Weeknote: 7 to 11 June 2021

Black cat lying on messy desk next to computer
The cat has taken to obstructing my desk when he thinks it’s dinnertime

Deep dives

Diane led deep dives on four initiatives in the Urgent and Emergency Care digital portfolio. I think I’m allowed to play the new kid card for a little while longer, and as an introduction to the key issues in each piece of work, I found all the sessions really helpful. I saw lots of good evidence of teams collaborating well. Where they’re not yet, at least we know we have work to do to close the gap. I’m looking forward to these sessions chaired by Diane on a monthly basis in future.

Collaborating across teams

A catch-up with an agency team working on a patient-facing channel strategy from a self-care, prevention, and non-urgent care point of view. Hopefully we were able to join some dots between that and the national strategies in the world of urgent and emergency care.

A couple of sessions on bookings and referrals, including a well-presented and well-attended show and tell by our NHS Digital colleagues. It was great to see user research presented, and I’m looking forward to seeing the patient experience being explored more fully as this work moves forward.

As I mentioned in last week’s note, I’m becoming clearer on the role of the digital team for urgent and emergency care, and why we’re part of the NHSX Digital Transformation Directorate. There’s so much value to gain from working as a single directorate with Simon and Nayeema’s teams.

Looking to the world

On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons, I Zoomed into Harvard Kennedy School and Public Digital’s annual Digital Services Convening with more than 90 digital government participants from 30+ countries. It was lovely to see some familiar faces and to be inspired by people transforming citizens’ and public servants’ experiences of digital government around the world. Pure luxury!

Getting my 2 hours every 6 weeks

On Friday, I made a plea for help: to ask if anyone on my team was going to some user research in the next week. If so, please could I tag along? I firmly believe that everyone on a team should hear the direct voice of their users on a regular basis. In particular, there’s good evidence that teams are more user-centred when everyone gets at least 2 hours every 6 weeks of exposure to primary user research. To hold myself publicly accountable on this, I keep a note on my Twitter bio of the date I last observed primary research. My last occasion was 6 May, which means the clock is running dangerously low. Thanks to team members who came back to me quickly, I’m looking foward to observing research this week.

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