Weeknotes S03 E011


A tall, old-fashioned looking white house with a grey roof with a blue sky and some leafy tree branches in the background

Having some difficulty writing weeknotes at the moment because I get to the end of the week and my tired brain says Access Denied. But it’s been a good week for the intranet project, so here are some reflections on that.

What I did

A lot of intranet stuff

We’ve got into a good rhythm on this project now, with daily stand-ups (what we’re aiming to achieve each day), weekly planning (what we need to get done each week) and weekly retros (what went well, what could be better).

A success for me this week was tidying up some research I did into other organisations’ intranets and how they’ve designed them. Grateful to our user researchers Connie and Lorna for helping me turn this from something only I could understand into something others could use and learn from easily.

Another highlight this week was starting some interviews with colleagues who use the intranet to share information. We’re beginning with some colleagues from HR, and thinking about who else to speak to next week.

It’s been great to get going with these and speak to people from teams I’ve not met before at the council. Microsoft Teams’ transcribing feature has been very useful, although it could be better at picking up different accents.

Elsewhere, I’ve had some good chats with others in the team and around it about how we can align our work and support each other. The latest addition is Jaco, a business analyst who is going to help us understand the council’s processes for creating and publishing internal content. Not sure how long he will stay on the project but we are making the most of his input while we can.

Finally, I had some great information and advice from John Baptiste-Kelly after I followed up on the talk he gave to us about the Wellcome Trust’s intranet a few weeks ago. Super useful, and just generally nice to see that this stuff is possible. We just have to put in the work to get there.

Also this week

  • I did some more interviewing of potential new additions to our team. Again, this was great to be part of. On this subject, I really like helping people out with job applications, interview prep, CV advice… so if you’re out there and you need this kind of thing, especially for content design roles, please tweet me.
  • I learnt some great stuff about research approaches from a presentation Connie gave about things she’s learnt in her career. This is a regular feature in our team meetings and it’s great.
  • I continued planning with the rest of the content design team about how we can start supporting our colleagues in Comms by taking on some more content updating work. Some examples of this will be happening next week.

Lessons learnt

  • Be realistic. I often get over-excited when doing research and want to speak to as many people as I can. Our product manager Alex gave me a helpful reminder not to take on too much this week, as we have a deadline to meet and it won’t be possible for us to do so if it we do absolutely everything we could possibly do.
  • It’s OK to make space to think. I gave myself most of Friday afternoon to plan, reflect on the week and write these notes. As the project picks up speed, it’s hard to feel justified in doing this. But I know it will help me progress things faster the next week and make improvements to the project going forward. So I am trying to set a good example and do this regularly despite how busy we are getting.
  • Don’t be an intranet bore. I can feel myself becoming more and more of this the more I work on this project. While it’s great to feel enthusiastic about what you’re working on, and I definitely hope we can build something truly useful, I need to remind myself to stay up to date on others’ work and projects too. There is more to life than intranets. Hoping to do some more shadowing of other teams soon to help with this.

What I’m reading

Still on Just Enough Research… but I also read and enjoyed this, about service design in the NHS.

It takes a village to design a service – NHS Digital

Weeknotes S03 E011 was originally published in Web of Weeknotes on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.


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August 23, 2021 at 04:55PM

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