[Foundation-l] Criteria for the closure of projects.

Lars Aronsson lars at aronsson.se
Sat Apr 12 12:53:36 UTC 2008

Gerard Meijssen wrote:

> When you establish objective criteria, the point of them is that 
> they are measurable. So when it is put to me if a project that 
> conforms to the criteria may be closed, then yes the project may 
> be closed. There are criteria why you would consider it. The 
> problem is that at this moment there is a faction that is 
> disgusted with projects that are only wasting time and effort 
> and there is another faction that is disgusted because people 
> have the audacity to propose the closure for projects.

Your idea to establish objective criteria relies on the 
assumptions that (a) our consideration of suitable criteria will 
remain the same over time, and (b) that we can establish objective 
criteria without looking at actual real-life examples of good or 
bad projects.  I think both of these assumptions fail.  I think 
objective criteria is the wrong path for this kind of decision.  
You're trying to draw a map of an unknown country, before you 
enter it.

In 2001 we had this new wiki toy and set it up in new languages.  
Klingon seemed to be as good an idea as German, Esperanto or 
French.  Today we think differently. Early on in every project, we 
thought lots of little stubs was fun and great and better than 
nothing.  Today we're cleaning up these stubs, merging them into 
larger units or completely removing them.

What remains constant over time, though, is that we should always 
ask ourselves: Do we have something here that we can be proud of, 
or would we do better without this part or that part?  That's 
something we can ask and answer at every given time, rather than 
trying to establish objective criteria beforehand.

Lions don't hunt gazelles that run slower than any fixed speed X. 
They hunt the slowest running of the gazelles that are available.

So, I don't want admit that you're like a lion or that slow 
projects should be hunted down.  But we should take an inventory 
and see how the poorly managed projects measure in comparison with 
others.  I think inventory and measurement are more viable methods 
than trying to establish objective criteria in the blind.

  Lars Aronsson (lars at aronsson.se)
  Aronsson Datateknik - http://aronsson.se

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