- All projects start out as requests.
- The team needs to agree on details, priorities, and capacity before accepting the request and scheduling it for implementation.
- Project estimates and timeframes should not be given until we have copy.
- The copy does not have to be final, but it does have to be releasable as-is. We can iterate afterward as needed.
- Project requests will not be considered without:
- A filled out project request form.
- One form per page requested.
- Sufficient advance notice.
- If a design is needed, increase the amount of advanced notice.
- If possible, please submit your requests one quarter in advance to facilitate planning.
There is always more to do and we can't get it all done. We should be selective. A light backlog is a happy backlog.
Try to keep no more than 2 or 3 active tasks in our queue at a time per person. If we try to plan too far in advance, then we're likely to burn out.
Requests should be actionable. If a project request doesn't have sufficient details or advance OKRs, it's okay to deny the request until those problems are alleviated.
Estimate capacity based on people-hours per quarter, and work your way back from there. Always leave buffer space, and remember to account for time off. 1 point is a small task, 2 points medium, 4 points lg, 8 points xl, 16 xxl, etc
- Plan for half your week to be administrative. There are always meetings, planning sessions, and unexpected events.
- The smallest unit of work is half a day. Everything has overhead. Focus switching, spin-up time, wind-down time, communication, documentation, verification, and more.
- We need to leave 20% buffer room, typically at the end of the week. This is for tasks outside of our planned workload. Examples include emergency projects or small quality of life projects.
- This means we have 4 points of work per week per person.
- There are roughly 4 weeks in a month, and 3 months per quarter.
- We need to account for holidays and other time off.
- 4 points per week, 4 weeks per month, 3 months per quarter
- 4 * 4 * 3 = 48 points per quarter, MINUS any time off.
- Assuming 12 days PTO plus 12 calendar holidays per year, that means we lose 6 days per quarter.
- 48 - 12 =
36 points of capacity per person per quarter
- Assuming each project takes on average 2 days to complete, this means on average...
9 planned projects max per person per quarter, or roughly 3 per month.
- Some projects are longer, some are shorter. Some quarters have more room, some have less.
- At least 1 of those projects is internally sourced by the implementing team. This often includes cleaning up debt or integrating new technologies.
- Why can't you work on a small request right away?
- We get multiple small requests every cycle. If we do unplanned work, then we cannot deliver the work we planned.
- There is overhead in context switching, creating work logs, merge/pull requests, branches, automation, documentation, reviewing (code, copy, UI, UX, AX, CX, DIB, SEM, QA, social), and verifying releases.
- If you have an emergency then please let us know, but be mindful that such requests negatively impact other work.
|New||New requests go here. There is no promise of delivery.|
|Refine||We will be unable to work on this until the request has been clarified.|
|To Do||This issue is ready to be worked on and has been assigned a priority relative to other tasks in the backlog.|
|Doing||This is actively being worked on.|
|Blocked||Despite having assigned resources, something is preventing us from working on this.|
|In Review||Before we release anything, it needs to be reviewed by someone other than the contributor. No exceptions. Ideally it would be reviewed by a designated stakeholder and QA.|
== Please consider how your requests impact others. ==
- Rushed projects lead to suboptimal results.
- If content is needed, then the project cannot be scheduled without finalized content.
- Increasing scope is likely to delay releases.
Below are our urgency levels from the perspective of our engineering team.
- The website is down, PII is being exposed, or some equally serious emergency needs to be taken care of.
- We plan to work on this ASAP. As a result, the release of other projects WILL be delayed.
- An unforeseen time-sensitive request needs to be done ASAP AND will require no more than 50 minutes of implementation time.
- This project cannot wait for our normal planning cycle.
- This will negatively impact other projects including our OKRs, workload, and expected progress.
- A project was requested through our normal planning process with sufficient lead time.
- There is insufficient business need for action on this issue, but there is sufficient desire to keep this issue in the backlog.