Looking sideways (and forwards)


Simon has written about the importance of looking sideways before and in the past it has been something I’ve tried to do quite a bit of. Last summer in particular I took a tour of product teams in Government and other bits of the public service world — it was ended sooner than I planned due to my initial ill fated change of employers but I learned a lot and really enjoyed getting out and meeting people and getting a different perspective on my work.

The thing is my work then and my work now really aren’t the same. I mean superficially they don’t look wildly different from a bit of distance but up close my tasks and priorities are quite different. I’m increasingly feeling a bit overwhelmed and unsure of my footing — even when things actually seem to be going pretty well.

So I’m interested in looking sideways again — and also forward a bit to where I think I need to get to so I can really contribute to the organisation as much as I need to.

This time though it is a different cadre of people who I need inspiration from. I need to understand how people operate on the commercial side of this #govtech (or really anyone who supplies digital products and services to the public or third sectors) equation. What does agile look like when you have pressures from multiple clients? How do you do user research when there are only a handful of you? Is the customer always right? How do you do sales when you have spent a career being a client?

I’ve got a bunch of leave left and am happy to travel — I know this is more complicated than just dropping in on other Government departments as there are probably conflicts of interests and competition issues all over the place in this domain but I’m a trustworthy fellow and I’ll buy decent cake!

So if anyone thinks they might be able to help please give me a shout — email me or message me on Twitter — hell even comment here if you want to go old school!