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Weeknote 1 - 4 September 2020

2 min read

On user needs, Troika Consulting, scaled agile and being a BAME ally.

I’m back to my weekly notes after the summer break. I’ve been catching up on things so it has been a mentally chaotic four days. My collection of random reflections are below but, if you are short on time, please check out how we are developing our new Council website based upon user needs.

I joined a virtual lunch and learn session for delivery managers and product managers across Government. This session was an experiment in using Troika Consulting[1] which is one of the techniques within Liberating Structures[2] - I had done the face-to-face version of this before and the virtual version worked really well. Instead of physically turning our backs we switched off our cameras[3] to get the same effect. As well as practicing the technique I got some really helpful advice from the others in my Troika.

I talked about the various forms of “scaled agile” at our Product Managers meeting. I have some qualifications in this area but in most cases I think it is a bit of a distraction[4]. Most organisations have plenty more that they can get out of the basic techniques and principles, such as listening to their teams and trying out the improvements they suggest.

A word about a good cause

I’ll be joining the next meeting of the Council BAME[5] Forum this month. I’ve helped similar groups when I was working in London but I am not sure how relevant that will be since the population of Cornwall is very different[6]. I’ll try to put aside my assumptions and just listen to what the forum would like from allies[7].


  1. Troika Consulting from… ↩︎

  2. Liberating Structures. ↩︎

  3. I can’t always use my laptop camera so I’ve got an app which lets me use the camera on my phone as a webcam. Some of these apps are free to use and even the paid versions are much cheaper than a stand-alone webcam. Your phone cameras are probably much better quality anyway. ↩︎

  4. Dan North has written and talked about some helpful ideas. ↩︎

  5. This post explains the term and some of the problems with it. ↩︎

  6. Demography of London versus Cornwall. ↩︎

  7. I have found @betterallies is a helpful guide on being a good ally. ↩︎

Originally published on by Richard Barton