and thankfully realtively downhill. Get some miles in my legs then onto some hills by the end of the month. Enjoying the challenge but not enjoying the leg and back pain the day after when I try to get out of chairs.

We are finishing off our dining room which is very sparse since the completion of an extension in December last year. We have finally saved a few quid to tidy it up. We bought some stools for our breakfast bar. They were too dark so my wife went and bought a detail sander. Not too dark anymore. Looking much better now after being oiled. The dining table might be getting sanded next. Still a bit of a big white cube of a room and I am a frustrated interior designer who is uncertain what to do with it and also how to agree with what my beautiful wife wants to do with it. Design is all about direction and compromise I guess. Work and home life have many parallels.

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