People:removing roadblocks to productivity/project lack of standardization

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Lack of Standardization

Project manager: Sheila Mooney

How to get involved

Talk to Sheila. Initially a small working group will assemble regularly to discuss and collaborate on problems and solutions. After some experimentation we will find a way to expand the group of contributors.

What we heard

  • Unclear/conflicting priorities
    • Some teams simply do not know how to prioritize work effectively.
    • Incoming project requests coming from teams with competing agendas and priorities; my stuff is most important.
    • Priorities change on a whim without regard to the cost.
  • Too many commitments
    • Unrealistic expectations around a teams' capacity.
    • Everything must be done, no acknowledgement of tradeoffs or choices.
    • Teams don't feel empowered to say no or push back.
  • Planning and communications
    • Silo'd approach to projects or working around a team since we think it slows us down.
    • Looping teams in too late with expectations that they will get something done immediately if we determine it's a dependency.
    • No simple and unified way to see a teams' priority list. Everybody using a different tool.
    • Conversations/information happening in private not accessible to others.

Shorter term actions

  • A simple backlog/priority list
    • A small working group representing different areas of the organization will look a couple of different tools to communicate a team's work queue, backlog or goals.
    • Some analysis to determine what problems we can tackle by simply communicating this information.
    • Identify the conversations this can help initiate.
    • Look at how this works for very different groups/info; ie: IT, Desktop, Platform.
    • Visualization clustered around company goals.

Longer term changes / shifts

  • Better alignment on priorities and what people should be working on; eliminate pet agendas.
  • Acknowledgement that we have limited resources and have to make choices.
  • Clear ways for teams to show capacity and productive discussions on tradeoffs and choices.
  • Standard way to view and talk about team backlogs. Clear understanding across all groups what people are working on and why.

Responses in this category

  • Lack of a proper, unified project management system used by all Mozilla teams. This results in poor inter-team coordination, and a poor universal understanding of the relative importance of tasks/projects. 81 votes
  • Teams that don't like to use Bugzilla or IRC. 55 votes
  • Lack of consistent, repeatable process. 9 votes
  • Lack of a team responsible or defined process for driving/prioritizing cross-team collaboration required to launch initiatives. (sometimes called a PMO in traditional organizations). 8 votes
  • Lack of total systems view, leaving downstream "work stations" blindsided by new projects. 6 votes
  • Trying to test things and get involved with projects that have no specs or established process. Most things are `TBD` and then just get coded, then ultimately rewritten. 4 votes
  • The appearance of different priorities in different parts/regions of Mozilla. We are and should be One Mozilla. 4 votes