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[OH-Dev] Ideas for adjusting how we plan releases

Asheesh Laroia asheesh at
Tue Aug 27 16:12:21 UTC 2013

Hey all,

I'm reading a book called _Oops_ (by Aubrey C. Daniels) which is about how 
to encourage people to do great things toward the same goals.

I had a few thoughts that I couldn't resist sharing right now, because I 
hadn't really thought about them properly until reading this chapter.

Here is what I am thinking.

Right now, we set release goals monthly. This is a good thing, I think.

Right now, we only formally evaluate if the we are getting close to the 
goal at the end of the month. I think we should change this. I think we 
should do two things:

(1) Publicize the progress bar here 
<> at the release goal 
setting meeting

(2) Do something to communicate about that progress bar during the month, 
to all the lovely amazing people who are interested in contributing to the 
project (e.g. who have bugs assigned, or who are generally interested in 
doing so)

Right now, I'm concerned we set goals that we don't reliably meet. Don't 
get me wrong; it'd be mega cool if we got through all the things we list 
here at ! But if we don't do all that, I 
don't want everyone to be sad and distraught that we didn't meet our 
goals. So maybe we can do something structural to limit my general 
over-eagerness at dreaming big. (Dreaming big, I think, is great, but 
making milestones big means that if we don't meet them, it can be 
demotivating.) Given that, I propose that we find out everyone who wants 
to do something this month, and typically assign them one (not more) issue 
for the milestone planning. If people are excited about doing more than 
that, by all means assign yourself other tasks; they just don't get the 
milestone tag. I further suggest that anything done within the month, if 
it gets fully completed during that month, we assign it the milestone tag 
after the fact.

(A related thought: once we each do our thing for that month, maybe our 
biggest goal as a community should be to help everyone succeed at the task 
they personally are excited doing about for that month.)

Right now, we track some issues beyond website code bugs in the bug 
tracker. For example, we have some bugs this month that are about the wiki 
(even if they involve some code) and some that are about the wiki in a way 
that aren't about code. I think that is great; let's keep that up, and 
maybe even let's think about how to broaden that.

Right now, while I've been away, I've caused some delay in reviewing 
people's awesome pull requests. I'd love help from other people interested 
in being reviewers. Pam Selle has been great at this in the past (hi 
there!); maybe we can pull you out of the woodwork, if it sounds fun and 
if you have time. (-:

Separate from releases, it might be nice to have a periodic interview 
featuring an OpenHatch contributor. This is not to say that the person is 
especially smart or something, just that we'd love if we'd all know each 
other! We could call it, "Get to know an OpenHatch contributor" and put it 
on the blog (and, therefore, Facebook and everywhere else the blog flows 
out to). I don't know if someone's interested in doing that, but it could 
be reasonable short, and probably a lot of fun to do if you like talking 
to people. If you're interested, but you just need me to tell you who to 
interview, then I can do that. Format is up to you; my default would be a 
photo of the interviewee and a text conversation between the two people 
that turns into a blog post, but if someone's excited about making it a 
video or something, that could be amazing.

Separate from releases, I am super amazingly excited to be part of a team 
with every single one of you. I would love to make sure you all know that! 
And if any of you feels the same way, don't hesitate to tell people -- 
make them feel great! Here is what the book recommends for making people 
feel great about the great things they do:

* Be personal -- thank people in a way that means something to them.

* Be timely -- let people know you're happy with what they did in a 
relatively quick fashion after someone does something great.

* Be relevant (aka "contingent") -- thank them for something they 
specifically did.

* Be frequent -- if we all tell each other how great we are, as often as 
possible, then maybe we'll actually believe it.

-- Asheesh.

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