June 24’

Tackling people and resource challenges through different lens. Breaking down Retro outputs. More about governance.

June, June, June.

I’d say the biggest change I’ve experienced being consultancy side is the sheer scale of commercial admin and planning that’s required. That’s not to say, there isn’t the equivalent amount on gov side (there is!!), but being further upstream in supplier/client delivery and further downstream in procurements means tackling similar challenges through a different lens.

For example:

  1. Finding budget/prioritising vs Delivering value for money
  2. Identifying skills vs Building teams
  3. Being immersed in problem/opportunity/service vs Provide expertise and build context as you go

This means some jostling and coordination is required between Delivery Principals as we each try to marry the outcomes of our individual clients and project needs, with a team that has the right mix of roles, experience and crucially, availability – lining people up at the right time.

[I need to write about when you should choose to work with supplier teams vs blended teams vs establishing long-lived teams]


I facilitated a retro with a group of product managers. As you go through ‘things that didn’t go well or can be improved’, naturally you group each post-it note. One of the takeaways from this was the different themes that the team identified. For example, influencing stakeholders, dependencies on x or y, dealing with change, managing constraints, maintaining standards under pressure etc.

On the face of it, some topics seem daunting and out of reach, and you can get caught up thinking ‘What can we possibly do to change that!?’. Rather than self-organising, you end up escalating or accepting the impediment.

Something that I use to help break down complex issues and make incremental progress is the concept of Circles of Influence and Control by Stephen Covey.

Source: https://learningloop.io/glossary/circles-of-influence

Conversations with Ian and Himal

Ian and I share some common views and governance of digital service delivery. It was great to bounce some ideas off and see someone nod back at you or in Ian’s case, share some excellent use cases on why lightweight governance works and why the alternative can hinder progress – Albeit it’s not always in a teams ability to control (See above!)

It also highlights why it’s important to iterate, not just as a delivery approach but also iterating processes, even good ones.

I think that’s why a lot of people are discussing why the discovery/alpha/beta delivery process should evolve. I’m not going to go in to that here, what I will say is what started as a mechanism to promote the value of user centred design and iterative delivery, has now become a somewhat restrictive obstacle to delivering at pace. That’s because it’s added a layer of governance (on top of existing org governance as opposed to instead of) which can block releasing value early.

[Currently writing a mammoth post about governance where I’ll try break this down in more detail]

Himal wrote about his relationship with sport and diet during school. It was timely given the football currently on and much of this resonated with me. Particularly the diet aspect and how that correlates with your socioeconomic background.

(Honestly you need to take half hour out of your day to read Himal’s posts.)

So much of this resonates. Being poor and unhealthy food being a way of life. You can still see it all around Tower Hamlets, where I grew up – There’s usually some version of a ‘PFC’ (Perfect Friend Chicken) on every single street in the borough.

— Rumman Amin (@rumman.bsky.social) Jun 30, 2024 at 20:10

Concentration of chicken shops should be a socioeconomic indicator and I’m sure there are essays on this.

— himal (@himal.bsky.social) Jun 30, 2024 at 20:14

And whilst the football is on TV, also related. There’s always a discussion why there are almost zero south asian professional football players… Yes, opportunity, access, privilege and all the other issues but diet also massively a thing. All we ate was either fried chicken or curry!

— Rumman Amin (@rumman.bsky.social) Jun 30, 2024 at 20:13

Away from work

It’s been another month of firsts for Leia. Learnt to crawl. Learnt to stand – mid England match, just as we equalised. First trip to the Zoo (hence the meerkats). First Father’s Day for me.