Weeknotes S01E04 — Step by step

Alright? it’s Saturday morning, Oct 12th. Kipchoge just made history by running a marathon under 2 hours for the first time ever. I’ve got a bit of a sore head from sleeping funny when passed out on the sofa last night. He is probably just a bit pooped whereas I’m realllly tired.

Previously on Annie’s weeknotes — a trailer to this episode involving a small dance by the boss at a new development — which is….the team have created a step by step process on our Alpha website redesign! Using the GOV.UK one and applying it to our Adult Social Care process. We are super chuffed, it is such a great team effort from code through to content. Here’s Will’s post about our alpha website that tells you more.

We had our alpha assessment too, and I will talk a bit more about it once the blogpost is ready but I will say that it was wonderful to reach out on twitter to ask for panel members and get lots of lovely people offering to give up their time to help. It really does make you feel part of a supportive community and that means a lot when I know we are all so busy. Emily from CRUK and Thomas from GDS came down and made up the panel with our own Briggsy chairing. We were able to provide Emily with her first experience of being on a panel, having done some training with Hackney. Snezh from CRUK also came to observe and it was heartening to see that we had helped them complete their first assessment too as a result, via this tweet from Giulia. Big community vibes in the house :)

I will chat about the step by step part too. Thomas has been involved in step-by-step at GDS from the start and had some thought-provoking questions about our use of it. In GDS it is used to pull an end to end journey together that involves separate departments who don’t really work with each other. If we are starting a website redesign from scratch, within one department, why don’t we redesign the content so that a step by step isn’t needed? It was a fair challenge, which is why having external panel members is so useful. Thing is; the situation is often the same within a department area. Teams can work very separately. It is true, as suggested, that we could get two departments together and work to make the content and process simplified for the user. That would take a lot more time though. The entire website redesign would take twice as long. At the moment, with the amount of people we have, what we can do is reduce, simplify, use step-by-step and only truly redesign the processes most in need of it. I’m always struck by just how long term the iterative transformation plans of local government have to be. In the meantime being able to use this brilliant tool to simplify the user journey is fantastic.

Our new content design apprentices started this week, Faith and Ana. Corinne is doing a brilliant job line managing them but it is of course taking up a fair bit time. It is always our blog that is at risk of being neglected due to workload. It is such an awesome blog, we really need to somehow carve out time for it.

Faith and Ana made it into a news article in their first week on the job which is pretty bloomin’ cool.

I’ve just realised that one of them is only 3 years older than my son. I know there’s a huge difference between 13 and 16 years old but it has really brought home to me how much we need to look after them. There is a lot of looking after people to do. I like that part of the job but I did feel the need by Friday to get back to setting up my own network too, of other team leads who do the same so that we can support each other. (Giulia Merlo look out ;) ) There have been a few chats about team dynamics this week. Even when colleagues have different viewpoints on a situation, they all come from a place of wanting to make sure everyone is happy and they are all passionate about doing the job well. We are hugely fortunate in that.

I was hoping to meet a few folk in real life at the Service Design fringe festival on the 25th at the Barbican. Tom and I have tickets but then I realised that I am interviewing Product Managers that day — damn! We recruited 2 of the 3 Product Manager roles last time — please spread the word that the job ad is back out for one more.

Ok that’s long enough for any modern day concentration span, catch you next time x

Digital Design Manager. Feminist. Public Sector Endurance Medallist. Lessons learned from the Local Gov transformation life. Woman on the verge.