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Each week after our show and tell, we’ve been writing up a summary of the week’s sprint as weeknotes. They’re a quick, informal, summary of the things we’ve completed, things we’ve learned and interesting links to other people’s work we’ve found along the way.

So what have we learned about weeknotes?

Use the weeks work as raw materials

To create them, we use the Miro board from that week’s show and tell as a starting point (each week, we’ve used Miro to give the remote show and tells a bit of structure).

We also look through our Microsoft Teams channel and Trello for links and comments people shared. Plus we take screenshots and make gifs of any prototypes we’ve made.

Once the weeknotes are ready, we publish them using GitHub pages with a couple of plugins and the default GitHub Pages style.

The comms team do a quick sense-check before we link to them and send out a copy by email to subscribers.

Reflecting the way we’re working

Much like our show and tells, we’ve kept the notes as clear and simple as possible. Sharing progress openly and honestly on a weekly basis in an informal way, much like we speak. Communicating in this way has been a great test of our commitment to working in the open at pace.

It’s a new way of working to some of us, so we decided to set some ‘house rules’ for our show and tell events, such as showing something to illustrate wherever possible, like using research, screen grabs or data. We decided setting these were important – to make sure everyone felt that they were able to contribute in a safe space. This has been important to the whole project.

Caveats and context are important 

Each weeknote includes a summary of the aims of the project. That hopefully gives people context if they’re encountering them for the first time, but are also a useful reminder when writing the notes. 

We’ve done lots of speculative prototyping on this project. It’s a great way to get shared understanding and communicate ideas. When we have those in weeknotes, we’ve added a watermark to the images saying ‘speculative prototype’ so they’re not taken out of context or make people think it represents a certain policy choice or direction.

We also include bullets to set our focus (and as a bit of a teaser) ahead of next week’s sprint.

An archive for the team, an introduction for stakeholders

  The weeknotes have been valuable as our focus has changed, and as new people joined the team.

Also, when we’ve met with new stakeholders, we share them as a way of explaining the work. They can then also share with their colleagues or networks who may also be interested in the project and subscribe to future weeknotes.

Here’s a list of all the weeknotes from the proof of concept so far.