S01E08: Retreat

Another difficult week. February has been HARD.

This week has actually been less challenging from a cognitive whiplash point of view but a couple of things burrowed right into my skull and wouldn’t shift and ramped my anxiety up to entirely unhealthy levels early in the week. So much so that I took a ‘duvet day’ Wednesday (which was subsequently crashed by some of the very happenings that has made it necessary.) 

Some of it is ‘work’ related – at a macro level rather than the day-to-day doing – and some of it was related to the realisation I’m going to have a second birthday without seeing any friends. I thought I was ready for that and I certainly don’t feel like it is a wrong decision but still it hit me kinda hard.

There are other things crashing around up there as well but those two were the dominant flavours in this particular stress cocktail.

Oh and the early onset hayfever didn’t help. Effing tree pollen.


Boris sharing the COVID recovery roadmap got me (and every other product person) thinking about roadmaps again.

Lots of people got exercised by the inclusion of dates in that roadmap (especially after the ‘data not dates’ messaging.) I have to say that while I’ve always pushed back on providing dates for milestones I think what they did with the ‘no earlier than..’ and ‘..at least five weeks after..’ design of the timeline was quite nice given the reality of political pressures. The way it has been reported has been horrible and clearly people at the heart of Government knew that would be the case but still it wasn’t a bad approach.

Steve also tweeted this 

..and Simon this (with a response from Steve)

I’ve been turning over some thoughts about my own changing approach to roadmaps and I think increasingly it boils down to the realisation that I find the visual representations and backlog styles less and less useful and actually want to present and experience the story in a more narrative form where you can provide more context and explain the change of confidence and fidelity along the journey with more clarity…and the less something looks like a project plan the less likely it is to be mistaken for one.

Still pondering this though. Might just be an audience of one thing.


A post I wrote a few weeks ago (updating something I wrote a couple of years ago) was published this week. People always love a reading list and this one has been no exception.

These books, and a handful or so more, really are the backbone of my approach for good and bad – when I was prepping the post I realised how much I do has an origin story in the pages of these titles.


Can’t recommend ‘The Calculating Stars’ enough. Cannot remember burning through a novel in such a short space of time. Certaining not in the COVID era! I described it as ‘Hidden Figures’ meets ‘The Right Stuff’ with a bit of ‘For All Mankind’ on our Slack but that doesn’t really do it justice as it is very much its own thing. On to the sequel tomorrow!


After my success finally watching The Office (US) I am currently bingeing Shameless (US) and I have to say it really is a great show so far. Funny and dark but it also has a lot of heart. The cast is tremendous as well.


The sun is shining and it looks like it is going to be a dry weekend so I am looking forward to having a paint outdoors and putting this week in the rearview mirror.

Take care gang.