An incredible week following on from last weeks’ stunner.

I did the thing I prepped for last week and it went brilliantly. I managed to overcome past nerves of presenting (who’d of thought prepping in adv would remove nerves?) and the outcomes were wonderful.
Really loving the teams I am in at the moment, both give me space to learn and grow and provide me with the trust of my own skillset again (I never lost this inner belief, but its nice to be reminded by others).

Monday
Today is the start of a crazy week at work - a 3-day workshop!
I’m using today to write up the deck and prompt cards to present the design task on Wednesday and to help out on other parts of the workshop.
Planning the agenda, outputs, things needed and just hanging with a blinking great team.
If you guys ever read this - this team is amazing.

I’m really looking forward to playing a big part in this workshop, it takes me back to my Sky Bet days where I would lead design tasks, either planning out a service/process map or getting into the actual design of a page (crazy 8s etc).

Also in the evening, we started to work on Bobbin and Bumble’s new look website.. it needs a little bit of attention and, as I have the odd year or two experience..I’m gonna do it and not rely on using templates that are not really “doing” what we need.

Tuesday
Today is the start of the workshop.
It’s been in planning for a while, and as a team, we were nervous, excited and prepared.

Spoiler - we didn’t need to be, it was brilliant.

The most important job of the first day is to get everyone up to speed, whilst working in a friendly environment - accepting all questions, approaches, and opinions.

The outline of the day is as follows (some is missing due to.. well I can’t share THAT much):

  • Introductions:
    Round table introduction of each person - name, title, duration on the project.

  • Scene Setting:
    Why we are here, what we stand for etc

  • Ice Breaker:
    10-15 min exercise to help the room get to know each other and get talking.

  • Our agenda and hopeful outcomes. An interactive ‘What do we want to achieve out of the workshops’:
    Get the room to write on post its - what do they want out of the workshop, then break it down to day one, two and three (make sure you educate the room on the outline of each day without too much info).

  • Where we are and how we got there:
    Discuss whats gone on before, and where we are (confirming the problem statement etc).

  • Agile Ways of Working:
    Run through ways of working with the team, who does what and how we might run sprints, or handovers.

  • Hypotheses for Design:
    Exersise to work out what do we wish to test after the design task. Tricky to do, so set the room up with examples, or educational piece.

  • Review and wrap up of day:
    Lightly touch on what happened throughout the day, run through “day 1” post its and confirm we delivered or missed out on certain needs.

Wednesday
The day I get to run the “Design task” to the group - this is my first one ran at DWP, so I am a little nervous, but thankfully and a huge thank you to “Voice in the room” (public speaking training), I knew to prep and how to say it - I have run many workshops before, but this one felt like one of my best.
I had planned out the introduction to the problem/opportunity and then stressed how safe we are as a room (we as a team had bonded enough by then), what we want to achieve at the end, the task, ran through the outcomes then bring it back to see if we did what we needed to do.

Day 2’s outline:

  • Reflection:
    Speak through what we did yesterday and the day’s plan

  • Ice Breaker:
    Another ice breaker to get the room moving

  • Lessons Learnt:
    What have we learned on previous projects that are similar (if any) using out-side-the-team presenters (U.R etc)

  • Hypothesis Review (including dot voting):
    Run through yesterday’s Hypothesis session, after a nights sleep there were questions to ask and different hypotheses.

  • Design task:
    As mentioned above, it was all leading to this magical moment.

  • Review:
    Confirm we did what we needed to do, and any outstanding questions before leading into the last day.

Thursday

The final day of the workshop - thankfully, I could sleep for a month! Today is just a catch up, review and confirm we delivered everything we needed and everyone is ok with where we got as a team and to confirm the next steps.

It’s the easiest day of the week!

Friday
A very chilled day, I worked through trying to read my notes and coming up with questions to ask from these notes.

Retro in the afternoon and then a well deserved weekend.

Bobbin and Bumble update:
Since joining Emma as a consultant, we’ve managed (as a team) to up traffic and sales quite quickly within 3 months using a multitude of experiences and new learnings.
Combining her tone-of-voice and personality with SEO techniques, good design practice, general housekeeping, and goal setting - we’ve managed to run a tighter, more focused business approach and so far it has turned out to generate an amazing reaction from amazing customers and supporters.
I knew her products were good and desirable, it was just about getting it out there better, getting it to the audience clearer and making sure it was presented consistently.
And also not looking behind at people copying her style of products and presentation of products but looking ahead and seeing what the market is doing and wanting.

Rant alert
One thing that did rile me and has made me more dedicated to making this a success was the amount of envy and attacks from the competition (not all, some have been so supportive and cheer-leading). I have never experienced this in my career, I’ve had people copy my work, even present my work in interviews as their own (Jet2 to name a famous one whilst at Sky Bet), but never call me out or even go to the level of bullying tactics.
We should be supporting each other, there is enough business out there for all and if you are threatened by a competitor then it’s says more about your own trust in products than someone else’s.

Good things
I can’t stress how great the teams are that I work on, we really are hitting form and the support and trust of each other is so amazing, and inspiring. We cheer and celebrate everything together, and if needed we swarm around a problem and help out. It’s all about helping and learning, not blaming and pointing, and I love that.

Learned things
I learned more about my own wants and direction in my career - I want to do service design things, I want to work with people and I want to support. This has been the busiest week for a long time, and I’m sure it’ll get busier, but it’s incredibly enjoyable.

Difficulties
Work-load is creeping to a huge amount, I will call this out next week and know it’ll be sorted out as soon as I mention it, it’s always worth knowing when you feel the work-creep and let as many people know as possible, you are no good if you are producing low-end work and feeling rubbish. The team doesn’t want this, and more importantly - you don’t.

Achievements
We did it! As a team we delivered a brilliant workshop, together and totally smashed it!


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