Weeknotes S7 Ep01

I’m back with my 7th series, this series will also see me celebrate my 2 year weeknoting anniversary – which is strange to consider, but it’s been an interesting ride.

I was unsure about writing today after a mammoth purdah note last week, but hey, here I am again.

This week was a short one as we had a bank holiday, so I was back in the office on Tuesday. The team are still reading all of the discovery project outputs and spending a lot of time thinking about them and really taking the time to understand them and get our thoughts together.

Yesterday James in our team published all of the discovery project outputs, and you’ll find them here:


Lots of our funded projects have already made them available to the community, but I think these pages are useful because you find all of the outputs in one place. That means we are starting to help build up a bigger picture of the digital work that is going on in the sector, which is exciting.

On Monday the Collaboration leads (Adam, Egle and I along with Eni) got together to discuss the feedback structure we had created. We each used the structure to write feedback for one of our projects.

This enabled us to check that it was working for all of the projects. So it was good for getting consensus before ploughing on through.

I really enjoyed having Eni along with us for this, and his thoughts about the projects he was reading were great.

So the meeting was a good check in and we agreed to keep going so the rest of the week meant really getting our heads into that. I’ve written feedback for all of my projects now, and contributed feedback to two others

On Wednesday I headed over to Social Finance for a wrap up meeting with the Family Context in Children’s Services alpha project team. It was a great chance to hear all about the team’s recent live prototype testing, it was a really good session and it felt good to see that there was a clear understanding of Social Worker needs amongst everyone that was there.

I thought this slide, showing a Social Workers needs empathy map was an interesting way to build readers understanding of Social Worker drivers and context.

It was also an opportunity to discuss what happens next, as the alpha timeline comes to a close and the team concentrate on producing the outputs we have requested as part of the funding. It was really useful to hear how the team are considering the what happens next and acknowledging that most often – when you work in an agile way – the work isn’t linear.

It was also good to see the team take time to do a retro (and especially nice to feel like my steady stream of stupid questions has been received in the spirit it was intended).

Retro board

And then Thursday was taken up again with reading and feedback, in the afternoon I started building a rudimentary wall where we could show the progress of the feedback production and keep it in some order.

So what else happened?

On Wednesday I went along to One Team Gov breakfast and had a really good chat with Rebecca and James.

Nour published this really beautiful post, it really puts into focus why we need to think about wellbeing and inclusion at work:


On Thursday I went out for drinks with some awesome people after Dan and I invited people out via twitter. I know it’s pretty unremarkable for people to go to the pub together, but it feels important and worthwhile bringing together people from several different government departments, public sector orgs or Civic Tech suppliers who don’t work together day to day, but who do have a lot in common.

I tried to do a quick census:


4 x supplier/contractor

3 x GDS

2 x CO

1 x BEIS

1 x PDS

1 x Local Authority


I’m sure there are more and that I’ve forgotten someone – anyway #OneTeamPub for the win.

I really appreciate that community. Was especially good to see Morgan, Jonathan, Cate, @jukesie, Jenny, and Alex because I haven’t seen them in ages (as I have been in hiding a bit) as many more who I don’t get to speak to very often DavidBuck, Hattie, Tom, Rebecca, Rich, Steve, Ty, Mike.

I wish I’d taken a photo. But instead here’s me and Alex on the train home with my huge pasty.

And what else?

I’ve been thinking about feedback a lot, both in my work and also on a personal level. It’s end of year review time so I’ve been asking people to feed back on my work, it’s been really useful to hear from people but it’s also been (as I’ve attempted to write feedback for others) a reminder of just how difficult it can be to write good feedback.

I’ve started thinking again about what I want to achieve, something I haven’t thought about for a while because I’ve just been getting to grips with this job, but I can see it creeping back in to my thinking, and I need to give myself a good chance to present this at end of year.

Here’s what I’ve been reading / watching / listening to:

This series on BBC4 by Mark Kermode is a good one. I’m not a film buff, i have barely seen any films, but I love watching critical breakdowns like this, so yeah.


A great presentation by Tatiana Mac about privilege:

This piece about how trends in skincare are changing it’s written as a “look at rheae millennials” piece but actually speaks to what I think are changing trends generally in what we expect from products and knowing that most marketing is a sham:


A guide to procuring service design:


A thing about bias and barriers in government procurement:


And this thing:


A silly thing:


This long read about incel networks and extremism:


This chimed with me because the amount of information flowating around for new parents is huge, often contradictory and really anxiety inducing.




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