Weeknotes 10 of 2024

The one where I have a hectic fortnight and realize my baby isn't a baby anymore

What I've been up to

  • I planned and ran our Virtual Skills Week. It's the kind of thing that looks pretty simple on paper but was actually kind of a beast to execute. I coordinated 5 sessions on MS Teams, managing data, agile methods, communication skills and better meetings and facilitation.
  • I also presented at one of the sessions, on the topic of better presentations. And I spoke at our both our x-gov design crit, and our monthly x-gov collaborate and coffee.
  • Last week was Public Sector Week in the BC Government, so I attended some of the events my ministry organized: A ministry barbecue, an online pub quiz and an all-staff with our minister.
  • I spent some time getting more involved in the design work happening in our Environmental Protection division.
  • I've been helping out on a hiring panel, which had a lot of really great applicants (so awesome but also lots of work for the panel.)
  • I caught up with a new UX researcher in our division.
  • I had a lot of meetings--various sprint reviews, chats with various people, and the supervising in the BC Public Service course that I've been taking for several weeks now.

What went well:

  • I was so grateful for all the wonderful speakers and presenters I was able to bring into our Virtual Skills Week. Although I got bogged down and stressed out with all the tasks and planning and communications, the actual sessions went very smoothly and I was so glad to be able to trust the content to our very capable and skilled presenters. Also very grateful to Harry on my team who stepped in to host when I had a conflict.
  • So far, feedback from the event and from my talk have been really positive.
  • I've been feeling better about my job uncertainty this past fortnight, so that's a relief.
  • And my littlest baby turned 5 🥹 We did a "yes day" with him in lieu of a birthday party, and it was lovely and lots of fun but totally exhausting
a young blonde boy in front of a green birthday cake with lit candles
so happy to be five!!

What was difficult

  • I've been feeling very stretched and stressed these past few weeks. My to-do list for this week has been off the page (literally, I use a moleskine and it went off the page.) I'm hoping to catch my breath next week and if not, I have some holiday time coming up that will be much-needed.
  • I'm usually quite good at planning and staying organized but I found planning our virtual skills week more challenging than usual. Perhaps it was perfectionism getting in the way – I spent a lot of time seeing what was going wrong, and perhaps not enough on what was going well.
  • Not difficult per se but a good reflection: We ran an intro to agile session, and because our target audience were people working outside of the digital realm, I was hesitant to use the word "agile" because I thought it would scare people off. So the presenter and I decided on "sprint to success: building resilient teams with modern agile methods", but we got immediate feedback that it was too vague.

Inspired by

Some really great and helpful pieces I've seen on a variety of topics

A proactive state for working parents
Molly and Harry share what a proactive state for working parents could look like. And how it would help make our economy more productive.
The value of horizontal services: Tell Us Once — Public Digital
Time is a design material, too - FF Studio
This is a post about patience: patience in the sales cycle, and patience in the work. And it’s a post about pace layers - and how some of our
How to prioritise your services, and your effort — Public Digital
Dr Lucy Mercer-Mapstone on LinkedIn: #socialjustice #diversity #organisationalculture #authenticity | 39 comments
The idea of 'toxic niceness' as an organisational culture was something I came up with last year. A quick google told me, unsurprisingly, I wasn't the first… | 39 comments on LinkedIn
Interview compositions
How do researchers design their interview scripts? Let’s explore the designs of a couple of HCI/UX interview scripts.

Reading, watching, listening

I just finished Western Lane by Chetna Maroo. It was a lovely, devastating read. Now devouring the short stories in Clarie Keegan's Antarctica.

Trying is back for another season – I really love this sweet show.

I was grateful for an update on Yousef, a Palestinian man trying to look after his extended family in a war zone, on This American Life.