I’ve never written weeknotes before. I’ve meant to do it for a long time but just never got round to it. A month ago, I started a new job as a product manager at ECC and a few others are doing it (especially James, who started at the same time as me).
I’ve been looking at how we provide ECC staff with information they need to do their jobs. I say Intranet with a (?) because it’s probably not the right word, but we don’t have a better one yet. Before I arrived, the team did a great Discovery looking at this. I’ve been learning a lot, which sort of feels like unwrapping an onion, where I think I’ve got a good understanding and then I find a new corner of the Miro board with something new. But I love learning, so that’s fun.
We had the team retro this week and I wrote ‘starting to feel useful’ on a sticker, which I think is a good summary. I worked with the delivery manager on a brief to go out to procurement for Alpha, and we got some great feedback and input from the leads. That work won’t kick off for a while. In the meantime, there are a few things that we can be doing now. I’ve been looking at how we refine some of the findings from Discovery into one thing that says which of the user needs we’ve found are best served by this product, and how it links up with the broader landscape of products that people use. This will hopefully help us focus what we test in Alpha within that, though we’ll need to be flexible depending on what we find.
I also spent some time playing with data from Google Analytics, to help the team implementing a new payroll system to understand which Intranet pages were most heavily trafficked and sent users to that system, so they can prioritise which content needs to be updated for the new system. This was great fun, as I haven’t used Google Analytics before, and it was a good way of getting to know what it can do. Again, I got some great feedback and tips from a colleague on that.
When doing anything like this though, I do miss having Python on my work laptop, though – I used it quite a bit in my previous role. Consensus around the team seems to be that it’s not worth asking. But, I can make do and adapt, playing with Chrome extensions or using my personal laptop instead.
A few of us got to meet with Eleanor from Greenwich and talk about where each of the councils are at. There are a few other councils looking at Intranets, so it’s great to share. There are so many groups going on in local government digital at the moment (OneTeamGov Local, and David’s shared local government services group).
The local offer is a website that ECC (and all councils) provide to help people get information about services for children and young people with special and educational needs and disabilities. I’ve got less to say on this one, because I’ve only really started to get involved this week. We’ve been doing some detective work looking at what we spend on the current solution to help us build a case for change. It’s quite fun to see a picture build up from various different questions and bits of information.
On Friday we had an amazing sketching workshop. It’s great to be on a team where people make the time to prepare and run things like this, and I’m always so impressed by everyone’s skills. I was a bit apprehensive about it in advance but I had great fun, got to know the rest of the team (and myself) better, and I’m looking forward to doing more of that in future.
On a sadder note, Ert’s going to be moving on. It’s sad that we haven’t had longer to work together, but it’s been great to have the chance to work with him so far!
One other thing that struck me this week is that people were really open with how they were feeling, and supportive of each other. I really value working on a team like that.
Right, that’s it for the week! Expect further (intermittent) episodes…
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