Week 11 of my time at DWP, this time has passed so quickly. The learning curve has been exactly what I’ve wanted, it’s been tough at times - times I felt so out of my comfort zone, sometimes its been frustrating, but other times its been amazing.
The amazing times outweigh the frustrating times easily, we launched services, have 100% team support and more importantly I’m constantly learning in a very fun environment - and the people are incredible, proper people.

Anyways.. on to the week.

Tuesday
Stand up as normal in morning, decided to work on the prototype but really simplify it to get it done quicker.

Afternoon - meeting on future design needs for product and sprint planning.

Admin: emails are fun to work through aren’t they?

Wednesday
Ceremonies day for one of my teams - this involves sprint review and retro, the mighty show and tell and then finally (next) sprint planning.
The other team - the project owner and I discussed sprint tickets and getting blinking access to Jira (a real pain).
Worth noting, today was an interesting one, a huge miscommunication for one project led to work being done that wasn’t made public, leading to a shocked room of designers.
This is frustrating, but it’s also worth seeing as a learning experience - maybe we weren’t as open as we should of been with all the teams - many things to be taken away and to be chewed over from this:
I need to communicate more about what I’m working on,
Share UR feedback more often,
Get access to Jira as a matter of life or death.
Personally speaking - this experience jolted me and reminded me that all the hard work is still to come, we need to educate the power and cost of good and bad design, and also why we are here. The only way to do this, is to speak out correctly, and allow others to learn as they go.

Thursday
Sprint planning in the morning, a lot of design tickets in for this sprint (and next) ranging from “life improvements” to feature-led. Working with this product owner is totally refreshing, as his experience working with designers is low, so he’s more than happy to “just go along with it”, and learn ways-of-working as we work more and more together.

Following on from yesterday’s learnings, the design team sat down and discussed taking the new build to the users for testing, what to test, how to test, shall we change anything before testing - many more but all leading to “what will we learn”.
Jira update: still awaiting access.

Friday
The first message on Slack this morning = access to Jira boards activated!
Wfh today - meeting on slack, confirming how to work on the previously mentioned project going forward, I listed all the potential changes initially found to the group and we all agreed on these (found from testing) and uploaded on to Jira!
My mission, and learning is to work in the open more on this one, let everyone know every step and avoid any “design and dump” approach. Basically, be loud.

Good things
Realising I haven’t been working-in-the-open enough has been eye-opening, and a good lesson to learn. Thinking a small circle knows what i’m working on is not enough - so spreading the net wider will be great for the team and again, take me out of any comfort zone i’ve settled in.

Learned things
Having a new routine of writing notes everyday has helped massively in backing up any design decisions - I can easily look back in my book and read out some user-feedback (in this case) upon request, also a side-effect has been a better memory!

Difficulties
Getting set up on systems within DWP is a complex process, I’ve been waiting for Jira access since day 1, and this is the week i’ve finally got it - it can be a little disheartening if your work isn’t being tracked like others but one I expected (it never goes smoothly!).

Achievements
This week, we planned ahead - far ahead. I now know what the goals of my work is, I know what i’m working on for the next 3 months which helps with work-anxiety. I never have liked “asking for work”, and I’m unsure I even know how to (without finding work myself).


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