It’s Q3 2020/21 and much of my week was spent kicking off our latest piece of work. The paying user team (that’s us) have three main workstreams: operational improvements and maintenance work, increasing the conversion rate on the paying user journey, and implementing Strong Customer Authentication. You can see this on our roadmap.

We’ve been a mostly tech team until now, but this week we welcomed an interaction designer and user researcher to join our ranks. This is important because it allows us to assess the impact of Strong Customer Authentication on different users with different needs. We want to find out where it’s helpful and where it’s not.

In the Leads team we used ecocycle planning to assess our areas of work and which were stagnating or ripe for renewal, or where we had too little capacity to focus on something important. It was great to get a sense of our flow, the work we do about the work, and gave us ideas for improving certain business processes. For example, the model for how GDS engages with other bits of government has changed, which doesn’t necessarily suit our ‘sales and marketing’ needs – so our engagement and growth model is ripe for renewal.

Xander and I published a blog post about the week the team experimented with asynchronous communication: what happened when we stopped having meetings and sending emails. We also had our first batch of no-meetings days, on Tuesday and Friday, and I really appreciated the time to get my head down. It allowed me to read up on Strong Customer Authentication and consider a few different approaches.

On Friday I worked from a co-working space and got a lot done. It was mildly worrying whenever someone sneezed or coughed, but I’m hoping that the 2m+ distancing and good air flow in the building means I’m relatively safe. It’s a really nice space and is managed very well, so if you need an affordable desk space in south-east London, do check out Hatcham House.