#weeknotes 6 inspiration, learning and reflection

I’m trying the questions format again this week — it’s been a really busy week this week so it feels like maybe the Mon-Fri format would be easier. But here goes . . .

What inspired me this week?

This week I had time to go and visit Office of the Public Guardian in Nottingham along with our associate delivery manager Curtis and Chris, who’s joined us as a product manager to look at how we could manage cases in Acas in the future and what technology we’ll need to help us to do that. Kaz and Simon from OPG were incredibly generous with their time and shared their experiences with us. It was inspiring to see an organisation that’s made the journey we’re just starting on, and the generosity of colleagues in other departments in helping us avoid some of the pitfalls and blind alleys. OPG have done amazing work on their services, their back end systems and building capability.

I also got to ride the tram in to work at our Nottingham office (always fun) and I’m now the proud owner of a Robin Hood travel card*

What did I learn this week?

Jonny, our user researcher on the digital advice beta project did a great bit of research into our initial information architecture using treejack testing. James and Charlotte had already done some additional user research between alpha and beta on where users would expect to find what they’re looking for using card sorting exercises. Jonny has taken that to see if we can find out more using this method. He wrote some great slides for us to explain what he was doing to the team so that we can all learn. I hadn’t heard of treejack testing before so it was good to learn more about it.



When I started writing weeknotes I promised myself I’d write about good and bad, success and failure. So — in that spirit — Monday. I know Monday gets a bad rap most weeks, but this week, meh. No single reason – a combination of not sleeping well, the weather (sleeting rain anyone?), and an ill teenager at home meant that the day I’d planned wasn’t the day that happened. A couple of things at work annoyed me, unreasonably so. What I learnt though was that a) it’s ok to have a bad day (as it says on Giles Turnbull fantastic team poster) b) the team are incredibly supportive (thank you!) and c) I got a chance to reflect and review what happens for me when things don’t go according to plan.


Later on in the week though . . .

James, the technical architect on our digital advice beta gave us some really useful homework this week to read up on:

This piece from Dan North was excellent —

In praise of SWARMing

and that piece led me to this talk which is worth watching/listening to and ref the Richard Gurnall 5 stages. . .

The journey of change screenshot from Dan North talk ref above, shows resistance over time, people, tools, governance, customer, money, organisation.

I’m also further through Conversations of change, by Dr Jen Frahm, and am inspired (and reassured) by the building change capability chapter, mainly because I think our team are doing a lot of this already.

Learning by doing

I also went with our submit a notification team to the workshop that GDS ran for us — and it was hugely useful as most the team haven’t been to an assessment before. This is our first transactional service to go through an alpha assessment and we’re all keen to make sure we’ve met the GDS standards. Not everyone made it down from Nottingham because of the snow, so we made best use of tech to get everyone connected and talking. There were loads of great questions from the assessors and great feedback for the project team for the final sprint (and the real thing at the end of March).

*I’m originally from Nottingham so am predisposed to be proud all things Robin Hood branded.

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