James Adam by James Adam

Week 215

It’s the end of February, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve had about enough Winter for one year.

C’est fin.

On the Inside Inside Government blog, Neil Williams has started talking about the work we’ve been doing to add translation and localisation to Inside Government. We’ve spoken a bit about it over the past few weeks, but it’s really nice to see the work summarised in such a comprehensive way. It’s not until we look back that we realise how much we’ve actually done.

I’m hoping that it’s been a positive experience for GDS; with this mini-project our working relationship changed slightly, and we adopted a slightly more independent set of practices than on previous phases. For us I think it’s been hugely beneficial to have the anchor of our own environment. I’m pretty confident that they are happy too.

In the spirit of looking back, Neil also wrote another piece on the main GDS blog highlighting that it’s been a year since the beta. GFR were there for the very start of this project, and it’s quite amazing to see how far we got, and how far it’s come since even then. I’m very proud that we’ve been able to be a part of this work.

Meanwhile, at GFR HQ…

Back on the home front, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about the dynamics of self-organisation, and the interplay between autonomy and responsibility. With four hands on the rudder of our ship it can be a challenge to keep a steady tack, let alone plot the best course, and my mind is particularly pre-occupied at the moment with questions about how to build more momentum for our non-client projects. (Yes, yes, OK, I know; this is always on my mind.)

I’ve also been thinking more about what the future is – if there is any – for the Printer project with GFR. There’s a relatively steady trickle of interest in some kind of “kit”, but pricing it competitively is a challenge in and of itself, which has had me spending a bit of time over the last few weeks investigating importing the printer units from China. If you’ve got any experience with this, I’d love to hear from you!

I’m still not sure selling kits is the best next-step for the project, or for GFR, and I have a bunch of other ideas (or, really, questions) about other things we could try. I’m keen to make a bit more progress with this, even if that progress is just a clearer understanding about when to stop.

Tom proposed an interesting idea this week, involving doing a short bit of speculative development for someone we spoke to earlier in the year. I can’t say much more about it at the moment, but it’s something that we’ve never tried before, and I’m hoping that Tom keeps exploring the idea, even if we don’t pursue it in this specific instance.

James M has assembled the components to make a gadget which will remind him when he’s forgotten that he started boiling a kettle to make tea. Unfortunately, it’s not quite the same problem as I have, but I’m sure James will enjoy getting busy with the soldering iron again.

Today we hit the end of client work, for a few weeks at least, so I’m hoping that we’ll make a good deal of progress with all of this.

– James

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