This time 7 years ago I got married - so the week started off on a brilliant high!
I’m really excited to see what happens next week (which is strange as im doing a week notes for the past week), but we get to start seeing if the design process is going to work and how it is going to work within the team.

Monday
Today was my wedding anniversary - so it was a well earned day off.
7 brilliant years of being married, with more than I can remember years of dating before. I’ve learned so much about myself since dating Emma, she has given me self-confidence, self-worth and a drive that I could never have if it wasn’t for her. 


Also, she finds me funny - so she’s obviously perfect..
We went on a date at the cinema to watch “Hustlers” (Emma’s choice) and binge ate at a rather brilliant place called “Blue Sakura”.
It was a great day and as a bonus I got to take my daughter to school and pick her up as a surprise - so she was really excited!

Tuesday
Caught up about the User Research feedback from last week, incredibly insightful when all the information is grouped together, and it’s great to see the UR team presenting and being strong about the work they do.
I now await to see the next steps from the P.O.
A content design catch up, explaining what I’m currently working on and how our “pre-planning” meeting went (dealing with design backlog), it turns out there is a lot of want from the team to get the design rolling and really make our users happy.
I can’t really express how excited to try this new process, we can get the process wrong and it feels totally safe to, and the content design is totally onboard with it all.

Wednesday
Stand up in “Team Two” are really good now, adding a design section to the board has really caused great discussions, the aim for me is to allow all the team to know every ticket on the board and the “why” we are doing them.

After stand up, we planned additional discussions on what to work on next, felt really valued as a designer (which isn’t always the feeling) and a lot of good work ahead and plenty of opportunities to make a difference!

Attended a Retro - good open session (as they always are), things needing to be shared and ownership of the issue. A lot of discussions on hot desking / seat arrangements which is causing a rift.
Similar trends running through the recent retro’s, actions being taken away.
Sprint Planning: Goals set for this sprint are “focus on integration”, design work is being measured (correctly) by value (user and business) against effort.

Biggest conversational point from the design team (I’m happy to put my name on this) is if we should action some design amends due to one product not following GOV.UK styles, components and patterns.
I know we should change it - but.. value against effort.

Thursday
Blinking BUS ISSUES!!


Attended my other teams Sprint planning - a great round table approach.
Discussed lack of User Researcher being an issue and a high risk when making design decisions (something I’m not comfortable on).
Also discussed how to hand over design and content work to developers correctly (surrounding when, how and the whys).
Ideally, the answer is “as soon as possible”, I feel the team works best when everyone is involved in the design process (from sketching to round tables), so to avoid design decisions being tested and not being able to be implemented due to data/development issues.
My ex-life as a developer has made me 100% sure this is the right ways of working.

Friday
A very quiet day in the office, Friday’s are famous for WFH or people’s non-working day.
Had my 1:1 with Head of Design, discussed how my time shared between two teams is starting to have an impact on the work I do, and time spent actually working.
A quick look at my diary showed me - out of a 37 hour working week, I actually had 12 hours to sit at my desk and “do” work I needed to do. The outcome was agreed that I would slowly work with just one team, which for me personally feels a great move as initially I worked closer with them.

Good things
Celebrating my wedding anniversary was such a fun day, and it was nice to spend a complete day with my wife, on our own doing normal couple things, which is always a struggle when you have a little one, but we should do it more often.

Learned things
User Research is really really good, and its key we have access to it almost as easy as it is to get access to a developer. Without one, we are struggling to get work done, as we have more questions than answers.

Difficulties
Accepting that I cannot do it all, I do not need to go to every meeting, I cannot help everyone and I need to realise that I have a limited time per-week and is it better to give 50% on two projects or 100% on one? I personally feel one project, and many others have agreed.

Achievements
First time in a while, I feel this week was a flat week. Some highs, but a couple of lows in there too - not a terrible week, just felt the week ran away from me before I caught it up!


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