S01E02: Rewind

I’m sure I am not alone in this but god this week was hard. I’m guessing it was adrenalin that got me through week one relatively unscathed but week two felt like a slog throughout. It is lunchtime on Friday as I am writing this and I am pretty much running on empty…but all you can do is put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward I guess (metaphorically anyway for me).

What happened this week? Well let me enlighten you —>

I was part of a pitch team Monday – we were unsuccessful but despite this I thought it went well. I enjoyed my little bit, really appreciated the effort the buyer team made to make it more relaxed and give some visual feedback while we were talking just by leaving their cameras on and not being stoney faced. It was a piece of work I was really quite interested in but I have to say based on the feedback to our written proposal I think the approach they have in mind and what I’d have pushed for were miles apart – that is the way the baked goods crumble sometimes.

Lots going on with the Welsh Gov work – I had conversations about user research, content design, wireframes, proposed architectures, MS Dynamics and more. I’ve been thinking about getting some clearer vision and outcomes stuff written down, tested and shared – things are moving at a good pace and the direction is looking quite linear so far but I’m always a bit twitchy about going too far without a ‘north-star’ everybody buys into.

I’m trying to frame my role as a sounding board for the various experts we have and then use the overview this affords me to steer things with a light touch – it is important that I hold on to the fact I am the ‘Guardian of the Goals’ though – it is my responsibility to maintain momentum and to get this shipped. I am enjoying it.

Elsewhere I was involved in doing a bit of a classic consultancy synthesis deck. One of our teams had done some amazing technical investigatory work with a great deal of detailed fact-finding and recommendations but it needed a bit more of a digestible way in – without losing the message. To be honest I went around the houses on this before I found a way to approach it but I think I got there in the end thanks to a bit of help from colleagues. Way back in 2019 (haha) I did quite a bit of this and had it down but I did very little of it in 2020 and I was noticeably rusty.

Not much of the hiring or people stuff this week though that might change while I am writing this post as I might need to bring someone for a coaching position and I someone in mind if that happens which will mean getting right on that. I’m also looking to dust off our F4 product/delivery manager support group community of practice now we are growing.

Oh and I finally decided to ask someone about the share options I have in the Group but have never really understood 🙃 That was a useful conversation because I definitely misunderstood some things but the new knowledge mainly landed on the good news side of things.

I had a bad time Thursday with my foot/knee – worst it has been in weeks. I genuinely wondered if I had sleep walked (without my crutches or something) because it came out of nowhere. I had to take a couple of Codeine just to get through the morning but back to just paracetamol today.

I got my Monzo spending report thing. Monzo is my main bank these days – and was for all of 2020 – however I don’t really make use of many/any features so the reporting isn’t that detailed. That said it did tell me I made 120 transactions with Amazon in the year. This didn’t surprise me – my yard was a mountain of Amazon cardboard a few times. It did make me reflect on how despite this it feels like I’ve tried to spend more locally – I spend £100s with my local comic store, while I use Deliveroo I only really order from indie restaurants, I only buy beer from local breweries, I try to support local artists with prints, cards and tees but despite all of that it clearly makes a small dent in my spending patterns. Must try and do better this year.

I binged Code Black this week. It is a strange show – basically it is ER on amphetamines. I totally got swept along with it and it is always well done but characters just vanish and are never mentioned again, storylines are dropped with no conclusions or rushed to the point I looked to see if I had missed episodes. Thing is it all moves so fast you only really notice retroactively as the show speeds past everything. I also watched the first couple of episodes of The Stand. Not sure watching a show about a deadly pandemic is where it is at just now so might put this on the back-burner.

Been listening to Barack’s 2020 playlist a lot this week.