Weeknote 14

Back from a nice (not long enough) Easter weekend. Instantly booked a couple of holidays. That’s how it works right?

Taking mom to West Wales in early May for the bank holiday weekend. And then up to North Wales in June for our 7th (!!) anniversary. Dog is being left with the boarders again. And we’re off to the very south of Eryri for a bit of walking and a meal at Gwen.

And whilst we’re on a roll, we’re close to booking a trip to Costa Rica in late September/early October for the birthday-which-shall-not-be-mentioned. That’s been on my bucket list for quite a while now.

Anyways, the work stuff, there was some done this week. Though it was like wading through treacle most of the week.

What I’ve been doing

This week has been relatively quiet with folks being off for Easter or taking advantage of everyone being off for Easter and taking things slower/quieter.

A good week in that regards for starting a new statement of work with a new (old) team. We’re a smaller, leaner team this time round, structured differently but with a lot of the same people. Which is great. But everyone has also just come off finishing the last round of work and the mammoth effort of end of phase reports, playbacks and show and tells. So we’ve eased into things this week.

Highlight of the week was definitely Thursday’s in person session with the team. And some of the old team were also in the office and it was lovely to meet them in person too.

Definitely a sense that we’re all in a state of mourning essentially. It’s hard when you just...stop...working on a thing with a group of people. It’s a big change. It’s an ending of certain forms of relationships. So we’re going to do something together (online) next week to mark the end, celebrate, close this phase properly.

The focus of our team day on Thursday was on how we want to work together. I spent some time talking about me, how I like my teams to work, the principles that guide my work (working in the open; agile as a culture not a process; just enough tech/design/research/etc, etc etc). I didn’t time the activities at all, we just let things flow and meander and wander as we talked.

We ran a liked/learned/lacked/longed for style retro on the previous work we’ve just finished which was a great way to pick out what we could learn from as we form our new team. It was a great way to let go of some of the stress and tensions and leave them as we move on.

We had lunch together. I think there’s something incredibly important and bonding about eating food together. I can’t explain it.

We spent the afternoon doing an exercise to develop a team charter. We used these four questions to guide our thinking:

  • what do we care about
  • how will we work
  • how will we make decisions
  • how will we know we’ve been successful

We spent a good couple of hours on this and it was great to see how much easy alignment there was. Our content designer took the post-its away and has drafted up an excellent first draft of a team charter that we can share with new members as they join the team and review and iterate as we grow and our practice matures.

Ended the day without having spoken about the actual work itself. We talked briefly about pulling all the “what” together and starting to make sense of it all - recommendations from 4 pieces of work, the previous year’s worth of work and a laundry list of things from the policy team. All of which needs to be made sense of and prioritised between digital and policy. I left the team to start self organising around all this.

So excited for this next phase of work - the team are just excellent, we’ve got the client in a good place. We’re moving to a new way of working and new, leaner structures. Good vibes.


Today was back up and out before the sun was up again. Bristol this time, to spend time with Kate H, one of our delivery managers in the Planning Data world. We needed to get our heads round spreadsheets and scheduling and rates and more spreadsheets. Work which really needs doing in person.

Check in with Ben to see how his first week has gone.

Lunch with Jukesie and Amber. [Grilled cheese (cheddar, jalapeños and bacon.)]

Will properly collapse tonight after a burger and fries from The Pig and Apple.

Zero plans for the weekend other than a few errands and some couch/book/dog time.

What I’ve been thinking about

Wait, I was supposed to think this week? I’m not sure my brain ever recovered from the long weekend.

Most thinking has been about holidays. Oops.

What I’ve been reading

Picked up my book again yesterday on the train home. And the train in this morning.

Kate Atkinson’s One Good Turn.

I’d like get through it this weekend.

What I’ve been watching

Still mostly on background tv.

Need to get back to some more focussed viewing. Good thing I have 2 episodes of the last series of Discovery waiting for me tonight.

What’s blooming

Not growing, but spotted a slow worm basking in the sunshine on an old tree stump earlier in the week. We’ve got a lot of them about. Update: another one spotted sunning itself in the lawn when I got home.

It’s amelanchier season! I love the little starry white flowers that fall like confetti when they finish. The soft coppery pink new leaves.

The tulips are starting. Yes, my garden is behind.

The bluebells in the wood are starting.