In the run-up to January 2023 we migrated our first site – – to our new Design System.
Just under 3 years of research, design, build and, finally, the migration of content from the old site to the new site. This is a huge milestone in the development and success of our future websites for Scottish Enterprise.
I seem to have been running a lot of retrospectives lately. And yes, I just used an Oxford comma. Get over it.
In case you don’t know what that means, a retrospective (or a ‘retro’ for short) is a meeting-come-workshop where you look back on work you’ve done, as a team, and try to identify ways you could be better in future.
In agile methodologies, you can hold retros pretty regularly. With Scrum, you’d hold one at the end of every sprint – typically every 2 weeks – so you can get feedback quickly and adjust course immediately.
Think guiding a canoe through rapids; if you can’t change course quickly, you are going to hit a rock (a fairly common metaphor for retros uses a sailboat, as above) pretty soon, and pretty fatally.
It started with a leadership course 14 years ago. It ended with a leadership course 1 year ago.
Somewhere in between I have spent almost 14 years working with the most talented, passionate people, and now my last day at Scottish Enterprise (SE) approaches.
It’s been the best of times, seeing what small teams of committed people can bring to work and to their relationships. It’s also been the most frustrating of times too. I can’t help but marvel at how I spent 3 years trying to move us over to digital signatures, but to no avail. Then Covid hit and boom, it happened. When the risk is high, politics is low.
But my time in SE isn’t just the last two very challenging years. It’s much wider than that and I’ve been reflecting on some of the things that cut through everything I’ve done. There are many but I’m going with just three things.
Applying for a job seems simple enough, right? Set out your own expectations on a job and employer, find something that meets your expectation and apply! However, in the 6 months I have spent with the service design team at Scottish Enterprise (pretty new right!) I have learned that very few things are as simple as we say or think.
Following several queries and concerns relating to our Current vacancies page on Scottish-enterprise.com, the team kicked off a project to research, understand and act on the needs of our customers (potential applicants) and colleagues (those involved in recruitment).
What do we take from those we have worked for, and with? What do we take from each role we do into the next?
I’ve blogged before about my career journey. The best of times has been when I’ve worked for someone who has understood me as a whole person and believed in me. Here’s some thoughts about my journey over 35 years
Earlier on in the year, myself, and Derek Hawthorne from SDS connected on LinkedIn about a mutual interest in an article about making the web a greener place. Through further conversation we discovered that we are both working on Design Systems.
SDS are at the very early stage of creating a Design system while we are further on in our journey. Derek reached out to see if we could share what we are doing, so we set up a sharing session.
The title of this post is misleading. It implies that I’m going to provide you with tips on doing all these things well simultaneously. I’m not. It isn’t possible. What I am going to do is share how I have been balancing my job as a service designer with homeschooling my 5-year-old and chasing after my 2-year-old during this most recent lockdown.
Like many parents, I’ve been faced with an almost impossible task – do your job while also giving your children an education. If your working day is seven hours, and a school day is six hours, and a parenting day is around 12 hours, that’s 25 hours of work to fit within 24 hours. And that doesn’t include eating, sleeping, cooking, housework and this ‘self-care’ stuff that everyone is so big on these days.
According to our website, “Scottish Enterprise is Scotland’s national economic development agency. We’re committed to growing the Scottish economy for the benefit of all, helping create more quality jobs and a brighter future for every region.”
In Scottish Enterprise, we can take up to 3 days per year to volunteer. A few of us on the Digital team have use this to contribute to various projects. Others in the team and across Scottish Enterprise are also volunteering on their own time.
This post is about me and my preferences in my working life.
This is the first blog I have ever written, so it’s kind of scary.
It’s been three and a half years since I moved career into ‘digital’. It’s kind of odd looking back at a career that spans research and development, process development, business development and now service design. Some things about who I am, and what I enjoy, hold true whatever organisation or with whichever team I have worked with.
One year ago I made the move from the Scottish Businesses Marketing team and started my new life stepping into the unknown, as a Product Owner in the Export Service Design team. Now, I have one foot in the SDI Trade Service team and the other in Service Design.
Officially, the Product Owner (PO) is “responsible for maximising the value of the product and the work of the development team”. This is a new role for the organisation as Product Owner is essentially a role coined from the agile way to manage a project, usually software development, called Scrum.
I’d always though of myself as a bit of a geek with a passion for web and digital, so I was excited to be able to use my export marketing experience and customer insight to tackle this new challenge and really get up close and personal with our end users.
One year on, I thought I’d share and list the 10 lessons that have stuck with me.
Reading Time: 5minutesOn Friday 6 November the Digital First Service Design team packed up post-its, whiteboards, sharpie pens and blue tac from our Paisley offices and set up shop at the UKTI Explore Export event in Edinburgh.
We’ve been busy over the last few months, developing and launching the new Export Health Check.
In September we launched our first version of the tool on the SE website. Based on results of customer testing on Version 1, we made changes to the design and how the content is displayed on both desktop and mobile versions.
So, it was time to give Version 2 a thorough road test and get real-time feedback from exactly the customers that we built the tool for. The Explore Export event gave us the opportunity to get in front of more than 200 of those customers in one hit.
Getting to know and understand our customers is fundamental to my role as Export Product Owner. It’s my job to represent their voice in all the digital export services we develop.