Wrap up 2022 - roadshow and focus time

Welcome back, it has been a while. Since November, a lot, but also not much happened. Until mid of December, we were busy running the Digitalcheck Roadshow. We facilitated a total of 14 interactive information sessions. The goal of these were to introduce policy personal to the Digitalcheck, making sure the support channels are known of, answering first ministry specific questions, and acquiring some evaluation data on how well the five principles are understood. Adding up all sessions, we reached around 440 policy people and these ranked our sessions as a 3.9 on a 1-5 Likert scale (question was: “The information session gave me a good introduction to Digitalcheck [beta version] and how to use it”) - so it was a success and time well spent.

I used the time between Christmas and New Year’s Eve to do some much-needed restructuring and cleaning of our team’s running documentation and file structure. It felt good to restructure, delete, and archive documents, presentations, and notes. I documented all of it in a Slack-Thread, so everyone would be up-to-date coming back from vacation. With that task done, I spend some thinking time on our evaluation approach. Scribbling down some fundamentals and creating some starting points for possible prototypes.

Starting 2023 - Digitalcheck is active and visiontyping

With the start of the new year, the Digitalcheck is “mandatory” for all policy that is written on the federal level. We designed a soft-start to suit the ongoing legislative processes. But we are already receiving documented Digitalchecks and support requests. This is the beginning of an exciting time, with a growing number of real world data points we will be able to iteratively continue our development.

Also, our team is growing - welcoming and onboarding a senior product manager. Personally, I enjoy these moments. Every time a new person joins a team, a ton of smart questions are raised (the easy questions are part of our onboarding checklist). Often I hear the contrary notion: new joiners slow teams down. I see this a bit different, for me, it is a welcome check if we are still “sharp” when it comes to our fundamentals and the story we tell. So to say, the new joiner is a quality gate that uncovers areas that we need to document differently or better.

With all hands back on deck, we started into a product/service vision process. Blocking plenty of co-creation time to create a shared story, we are pursuing till the end of the legislative period. The ultimate goal is that this vision will inform our quarterly OKRs as well as the overall feature prioritization for our iterative development. I was in charge of prepping the vision part of the workshop. This was the agenda:

  • Gallery walk - covering all the artifacts we created so far. I prepared a clustering our work around the overall topic/environment, discovery, and delivery (individually, taking notes into a MVP template I created, 20 minutes)
  • Question time - based on everyones notes, a brief team discussion to answer questions (10 minutes)
  • Short break & two, two minute rounds of https://protobot.org/#de to get into a creative mindset (15 minutes)
  • Visiontyping - short intro into Visiontyping, then everyone had time to draft a vision (individually, provided an adapted product vision canvas, 25 minutes)
  • Show and tell everyone got 3 minutes to pitch and 2 minutes for questions (20 minutes)
  • Synthesis - trying to build a shared vision and also what is not part of the vision (20 minutes)

The set-up worked well the only problem was, that we did not have enough time for the synthesis. This was kind of expected, as our four Visiontypes were highly divers. Overall this underlies the takeaway - the importance of having a clear and compelling vision that everyone on the team can rally around, if that takes time - it is time well spent. Overall, the workshop was a productive and energizing experience that excites me for the things to come!