Weeknote 25.02.22

This last week was marked by the first meeting of all the Folksy team IRL since 2019. The team have grown to four full-time and two part-time staff and this week most of them met up to discuss objectives, priorities and a product strategy. I joined them for the day on Wednesday to facilitate a discussion on ‘jobs to be done’, to help determine the key jobs people hire Folksy for, and where we compare against competitors for meeting key needs.

I love doing this kind of design research and product strategy, and I’ve missed it. Organisational strategy in GOV is often woolly and opaque, and product strategy is whatever gets you to simpler, clearer, faster (rather than market and surplus).

So, this week was energising! We have a strategy for growth based on user retention, and doubling down on quality and improved delivery times (and clarity on when an order will be delivered) 💥

Other things of note this week:

  • Mitigation to cyber security threats. So many unknowns around this and the advice is often very patronising – so I spent a chunk of time looking into what the mitigations are. Things like pen tests give a false sense of risk when you have a rapidly changing suite of products, and evolving Dev Ops and teams.
  • A few wobbles at work with regard to how to do transformation in gov led to me re-watching and sharing this presentation by Tom Loosemore at Code of America. Eight years on and the ambition and drive of those early GDS pioneers still seems so relevant and he’s right; it’s not complicated, it’s just hard.
  • Abisola is trying to figure out the strategy for GDS. Lots of rumblings about the path GDS is taking in light of the recent procurement of Deloitte to build an app.

Ended the week with a beautiful walk over Abney. Needed the sunnies!