Future Feature Weekly Planning Meeting

Greg Smith gregsmitholpc at gmail.com
Mon Oct 20 14:59:34 EDT 2008


Hi Michael,

Thanks for the questions and input.

Some replies:

 > How, in your opinion, did the private setting improve the meeting?

GS - I find it helpful to talk to people face to face on occasion. We 
interrupt each other a little more than I would like but I found it to 
be very helpful to kick off in person. IMHO It doesn't have to be 
private but in person and on the phone was important.

 > Ed mentioned concerns about the value of standing weekly meetings which
 > are not absolutely necessary. Who are you expecting will attend this
 > "Future Features" meeting? For how long do you expect it will recur?
 > (Also, can you define "feature" for me?)

GS - Two main reasons for a weekly meeting. 1 - It sets a deadline for 
follow up and allows tracking of action items and progress. I find a 
weekly meeting useful to push me to get stuff done before the next 
meeting. 2 - It gives people a chance to bring things up. If you are 
concerned about something you can hold it until the next meeting and you 
know there is a spot on the agenda for you.
A feature is new functionality which allows the end user to do something 
which was not available to do in previous releases. That includes, "do 
something more easily", e.g. change the timezone in the GUI instead of 
at CLI.
I expect this meeting to go on until 9.1 is released and possibly 
beyond. Once we get past the "strategic planning" stage we should 
transition it to a more tactical release status meeting.
My position is that anyone working on the project is welcome to attend. 
Hopefully it doesn't get too big to make rapid progress and we'll see 
how it goes on IRC this week.

 > Then why not just call it a (software?) strategy meeting?
GS - That works for me but I believe Ed wanted to call it "future 
feature" planning. The only difference I see is that it can cover more 
than just technical SW design. It can cover what is important to build 
and why.

 > P.S. - I noticed that the desire of many of the meeting participants to
 > hash out policy differences during the meeting conflicted with your
 > understandable desire to stick to your schedule and agenda. Is there
 > some other venue where you would prefer to see people trying to resolve
 > these disagreements?
GS - I want to make sure we cover the agenda items every meeting. People 
are welcome to suggest additional agenda items and if we have extra time 
we can open it up at the end. Other venues and discussions are welcome. 
This list seems like a good venue but IRC and one on one is fine too. 
Convince whoever you want to convince and however you want to do it. 
Hopefully all the discussion helps us define and execute on a common 
purpose.

I hope that answers your questions. Let me know if I missed anything or 
you need a better explanation.

Thanks,

Greg S

Michael Stone wrote:
> Greg,
> 
> Here are some comments and questions on your meeting and minutes. I hope
> you find them helpful.
> 
>> We had an internal kick off meeting for next release planning on Wed. 
>> October 15.
> 
> How, in your opinion, did the private setting improve the meeting?
> 
>> Starting next week, this will become a public Future Features planning 
>> meeting every Wed at 2PM US ET on IRC channel #olpc-meeting freenode.net
> 
> Ed mentioned concerns about the value of standing weekly meetings which
> are not absolutely necessary. Who are you expecting will attend this
> "Future Features" meeting? For how long do you expect it will recur?
> (Also, can you define "feature" for me?)
> 
>> I call it Future Feature planning instead of 9.1.0 and plan to move 
>> the web page to that name as well. The idea is that we need to layout 
>> a long term strategy first, then decide which parts can be executed in 
>> the strict 9.1.0 time frame (March, 2009 delivery). 
> 
> Then why not just call it a (software?) strategy meeting?
> 
>> Very condensed minutes of yesterdays meeting are below. This is my 
>> rough take so any edits or additions welcome
>>
>> - Mitch and others talked about the importance of starting with the 
>> customer, finding out what they need and hearing from them directly. 
>> How to get comprehensive input and to then filter it in to a set of to 
>> items which the most benefit for the most people.
> 
> There was substantial push-back from people who said that we're already
> swimming in feedback which has, as yet, not been acted upon.
> 
>> - We talked about how to find a feature "champion" and also a 
>> programmer and the two may not be the same. No consensus on exactly 
>> what the champion will do.
> 
> I thought the key points from this discussion were as follows:
> 
> * People often propose changes; sometimes, they explain why the changes
>   are desirable.
> 
> * Release contracts and release managers are believed to be helpful
>   supporting devices for bringing changes to release quality in a timely
>   and transparent fashion. Champions are therefore the people who
>   perform or organize the work necessary to expire release contracts.
>   * We haven't yet figured out how to effectively develop and release
>   changes proposed by people who are not able to personally implement
>   their proposals. We want to improve our ability to handle such
>   proposals because we think that they are frequently central to our
>   mission.
> 
>> - Jim mentioned the need to plan in person meeting more in advance and 
>> more than just the next one. e.g. start thinking now about one in 
>> January (around Fudcon?).
> 
> More specifically, we spoke about the fact that people who want to be
> involved in setting OLPC's future direction should make plans _now_ to
> attend our >=9.2 planning conference (which will be in something like
> 7-8 months.)
> 
> The discussion around Fudcon was simply that it would be good to take
> time in January (e.g. before or after Fudcon) to take stock of our
> progress toward the goals we set in November and to make any necessary
> course corrections.
> 
>> On a personal note, thanks a lot for the super hard work everyone on 
>> this list has done recently. More notes of appreciation and 
>> recognition will be forthcoming. For me, 8.2 was a warm up to help me 
>> gauge our capacity (btw its awesome!). Take a breath now if you can, 
>> the really exciting work is just starting...
> 
> Well said.
> 
> Regards,
> 
> Michael
> 
> P.S. - I noticed that the desire of many of the meeting participants to
> hash out policy differences during the meeting conflicted with your
> understandable desire to stick to your schedule and agenda. Is there
> some other venue where you would prefer to see people trying to resolve
> these disagreements?
> 


More information about the Devel mailing list