A bitty week this week, one of those that feels like it’s been busy but nothing really done.


Monday started well, Priyanca and I had a great chat with some product folks from Scott Colfer’s Product whatsapp community about discoveries. This is in preparation for our talk at SDinGov in September, we wanted to practise what we preach and validate some of our own experiences. The talk was productive and has led to some interesting further conversations about how we might improve the visibility of discovery practices, warts and all, looking forward to seeing how that develops.

Caught up with Sam in the afternoon and we talked about contracting. It’s an overwhelming world to step into and I remember how it felt when I started. It’s prompted me to write a ‘so you’re thinking about contracting’ blogpost, I’ve shared a few drafts with folks and I’m planning to publish next week, watch this space.


Tuesday morning Phoebe had a hospital appointment she’s been on a waiting list for ages to hear about. The meeting was cancelled. I had received two texts with two appointment dates but had assumed they were two appointments rather than one being moved. It was frustrating, if a new gov wants to improve the country’s productivity, fixing content around appointments feels like a quick win imho.

Tuesday afternoon was Freya’s sports day, it was fun to watch, but really cold, where has summer gone!


Was mostly writing the contracting post before picking Phoebe up for her reduced timetable, her drum lesson was cancelled.


Rearranged appointment I mentioned earlier actually happened. Phoebe thought it went well and was bright and chatty on the way back to school, hopefully a good start. Regular meetup of Scott’s product group focused on applying for senior roles in the civil service, bought back flashbacks of applying for future leaders in the late 2000’s (I was unsuccessful) . I was reminded of Nour’s excellent and insightful posts on her experience of FLS.


Priyanca and I released our state of discovery survey, which we’re using to help guide our SDinGov presentation. Please help us by filling it in, there’s a discount code for SDinGov at the end, it only takes 5 mins.

Went for a pre exit poll bike ride with some friends, ended early in the bar watching it.


Got up around 5am to watch the election results. Was good to watch but wiped me out for a lot of the day. As an ex-civil servant I try to be impartial but I’m not going to lie watching Liz Truss’s result brought grim satisfaction.

Caught up with Ben, he was buzzing being back on a project and loving it, really happy for him.

Got the shopping in for Freya’s birthday party this weekend.

In other news…

The big news is Freya’s birthday, the big 10, no more single digit children in chez Ames, its a weird feeling, I should probably write about it. We had a pool party and a sleepover, watched the England game and then the Barbie movie for about the 100th time, joyous. Kids were up at 6am and on Sunday and straight back in the pool, sorry neighbours!


Google: AI Potentially Breaking Reality Is a Feature Not a Bug

Richard Pope is writing a book about platforms, can’t wait to read it!

Earn trust by proving what you say

A great post from Vicky about the lost art of Information Architecture, a real challenge of agile ways of working is getting the balance between short useful deliveries and a more long term strategic direction right

Neil Vass shared this guide to napping from the BBC, needed this on Friday, now thats public service!

James Timpson’s appointment to the new UK cabinet reminded me to take another look at upside down management, it’s still great, wish this was more prevalent

A very long rant about shareholder supremacy from Ed Zitron


Euro’s and Tour de France interspersed with election coverage. Phoebe is mortified!