Feel depleted today, a likely consequence of travelling to Manchester and back in one day to run an unconference. Worth it though.

What happened this week then?

  • Lined up some handover docs with someone on another team
  • Met with Tom to talk through refreshing a product resource
  • Started pooling ideas for topics to discuss during an ‘away 3 days’
  • Noodled on why this 60%-in-the-office thing is going to impact individuals more than the team
  • Joined some team ceremonies
  • Caught up with Matt on Acts Not Facts
  • Chatted to the epic lead on our Show/hide password component
  • Spent too much time on Slack
  • Caught up with our lead frontend developer on migration plans and strategy stuff
  • Ported half the new strategy proposal into a deck
  • Costed up the WCAG 2.2 work, so that we can estimate benefits generated for government
  • Shared stories of the impact we’ve made with comms
  • Prepared a deck for show & tell next week, and thought about how to make it more inclusive
  • Ran the third Product for the People unconference
  • Had a couple of one-to-ones
  • Wrote the programme weeknote
  • Cleared my task list of tasks that had been languishing for a while

Tracking work

Did 22 things this week, which is close to the average. A couple of unplanned things diverted my attention away from important stuff.

Achieved over half of my weekly goals, and progressed one more. Two goals I didn’t make a start on but ones isn’t urgent, it’s fine. The other can be done next week.

Only achieved 40% of my monthly goals, progressed around 25%, leaving 35% not achieved. Some of those weren’t important goals to achieve though, they were nice-to-haves at the start of the month. I definitely added more goals to my list as the month went on. So probably I just need to define stretch goals versus core goals?

It was a busy month with lots of travelling around the country, a couple days’ holiday, and lots of face-to-face. So it’s no wonder I’m shattered and didn’t get as much done as I’d expected.

Good food has kept me going the last 2 weeks. Good food and good humour.

Ugh, Slack

It’s far too easy to get distracted by all those unread messages. But some of those unread messages are important to read; others less so.

There are benefits to using instant messaging tools, and it’s good to be able to see messages in team channels not private ones, but some times you just want to know which messages are safe for you to skip.

Maybe I need to try harder with highlighting how best to communicate asynchronously. Maybe the team is too big for one product manager. Either way, I found myself spending non-valuable time on Slack this week, so on Wednesday I just didn’t open it except a couple of times throughout the day.

Might just put Slack use on a schedule. 30 mins in the morning, some time in the afternoon too. Leave it off the rest of the day.


Anyway, let me break up the long slog of work chat with some wine chat. In early July we went to Croatia on holiday and I got to try some of the local wines. Proper local: the variety is specific to a little island.

Pošip grows near Smokvica, on the island of Korčula, and it’s lovely. It’s earthy, fruity, with the hint of almond and plenty of minerals. Light, not too much alcohol. Perfect when cold. It’s like a Verdicchio, maybe. But better because it’s got a unique story.

Dalmatian Dog from Merga Victa is nice. The younger, lower alcohol wines are better (in my opinion).

And yes, that does mean I didn’t go all year without drinking.

Product for the People Unconference #3 in Manchester

A lovely day with lots of faces, some I knew from cross-gov Slack and calls, others I met for the first time. Really energising day. But community things always are.

I ran a session on prototyping which I’ll write up fully on Sunday, but thank you to everyone who came down.

Me, Jukesie and Debbie will run events next year too, but we’ll set up a mailing list so that you don’t have to worry about not catching a post on social media. If you’d like us to run one if your area and you can host ~60 people in 2 rooms, let us know, we’d love to bring it to ya.


I did nothing this week. Bad. On reflection, the idea of going out in the rain and cold 6 days a week is not inspiring me. I don’t need to repeat the marathon training programme though, my next race is a hilly half-marathon. So I’m going to switch training programme and just do 4 or 5 days a week, with some long runs on the weekend. Might try some Scarpas for all the mud.


Saw this on a whim last Saturday as I had time to kill before going out with Kelv. It’s a rich person’s view of what a working class person might do, but it’s a fun watch. Very Shakespearean. I watched Othello the next day as a result (and forgot just how racist it is).


The first link in the list below is a must-read, like The Thick of It for anyone doing digital in a big organisation.

There’s a bunch of OpenAI guff from last weekend at the bottom too.