Jude’s weeknotes — 11 November 2022

Jude Webb
4 min readNov 12, 2022


What did you experiment with?

Thinking about where I want to take my role.

What was hard?

Picking up weeknotes again after a very long time!


I spent at least 2 hours trying to speak to pension people about transferring some into the civil service pension scheme. It’s been going on for over a year, I’ll be honest I’ve dropped the ball on it, but I’ve lost track of how many times paperwork has gone missing between different providers. This has to be the worst service I’ve ever used!

What did you enjoy?

Plan your technology

Learning about Plan your technology in you school and how it overlaps with GHBS.

In very simple terms:

  • Plan tech helps users know WHAT to buy
  • GHBS helps schools with HOW to buy

It’ll be interesting to see how we get them to join up.

Going along to their show and tell was ace, I love seeing how other people put their show and tells together.

Thinking about scope and eligibility

Getting feedback that the conversations I’ve started with KD about eligibility to use our service and how to be transparent with users.

It was tough to read the what should be on gov.uk and think about where our service fits with that.

Feature designs

Cool to have user research on feature changes as we design them so we can learn what’s working and what’s not. We’re also working on well defined problems that mean that designers know what done looks like and don’t scope creep (except where it is very low effort and high reward and based on insight. They reworded a question they know isn’t performing well that is in the journey they’re working on but is not the reason they were looking at the journey).

Doing a kick off workshop

We took a new feature into design this sprint and I planned a workshop where we spent:

30 mins all explaining how we understood the problem

10 mins all coming up with silly six ideas, it was so cool to see how differently we’d all solved the problem. And the fact that we could get straight into it and trusted each other to share the idea whatever it was

30 mins sharing our ideas and finding patterns in what they were.

I then summaried them all so we could decide which one we should work on before updating the operations team.

Thinking about our whole service

The service has just changed leadership and that means that operations, policy and digital delivery are, hopefully, coming closer together.

I think we need to carefully consider the future of the operations team and how they scale and how we digitise what they do effectively.

Noticing how well we’re working with the operations team

It’s been a long time coming but I think we’ve got a great working relationship with the operations team now. So we have the right sessions in to share honest feedback and progress.

What did you learn?

I love Karl Popper’s ‘Clouds and Clocks’ theory in this tweet. I’ve used it twice already.

Because we try to solve some cloud with clock solutions I’d like to introduce the idea of a weather measuring thing (barometer, wind speed measure etc).


Who did you talk to outside of your organisation?

Shared the talk that Katie and I did for service design for UR and SD people at DWP (technically last week but I didn’t write week notes). It’s cool to be able to share thoughts and hear other people’s reflections on them.

There is a real theme about understanding the difference between user needs and created needs.

When you combine that with what I hear a lot at SDinGov about our work falling at the intersection of government intent; user needs and the systems I wonder if there is some sort of canvas we could create to define understanding of our projects.

I also spoke to a SD in another area DfE (LL).

What would you have liked to do more of?

Thinking about the future, I think we’ve got the immediate sprint and have an idea of a quarter’s work, but what after that? I’m not sure we’re set up right to scale.

What do you wish you could have changed?

Not much, it’s been a good week.

What are you looking forward to next week?

Thinking about how to visualise the service

What are you reading?


I started these on Wednesday to give me a good run at getting them done. I finished them on Saturday morning while my son was doing his homework.