Driver statement for better milestones and roadmap etc

We have an initial draft of a driver statement. We already have various places this tension is captured. We know we need better milestones, clearer priorities, a clear roadmap… but let’s go ahead with good practices to make the next steps actually the right decisions.

So, please @team (and anyone else who wants to help):

  • review the draft
  • post edits / updates

When we feel good enough, we can do a consent poll on the driver-statement.
Then, we can open up new topic to do the proposal-generating process based on the final driver-statement. I’m optimistic we’ll end up with a better plan for what to actually do (or not) with these planning ideas.

Diver statement draft

Continuing the discussion from Agree on laser-focus drivers for periods of time?:

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I think we should remove the “only” from “only with long-term impact”. I’m also uncertain that there’s no agreed-upon focus – it seems that team members have a good intuition of what is priority and what is not, but it’s not formalized anywhere. As a result, it is harder to talk about it and improve the quality of the focus (i.e. both the quality of the answer to “what should we focus on?” and to “how do we work on it effectively?”).

So maybe instead of “There’s no clear agreed-upon focus”, we would write “While each of us has an intuition for what priorities to focus on, we haven’t verbalized this.”

I think volunteer efforts do produce visible, productive outcomes. We simply don’t have the foundations for optimizing this more.

I think less emphasis on honoring the priorities is needed, because people would do it naturally. More emphasis on verbalizing them in a way that is useful for further considerations might be good.

Here’s an updated version:

  • Situation: All work for snowdrift.coop is done in our spare time. Lots of different topics are fighting for our attention – some with immediate impact, some with long-term impact, some even mostly irrelevant. While each of us has an intuition for what priorities to focus on, we haven’t verbalized this.
  • Effect: As a result, it is hard to judge our effectiveness, and we cannot write good role descriptions for inviting new volunteers.
  • Need: We need a statement about which next steps are the most important currently.
  • Impact: This will make it easier for new volunteers to get up to speed, and it will help us use our limited time more effectively.
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My updates:

  • Situation: Snowdrift.coop work topics fight for our limited attention and time. Some have immediate impact, others long-term impact, some questionable. We have intuitions, a rough roadmap, and various GitLab issues that need grooming. But the structure isn’t really clear and approachable.
  • Effect: It is hard to judge our effectiveness, to express our progress to advisors and newcomers.
  • Need: We need a clearer starting point that leads well to all the concrete tasks, well-prioritized.
  • Impact: This will make it easier for new volunteers to get up to speed, to see and show our progress, and to use our limited time most effectively.
    [/quote]
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That would probably be a good thing to have. However, I think it’s a little bit too much or too concrete for this driver statement. (It hints at a possible response, as opposed to only describing the need.) How about this:

  • Situation: Snowdrift.coop work topics fight for our limited attention and time. Some have immediate impact, others long-term impact, some questionable. We have intuitions, a rough roadmap, and various GitLab issues that need grooming. But the structure isn’t really clear and approachable.
  • Effect: It is hard to discuss the implications of our priorities, and to express our progress to advisors and newcomers.
  • Need: We need something clear by which we can judge the effectiveness of actions and processes towards our goals.
  • Impact: This will make it easier for new volunteers to develop an intuition about priorities that is aligned with ours, to see and show our progress, and to improve how we use our limited time.
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phrasing tweak:

Need: We need a clear way to judge the effectiveness of actions and processes towards our goals.

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Since this is also a lot about advisors and potential volunteers, maybe change the “We need” to:

Need: There needs to be a clear way to judge the effectiveness of actions and processes towards our goals.

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We now have a clearer overall roadmap at https://wiki.snowdrift.coop/planning

That is not the same as having immediate week-to-week milestones or other issue-grooming. Those things will also be helpful, but the roadmap focus is the basic clarity we needed. While we may work on other things as they come up or are motivated, our core focus is on the roadmap goals.

We are not settled on whether we are going to pick out monthly vs quarterly or other time-frame for the phases (we started with the current phase as Q2 of 2020, but that was half-way through Q2 when we decided on the items).