Things I started

This week I joined the GOV.UK Design System team, standing in for their senior product manager, Trang, who’s on maternity leave. It was a standard first week: write my Manual for Me, set up 1-to-1s with the team, look at the roadmap and backlog, read the business case, and other things to do in your first 30 days to soak up context.

Having returned to GDS after 18 months away, it’s good to see what’s changed. It feels as though the organisation has better clarity of purpose and a shared direction that cascades down into directorates and teams. There’s more shape to the Government-as-a-Platform programme now (now known as Digital Service Platforms or DSP) and there’s more active discussion and cohesion between the platforms.

I joined a get-together for the Product & Technology directorate and was lucky enough to be placed in a breakout group with a friend and Abísọ́lá, the Chief Product and Technology Officer at GDS. He’s a really nice bloke.

Had catch-ups with a bunch of folks I used to work with, which was lovely.

First impressions of the Design System team is that they are all excellent humans working on an incredibly interesting area. Through my chats with the team, it seemed like the question on everyone’s lips was about process: once a contribution has been prioritised to work on, what are the stages of work and how long should we spend on those stages? Some of this is decided by the contributors and their capacity to collaborate, but it feels like some service mapping would be useful (if I can’t find an existing blueprint).

Things I shuffled along

Nothing this week.

Some puzzles

Nothing this week.

Other things

Running in the snow has been fun, and it’s a pretty sight. Have missed a few training runs in the programme though, and I suspect that Christmas will have an impact on my training. Today I’ve got to run for 2 hours and 30 minutes, so at least I’m getting plenty of endurance work in.