1. Halfway through jury service and it’s actually kinda fine. Interesting, even. It’s nice having a lot of waiting-around time to think and read. But it’s weird being half in-half out of work and as a result I don’t have a lot to say this week.
  2. Devouring this set of articles from Marty Cagan on product strategy though which is perfect for bigger-picture reflection. “How do we make the product vision a reality, while meeting the needs of the company as we go?”, indeed.

Look at this lovely piece by Niamh Wimperis and read its story.

  1. A difficult process to get to an ultimately good result this week. Sometimes it’s necessary to do the thing badly first time I guess, and then get that balance right between reflecting on how it happened and moving on to better.
  2. Learning a language (I’m taking Spanish evening classes after a week’s intensive lessons in Mexico last December) remains maddening and captivating all at once. You feel like you’re coming on: grammar and syntax that once seemed mystical is clicking! words and sentences are coming together more in natural fashion than basic memory recall! throw in some gerunds and simple…

  1. Swings and roundabouts. Feeling like you’re slowly cracking stuff, making useful progress, having impactful conversations, then a load of last-minute Friday anxiety. I had hoped weeknoting would be a way to put this stuff to bed; let’s see if it works.
  2. I’m also feeling extremely anxious about having to do jury service for the second time the week after next. My prior experience was incredibly stressful and I don’t like the idea of trying to be half-in half-out of work. Maybe I can just crack through some good books. Hopefully any trials I get put on are okay.
  3. 4 out…

  1. This was a Better Week. Exciting, tangible progress on our current product development mission. Finally able to demonstrate and communicate the value to the wider team. A good, meaty, positive retro at the end. I covered for some project management calls and it was super useful hearing our customers and users first hand for a change. Plus we spent some time together as the product team on how we want to get better at connecting the dots and creating a bigger-picture sense of progress. I’m typical Friday-tired, but in a good way.
  2. I’ve been experimenting with removing small bits of…

  1. It’s the fourth week of the year already? Exactly how long does January plan to last?
  2. It’s frustrating when it creeps up on me just how out of sync with a normal workday my natural rhythm is, especially in winter. When I was freelance I’d be up and working sometime before noon, plough through til a late lunch in the mid afternoon, then back at it again well into the evening. Back in a permanent office-hours role — albeit one with a genuine and appreciated commitment to supporting flexible working — it’s tricky to reconcile this natural pattern with what…

  1. This week we ran a bootcamp for the sales team to get them up to speed with our product, its competitors and the value it brings. It’s surprising (or maybe not) how easy it is to prepare presentations and do speaking when you know the content inside out and believe it already.
  2. I find myself returning to this article from Marty Cagan on Product vs Feature teams–and its follow-up–a lot lately.
  3. I moved my current account to Monzo after a fully delightful experience moving our joint account over. I’m old enough that it feels a little weird having my whole life of money solely in my phone. But the fact that I was encouraged to do so by the plain delight of the process made me feel good about the importance of experience design in product development.

Just Good thing of the week:

  1. This week has been tough, to be quite honest. All the typical January preparations & plans plus rollover problems from last year are a lot to take on board. I think I lost my mental bandwidth and resilience over the short break and feel like I need to build it back up.
  2. Talking to people about it helps. People can’t see your problems unless you tell them. Need to remember this.
  3. I achieved one good thing, which was publishing another article to our work Medium account: Forming and running our cross-functional working culture.

Just Good thing of the week: Extremely beautiful 18th Century bookplate depicting infinity, via ilovetypography (one of many blogs to which I still subscribe via RSS). Tonight there was a glorious wolf moon, and I just found out you can amble over to Hampstead Observatory and use their telescope any clear evening. Isn’t that nice.

This article sets out to explain how we went about forming cross-functional work teams at Unmade, and how we run and maintain this way of working now. It incorporates a lot of the things we have learnt from working this way over the last 18 months including insights from retrospectives along the way that have led us to iterate on our approach.

What is cross-functional working?

New webpage

ICYMI: 2019 yearnote and why I’m starting to weeknote

  1. Well, there were only two days back in the office this week and only about a quarter of the team is here, making this a pretty minimal first weeknote. I was glad for the pretty gentle ease back into working rhythm and brain-gear-re-engagement, as next week looks like a full-on 2020 kick-off.
  2. I did some productive stuff in the Betwixtmas days though: wrote two articles for our work Medium account (to be cross-posted here soon), drafted a talk I’m giving in February, and threw up a new landing page on the…

I’m going to start #weeknoting here in the new year: that is, jotting down a regular end-of-week reflection on how work (and maybe other things) have gone. I’ve enjoyed reading others’ throughout this year, such as Anna’s, Steve’s and Nat’s, and hope to get a few things out of doing it myself:

  1. Remembering stuff I’ve done well, stuff that’s felt hard, and stuff I’ve learned. This should be useful for personal and career development, thinking of things that it might be useful to share with other people, and remembering that things always pass.
  2. Ability to put my thoughts to sleep…

Katie Marcus

Product Manager @ Unmade

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store