Week 47/52

This has been a pretty unbalanced week. On the one hand I have been unwell so not much happened at all apart from me coughing so much I lost my voice and pulled a muscle. Then on the other hand major national moves were made in Government terms that changed things massively for me at work. Except they didn’t really – at least not yet – because it will take weeks for the dust to settle and the real changes to land at my level, in my corner.

That has not stopped the speculation though. Or – for your humble author at least – the endless running of scenarios through your mind as you swigged from the Benylin Max bottle.

Machinery of Government stuff feels a weirdly British thing and something I thought had gone out of style. I remember in my early days in public service it felt like Departments were constantly changing names, remits and acronyms and it is disruptive for everyone…but I do think it is especially hard for back office functions because the announcements never explain what happens to you. Policy and Operations teams get moved – that is the point really – so even though I am sure it is a PITA there is some clarity from the get-go. For everyone else it is hurry up and wait.

Anyway – I now work for the Department for Business and Trade (acronym to be decided – looks like either DBT or DBaT) which is genuinely a very different entity once things settle down despite the continuity of leadership and location. Not least with the amount of ALBs and some of the new policy priorities.

Also the creation of the new Science, Innovation and Technology department is very interesting for someone who spent so much of their career in that part of the public sector and who retains a lot of affection for it.

Interesting times.

I had a big breakthrough with the roadmap stuff this week – thanks to a couple of colleagues. One managed to take my hodge-podge of ideas, advice and notes and convert it into something useful – a roadmap that, so far, seems to thread the needle between remaining true to product management principles but also offering enough fidelity to provide stakeholders with something they can place their trust in – despite it not being the delivery plan they really want. The other did a more traditional Now/Next/Later roadmap that I was able to convert to our higher fidelity one without too much pain and the benefits were clear I think (in our circumstances – YMMV elsewhere.)

I’ve worked up an example version of the roadmap based around a milestone birthday (who knows where that inspiration came from) and I’m writing up a README to explain the thinking behind it.

I failed to get Beyonce tickets which was a downer – but I responded by planning a trip to NYC which is always a positive.

The new Reese Witherspoon rom-com on Netflix is really not very good – and if I’m honest a bit weird.

I’m enjoying Shrinking on Apple TV+. It has a great cast including Harrison Ford (who is also in 1923 on Paramount Plus – wonder why he is suddenly doing TV) and the writers are the team behind Ted Lasso (though it is a bit darker).

I must have watched the Grammy’s Tribute to Hip Hop a dozen times –>

Right that will do – need another swig of Benylin 🙂

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