I freestyled a matrix of Post-it notes, detailing the different stages and options plotted against the risks, benefits, technical complexity, delivery time and financial costs of each. It actually worked quite well and we got all the brainstorming done inside of the meeting.
When a point was raised, there would usually be a counterpoint to consider for a different option, meaning we grew a body of thoughts quite quickly. Much better than scrolling up and down a document, scribbling in part-thoughts and half-formed sentences, which I’ve done previously.
Bevan covered how we code and quality assure products and features at GOV.UK. This was off the back of our retrospective, where Alan had asked to be introduced to our process and I was keen to hear about it too. We’d been told about it informally but found this proper session really useful. And it was good to understand the inner workings as compared to the development process at previous places I’ve worked. It’s pretty fast at GOV.UK and everything’s to such a high quality, I was just really intrigued to know more.
It hangs off a set of principles rather than defined processes. I’m paraphrasing here, but essentially our developers
are responsible for their code and features throughout the development and release lifecycle,
should test their code and its dependencies,
have code peer-reviewed for quality,
should QA their code in integration, either individually or with product managers, and
use continuous delivery to release small, frequent changes.
There’s more in the GDS Way but bear in mind that this works for us and may not suit other teams.
That all these facilitation techniques and Post-it noting practices are just methods for getting ideas out. Yes, I was skeptical at first and I know many people still are, but they work. If you’re struggling to have productive conversations at work and meetings go round in circles, try something different. There’s shitloads of blogs and other websites with loads of approaches you can try.
Ask people to give feedback to my line manager. A colleague came over and praised me for some work, saying they’d pass it on, but I’ve neglected to ask people to do that in the past. I’m going to make sure I know who line manages each person on our team, too, so I can furnish them with all the good work our people do.