So there you go, my time at Government Digital Service has come to an end.
I’ve had the opportunity to work on fantastic teams and on products which are used by millions of people daily. There have been plain-sailing moments and other, more stressful times – but the mission always mattered and the people generous with their time.
It’s been really touching to read everyone’s comments on Slack, in my leaving card, on Twitter and LinkedIn about my leaving. It’s been an honour to be a part of the UK’s digital government story and I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop over the next few years, because all the truly great people are sticking around.
Many people have helped me over the last three and a half years. GDS is a place where everyone wants to do well, to look after each other, and to grow together. So thank you to everyone who nudged me, who gave me feedback, or who was candid when it was needed.
I have to call out two very special people: Martin and Hong. Having never worked in a proper agile team before arriving on Platform Health, they took me under their wings and gave me space to flourish too. After that, Martin’s line management was caring and reflective, and Hong is an inspiration in how to deeply cherish other humans. Thank you for everything.
Thanks also to Leanne and Jen for the opportunity to work on the nub of an idea: personalising government services. It was exactly the sort of brain-stretching, visioneering, nebulous and boundless space I’d always wanted to work in. Special thanks to Paola for being my co-pilot on that ride, during the good moments and the tense ones too. Kate, Tim, Conor, Will, Sean, Erin, Lisa, Dilwoar and Ned all brought their expertise and patience to the project too – thank you.
I’m grateful to Tom for lending an ear to me through those times, and for teaching me about how you and the others made a revolution happen. I’m always thinking: what’s our outrider strategy?
In the last 15 months on GOV.UK Pay, I’ve learned an awful lot from working with some excellent people. Antonia, Xander, David and Miriam have all helped me grow. And it’s such a cool platform that people rarely talk about. They’re doing a hard job in a complicated space! It deserves more limelight, so too does the work that Dom, Alex, Iqbal, Oz, Nim, Dan, Kat, Crispin, Leon, Justin, Antonia, Arindra, Chris and Nathan do daily.
Anyway, time for new pastures. I’m really looking forward to the challenge at Claimer.
Though I’m going to take the time to reflect on my practice, it’ll be hard to openly publish weeknotes in the new job – it’s quite a competitive space – and so I’ll probably default to a different form of blogging. More writing about thoughts as they bubble up, rather than just covering what I did in a week.
Ciao for now.
Ran a half-marathon on Wednesday morning. Never thought I’d say that. Quite fun.
- Why Cuba couldn’t control the internet, 5 mins
- The Power of Product Thinking, 10 mins
- Cuba Is Making Its Own Smartphone – With China’s Help, 4 mins
- The Tyranny Of Time, 21 mins
- ‘Positive deviants’: Why rebellious workers spark great ideas, 7 mins
- Octopus Energy’s Cutting-Edge Customer Service: An Interview with Jon Paull, 9 mins
- How ‘creative destruction’ drives innovation and prosperity, 4 mins
- Post-Covid data needs careful handling, 4 mins
- Low-paid Britons are at the heart of the post-pandemic recovery, 4 mins
- This is How You Need to Pick the Right Metrics for Your Product, 7 mins
- How to Choose the Right KPIs for Your Product, 6 mins
- What We Learned Doing Fast Grants, 18 mins
- Datblygu’s David R Edwards: a brave, brilliant interrogator of Welsh culture, 4 mins
- Make a personal changelog, 3 mins
- New UK laws to sweep away EU state aid rules, 3 mins
- UK unveils post-Brexit state aid scheme to support industry, 3 mins
- Identifying the Business Value of What We Do, 5 mins
- Get your work recognized: write a brag document, 13 mins
- The Memex Method, 10 mins
We’re in a liminal zone, a headspace between two periods but only present physically in one. It’s a headtrip to operate that way.
We've reached the end of series 10 with the closure of one mission, the beginning of a discovery starting next week. Thoughts on communities of practice, Zoom fatigue and collaboration.