I’m getting into the flow of the new job. I feel like this week I’m asking really good questions and adding value to the team. It’s nice to have got there.
What did you experiment with?
I’m was going to use the questions I shared last week for new projects in a workshop, but the team wanted to get into the detail, so we did that. I’d done a very basic journey on a Jamboard so we talked through that to get a more shared understanding. Normally I’d have added loads of postits to the board, but Jamboard is much harder to do this one and it would have slowed me down. I’d not asked anyone to be the notetaker, so I made rough paper notes that I wrote up, but I’m not sure I’ve shared these well enough. I think we need to get better at documenting what needs to be done.
What was hard?
Nothing stood out as hard this week.
What did you enjoy?
We don’t have the full multi disciplinary team at the moment. This means I have to find the right balance between:
- Filling all of the gaps by doing it myself
- Leaving the work not done.
It’s important I don’t just do everything myself because then it’s harder to build the case for the full multidisciplinary team. But also I need to do enough so that I show what good can look like.
I think I got this balance right this week. And I’ve felt supported to make the decisions I’ve made on where to put my effort.
Having said all that I did enjoy the bits of product design that I did do. It was fun to make those decisions and see how they test.
I’m glad I found time to give blood on Friday morning, it’s a good sign that I didn’t postpone it.
What did you learn?
I learned what DevOps is — basically the people who take the code that works locally and get it working on a server.
I learned how I am when meeting senior stakeholders. I think I did fine, until the end when I said I brought something new to the function, and when I was asked what that was, my confidence melted. I wanted to say ‘I bring user-centered design thinking’ …. but my internal voice said, ‘what if others in the team do user-centered design that you don’t know about?’, then you’ve got nothing).
Who did you talk to outside of your organisation?
I had a catch-up with a colleague from my last job. I was fascinated, to hear what the policies are of another department, but also think about how we could help them, so he’s introed me to someone else for a chat. It’ll be cool if I’ve sourced my first project for the team.
Loads of the stakeholders on projects are external, so I’m not sure if they count.
I also spoke to someone at an agency to explore the opportunity of doing some of our work with them. I was reassured that they asked similar questions to what I asked when I took the work on from the stakeholders.
I spotted a virtual coffee with people from my community so joined that. I had a really good chat and got an offer of support with writing business cases which I’ve shared with some people in my team who’re currently writing the business case to continue our team’s work.
What would you have liked to do more of?
For once I’m not going to say certainty about the future, while I don’t have that I do feel that I’m involved in the conversations and understand what we all don’t know. So that at least feels like a good place to be.
I did quite a bit of exercise (Body Balance is my current favorite gym class). But I probably could have done more.
What do you wish you could have changed?
It’s been a good week. Nothing stands out.
What are you looking forward to next week?
Meeting other product managers at the away day. Seeing what progress we make on the projects.
What are you reading and listening to?
Simon Sinek’s podcast: High Performance with Divesh Makan. I enjoyed this because it had loads of insights into what successful people do. In all honesty I listened when I woke up too early, I think I want to listen again when I’m more awake.
Simon Sinek’s podcast Digging Up the Past with Sarah Parcak. I also really enjoyed this one because of what it was saying about courage and experimentation.
Martha Edwards reflecting on Do the words we use exclude people? I think it is so important to keep reflecting on the words we use.
Political Thinking with Nick Robinson The Mary Bousted One. Interesting to hear Mary’s thoughts and experiences and think about the future of the education sector.
Desert Island Discs Professor Corinne Le Quéré, climate scientist. This got me thinking about where courage comes from. Corinne talked about how she was treated as a woman and also how she gets the courage to share the difficult messages she learns about.
The Curious Cases of Rutherford & Fry The Case of the Blind Mind’s Eye. I think that I have aphantasia. That means that I don’t see pictures in my mind. This might be something I research a bit more.
I’m also enjoying the Tidal Daily Discoveries, so have more music in my life.
It’s been a good week, these notes were written on Saturday and Sunday when the family is watching tv or youtube. Now I’m putting this down to watch Black Panther with the family.