Weeknotes SE02E15

Sunday walks with the family at ‘Rebounds’. This photo is looking out to Betsy Island, Tasmania

What did you do?



Organisational context


Recruitment and admin

I developed a self-serve model for automating the logistics of remote research — writing out a guide and a process, giving the researchers the tools they needed to make their lives easier. Looking forward to testing it out beyond the usability testing I did internally and seeing if it helps researchers in real life.

A couple of researchers added a number of people to our managed pool of research participants, and so it really shows that when you are a research operations team of one or two people, to some extent, ResearchOps is also a team sport! We scored some wins with our management of the research participant experience, so this little aspect of the work seems to be progressing a little each week, which makes me happy. Bill carried a lot of the that work this week, and I gotta say, that move from a team of one, to a team of two, is a delightful one indeed! Many thanks again, Bill :)

Data and knowledge management

I also put in an official request to make a policy decision to allow me to create governable spaces for our research data. Really finding us in need of this function lately, and it will be good to be able to progress this further.

I had my weekly meet up with the service designers from the end-to-end team, and they raised the urgency of those spaces for research data, the urgency of which I am definitely feeling. We went over their draft process flow for the research, which also gave me a really good idea of their requirements for our MVP taxonomy. I’m workshopping this this week with Bill (in our little ResearchOps team). Once we have a response MVP, we’ll head back out to both this team, and others, to see what they think.

We did have a couple of lovely wins — firstly, our friends at Services Australia sent over some research for us to use internally. It is highly relevant to some work we are doing in the Profile team, and so it will be good to add that to the repository*, and then make it available. While the research is from 2019, it provides a great context to the work the team are doing, and should prove a useful base to add new knowledge to. They’ve asked us to feed our research back to them to help add to their knowledge base, so I’m really looking forward to developing this exchange. We also we were able to add some research to the repository that had approvals — from the research participant, from the researcher, and from the relevant senior executive. I was also able to tag the research with the approval levels, because I’ve taken a small step to making a defined taxonomy, and I was able to share it in a timely manner to someone who really needed it. The fact they felt none of the work done to get to that point was also a win, I think. The best service is the one you don’t notice.


The second was to work with the Profile team to take a programmatic approach to our legal and privacy approvals for the use of a particular platform we’d like to use in our research from the beta stage onwards. The team confirmed their potential use of the product, and we’ve turned that around to writing out our approach for the program and have sent that off for confirmation of the proposed approach. Once we have that in place, as long as we stick within the guide rails, I’m hoping we will be able to proceed sure that we are acting in a compliant way. User research contains a myriad of ethical and legal factors to consider, and having an approved approach across the program will help us move faster, safely.

Tools and infrastructure

I did a quick count today, and discovered we’ve provided 27 teams with access to the tools they needed to do their jobs in the past 6 months. That feels pretty good.

What are you thinking about?

Anything else?

This one by Chris Yiu on effective policy work was a great, succinct introduction to a complex field:

This one, which started from a tweet by Matthew James Waddington and became this very long, and interesting thread from Meng Weng Wong is well worth a read for anyone interested in Rules as Code:

*when I mention ‘the repository’ it is currently referencing a ‘store, or what I’m affectionately calling a ‘bucket’. While yes, we are going to build a user research library, they need to be built on something, and we have a present and growing demand for research. Adding to the ‘bucket’ gives us something to make the structure of the library with. I’ll certainly let y’all know when it steps from being a bucket, to being more of a repository, and again, when it becomes a library. Stephanie Marsh did a wonderful post recently where she set out the difference between a repository and a library (and then some), I’ll let her do the talking :)



researcher, counter of things, PhD student, public servant…into ResearchOps, HCD, information architecture, ontology, data. Intensely optimistic.

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Brigette Metzler

researcher, counter of things, PhD student, public servant…into ResearchOps, HCD, information architecture, ontology, data. Intensely optimistic.