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Overhead for quick projects

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Anomie (talkcontribs)

In talking this over with Will today, it was suggested that gerrit:512071/gerrit:512201/gerrit:512204 that I did recently might have been something suitable for a 10% time quick project.

As it was, I just went ahead and did it. If I had felt like I had to write a proposal and have it reviewed and so on, I might have put it off.

Reply to "Overhead for quick projects"
EvanProdromou (talkcontribs)

I think giving creative people some leeway to explore interesting new areas of technology is 💯 awesome. But we need to make sure that that time is being used to its best purpose: letting folks learn, experiment, and explore. If it becomes a dumping ground for tasks that don't otherwise fit into our schedules, it becomes less helpful for us as a group.


Here's a positive 10% time interaction where a developer is using their time to explore an issue that they find interesting:


Manager: So, it looks like we're not going to have time for task T123456 this sprint, and it's a low priority, so let's put it back in the backlog.

Developer: Actually, I think it's a really interesting problem. Do you mind if I work on it for my 10% time?

Manager: No problem, but we're not going to have it be a deliverable for this sprint.


Here's a superficially similar interaction that doesn't give the developer the agency to determine their own area of exploration:


Developer: I have too much to do this sprint period. I can't do all this.

Manager: Hmm... what if you do T123456 during your 10% time?

Developer: Well...

Manager: Didn't you say recently that this is a topic you're interested in?

Developer: Yeah... I guess.

Manager: Great. That means we can get everything done during this sprint period.


Here's a last one we should watch for:


Developer: I have too much to do this sprint period. I can't do all this.

Manager: So, I know this is asking a lot, but could you skip your 10% time this sprint, so we can make our deadline?

Developer: I skipped it during our last sprint, though.

Manager: You can catch up after this sprint. This is our big push. Think of what a cool big project you can do with all that banked 10% time!

Developer: OK, I guess.


I'm sure we can all imagine what happens to "banked" 10% time.


Anyway, I think we need to be very proactive in protecting this time.

WDoran (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Yeah, I 100% agree with this, I would wish to hope that the manager would take responsibility for not engaging in these kinds of behaviour but I'm equally sure there are a variety of eventualities that could easily lead this to happening without any deliberate attempt to over write the 10% time. Skip 1:1 should hopefully hold managers accountable but do you think we should deliberately call this out under a "Manager Responsibilities" section?


We could very simply list out the expectation of what the Manager should do and how we can all hold them accountable to that.

Reply to "Protecting 10% time"
WDoran (WMF) (talkcontribs)

For the suggestion of 10% projects potentially becoming future core work, I'm not sure if that is appropriate as I'm not positive that is the correct way for projects to emerge in terms of how priorities are set. I can drop it depending on what Corey/Kate think.

Reply to "Principles"
WDoran (WMF) (talkcontribs)

Based on speaking to Marko, I think it's important to highlight not only long term blue sky projects but also to underscore the equal validity of short targeted projects that give people space to work on small things they have always intended to do.

In a trial of 10% time we could limit it to just small projects but I didn't want to block people from including more involved, open ended projects.

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