Time for round two of Weeknotes. There's a few extra stories to share this time as I had two shorter working weeks. Without further ado:
I started this week feeling a bit overwhelmed with a new project on measuring and mapping the customer experiences. With much of this topic being new to me, there was a lot to take in. We've got a new CX strategist onboard in our team who I am learning LOTS from. Each day is a school day. Whilst being out of your comfort zone is great for personal growth, I've been struggling with how I add value to the team with a skill set that feels very different to what we're aiming to achieve with this project.
My colleague Nate helped me look at it a different way, describing that over the next few weeks we should act as investigators rather than designers. The value we add now is to keep asking questions, with the design value happening further down the line. This advice is spot on, and I'm keeping it at the forefront of my mind over the coming weeks.
The power of visualising
As a follow on from the previous story we, the CX team, have been collecting lots of insight around how we measure the customer experience at the Co-op. We've been holding lots of stakeholder interviews across the different business units to find out more. To start mapping this research, Gem, a Senior CX Strategist in our team, suggested that we use a CX metrics framework - something I hadn't come across before and initially struggled to make sense of. Although feeling a bit out of my depth, I had a bash at creating the framework from the ground up, and began adapting it to suit our specific needs at the Co-op.
As a visual thinker and learner, I found it really beneficial to lay out the foundations for the framework. It helped me make sense of the process and break things down in my head. The more I built out the framework, the more it clicked in my mind and the less overwhelm I felt. It reminded me of the power of visualising stuff. To just jump in and not mull things over too much.
We're adapting to framework as we learn more, but it's proving a great tool for us to document our findings and identify any knowledge gaps.
Fikas are fun
We recently had our very first team fika, introduced to us by our Delivery Manager, Rachael. The term 'fika' means to 'meet up, have a coffee and a chit-chat'. I'm a huge believer that time to socialise and have fun as a team is one of the most important aspects of working - especially remotely. It helps to break down boundaries and keep us open with each other - as well as having a moment away from the seriousness of the work we're doing.
For our first team fika we played a game of Drawasaurus - a drawing and guessing game. We drew all sorts of contraptions, from flags and birthdays, to holes and and sports. Just half an hour in the day to have a bit of fun together, but left us all feeling joyful.
This week I had a chat booked in with my Delivery Manager, just to chat about how we can work better together and how she can help support me and the team. It was really nice to have this chat - it's not a something I've been offered in the past. It was great to bounce around some new ideas and be a sounding board for some of Rachael's suggestions.
One of my suggestions was at the top of my mind, after reading Chanelle's latest Weeknotes. When we worked in iPlayer together we'd have a weekly team meeting where we shared a photo from the weekend, our one main goal for the week and one thing we are looking forward to or fearing. It was a great way to warm up for the week and find out what work people had on. Chanelle has recently introduced this concept as check-in tool at dxw. Rather shamelessly, I've decided to try it out in my team, with the first round kicking off next week.
This is just one of the many benefits of Weeknotes - as without reading Chanelle's latest post, I wouldn't have had the idea on my mind. It's good to be sharing ways of working.
One thing I've learnt through a number of ways of working sessions, writing and reading manual of me's and retros is that I'm not alone when it comes to needing validation. As many other's do, I like to be known when I have done a job well done. I try my best to give praise where I can, even for the smallest of things, as I know it can help give people that nudge to keep doing great work.
To help encourage us to show our appreciation for each other, we've got a workflow set up in our team's Slack channel. Each Thursday we're reminded to let each other know what's made our week great. It's a small and neat way to get that little boost during the week - especially when you are praised for small things that you may not have found significant yourself.
Confidence in driving
In August 2020 I passed my driving test - first time. I'm still massively proud of myself for this. I had bad anxiety when it came to learning to drive, mostly stemming from having a horrible driving instructor to start with. As we've been in multiple lockdowns I've not had many places to drive to, other than the weekly trip to the supermarket. I still feel new to the roads! However, last week I was asked to drive as part of a funeral cortège. It's safe to say I was nervous - especially under the circumstances. I had family in the car and a lot of pressure with many tricky hill starts and tight country roads - and at rush hour. However, I did it. I had nothing to worry about. Although it was an unpleasant situation being part of a cortège, it has increased my confidence spade loads. I really had nothing to worry about. The more I drive, the more confident I become, and the more I realise - why am I worrying about this?
A wet weekend in Wales
Last week I had my first time off work in 2021! Myself and my other half spent a long weekend in Wales as part of a family outing to celebrate a 70th birthday. It was really nice to have a break away from being sat behind a screen all day. Despite wet weather predicted all weekend, we got a break and saw blue skies emerging. We travelled up the Great Orme and got to see Llandudno from above. I've been to Llandudno many times as a kid, but never took the trip up the Orme - so it was good to do something new. It was a nice getaway after many weekends stuck at home.