Workweek 01×02: Mayday!

Workweek 01×02: Mayday!

Monday was a bank holiday. Went to the farm to see lambs. 
Tuesday was my usual day off. Gradually forgetting how to do work. Went to the playground.
Back on Wednesday. Starting to think about the next few months ahead as projects get delivered, and the future opens up. Catch up on emails, and what’s been done on the data fixes I put in place on Friday. Then trawled through the couple of Trello boards I have of planned work and deliveries for next few months with Stefan to see what’s on everyone’s plates. 
Chatted to Obi about data fixes. Looks like they’re progressing well after getting unstuck last Friday. Wonder if there’s a better way of mapping our whole days chain, and how to investigate and resolve issues better. 
Some discussion with Kim on what we could do to make signing up for demos more appealing. Marketing is still something I feel .. I’m not sure what. Interested in, but limited experience (A-Level Business Studies counts?). I wonder what effect 20 years of Internet pseudonymming has on your awareness of how you come across. 
Interrupted to pick up #son1, but making up some hours in the evening meant I could hammer through some email inbox. Reminds me of an article in FT this week about Inbox culture, and the potentially dehumanising aspect of a never-ending stream of emails compared to talking to people, and alternative forms of communication.
Dug back through about a year’s worth of “do this” emails – most of them didn’t really need doing in the end (or not directly by me), but actually it got me to do a lot of reflecting and looking back at where things were a year ago, so not wasted time. Sometimes it’s good to see how far you’ve come, like looking back over a hill ridge as you approach the pub – it’s easy to always look forwards, and always worry about what’s left to do, without ever appreciating what you’ve done already.
Thursday actually a normal day, hours-wise. Sent the emails I’d lined up last night (I don’t like sending mails out-of-hours, think it sends a bad culture signal, so I tag drafts to send with a “morning-post” tag and deal with it swiftly in the morning) and updated my email backlog tracker in Google Sheets. I thought I’d use this originally to .. I’m not sure why, actually. At some point though, I added in the colour-coded comparison-to-average inbox figure, which flags up when I’m above average. By sorting things into to-do (or “action”) and to-reply-to (or “response”) folders, I’ve found I get feedback on what sort of email I need to pick up on. Reversing the trend for “action” emails feels good.
Taking a hefty think about “strategy” for the summer months today. Feels like a big word, but at the moment it’s really a case of working out where each of our product lines is at, and working out what conversations/decisions are needed next, and who/when needs to be involved.
Spoke to Ben at Sussex Uni about a possible “automation anxiety” workshop. Made me think about how a lot of the hype and associated fear is about “robots”, but really it’s lack of control that people fear – but that can manifest as being taken over by robots, algorithms, immigrants, politicians, or even members of staff in the same department. At the end of the day, we like to think we own our own destiny. From a stats perspective, I think there’s some interesting issues that tie modelling the world and data into evidence – based policy, algorithms, and science generally. Public trust in science (or scientists) is a fascinating subject. 
http://ift.tt/2qeK56q(+ how do you insert links in Evernote for Android?) 
Looking at time reports for recent NI product work. Bringing some bureaucracy to the company and asking people to log time 😉 
Friday back thinking through where we’re going. Lots of looking back to our plans 6-8 months ago, seeing what’s changed, and lots of post it notes covering my desk, which always makes me happy. Also generally still feeling my way as a semi-Product Owner, so making up a lot of diagrams (A “Value Flow” sketch? Which bit of my head thought that up?) and quick write-downs of rules and ideas to help guide me through the process. Good fun. Important stuff. Difficult. 
Spent a good amount of time going through various emails and write-ups, distilling into new documents, and going round the team for various status updates on different bits. 
Finished the week with a bit of personal research time, banging the metal so-to-speak by getting back to a command line and trying out some automated phpunit runs, and bash scripting. Get sidetracked into fixing and neatening tests, and pretty sick of PHP error levels by the end of it. But learned a lot, I think? 
Anyway, bit of a dash though this week, and nowhere near enough photos. Maybe nothing but photos next week…? 

Open original in Evernote