Weekly Notes #3

Andy Tabberer
3 min readJun 7, 2019


Fire in the hole, dear reader, we have made it to week three. A hat trick no less. Expect flights of fancy, exuberance and a mixed format.

Distributed wobbles aka mental health support -

Mental health and building resilience are widely discussed now and rightly so. This phrase came up today when I was talking to an Agency owner — and he’s one of the good ones. Essentially, many of us can manage our mental health because we have someone to talk with who also experiences peaks and troughs, highs and lows. And as we don’t wobble at the same time we can help each other hence the phrase ‘Distributed Wobbles’.

Are you part of a ‘Distributed Wobbles’ support network? How does that work for you?

Hot pink based tension diffusion -

Whenever inline comments or feedback start getting spicy in a document or email I always switch my font colour to Hot Pink. You’d be amazed at how good a bit of Hot Pink is at diffusing tense situations. Try it, it won’t let you down.

In fact, whenever things get hairy, always go kinder and softer so eventually, it makes it too hard to keep up a cold front or snarky tone.

What your go-to feedback font? What does that say about you?

PWAs are the future -

I’ve been learning a lot about PWAs (thanks Ben Brookes), which stands for Progressive Web Apps — and not Programmers With Attitidue (disappointingly). Think website that’s been turned into an application, a limited version of which is available offline. PWAs promote accessibility and better security, too. What’s not to love? This Lancome case study is worth a butchers if yer not convinced like. Here are the key stats:

  • 17% increase in conversions
  • 53% increase in mobile sessions on iOS
  • 8% increase in conversion rates on recovered carts via Push Notifications

Do you build PWAs? How’s that working for you?

Delivery Essentials -

I’m working out the minimum documentation we need on any project. I know some folk get upset about documentation, but it is needed. So, I’m writing something called Delivery Essentials, which sounds like a shampoo but will be a nifty guide to what is needed to meet everyone’s needs on a project, from team members through to stakeholders. Might even share it, like, open source it.

What are your Delivery Essentials? Would you be willing to share them?

What I’ve been reading -

More systems thinking shizzle with the powerhouse that is Donella H. Meadows. What intrigued me most this week were the characteristics of a highly functioning system — namely, resilience, self-organisation and hierarchy. The ‘H’ word gets a hard time these days in some circles and this probably explains the resistance to self-organisation (and the removal of hierarchies) in some orgs. Donella explains that the hierarchy’s purpose — in a system — is to help the originating subsystems — or teams — do their jobs better. Many hierarchies forget this and their supporting function highlighted in the image below.

More wisdom from Dana H. Easy to see why most people have a downer on hierarchies when they don’t do what they are meant to do within a system/subsystem relationship :( ps Don’t you think my photography is really coming along?

Dead Cobras aka the Dead Cobra effect -

Probably my highlight of the week was reading this blog — Campbell’s Law and why Outcome Measurement is a Dead Cobra. I loved it primarily for introducing me to the Cobra Effect, where an attempted solution to a problem makes the problem worse. On that note, I’m thinking of creating a new time tracking product called Dead Cobra.

What do you use to track time? Do you ever see perverse outcomes? Why might that be?

Internet friends -

Finally, I wanted to raise a glass to ‘Internet Friends’, those people on Slack and Twitter who indulge my random thoughts, flights of fancy, loose systems talk and bizarre music recommendations. I’m looking at you @thekieran and @ThatIanMay. You have kept me sane.

I hope someone somewhere finds this useful. Ps, I’m off to #CampDigital on Wednesday. Say hello if you’re there but approach downwind and no eye contact, please.



Andy Tabberer

I'm curious about standards, systems and people. Proud to be the Standards and Practices at Coop Digital ❤️