People:removing roadblocks to productivity/project wrap

From MozillaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Removing Roadblocks to Productivity - Project Wrap

What we accomplished

While we'd like to take full credit for the removal of all roadblocks this year, many of them were addressed organically (without our direct intervention) over the course of the year. That said, here is a short list of what our small team was able to accomplish as a result of this project:

Developer Productivity

  1. Highlighted developer pain points like Bugzilla and build performance and code review overload.
  2. The Release Engineering and Developer Services teams were given more support and staff to prioritize:
    • Improving Bugzilla performance
    • Moving more build servers to the cloud (AWS).
    • Deploying modern workflow tools like Review Board and Treeherder.

Broken / Too Many Communication Channels

  1. Solicited involvement in the Monday project meeting (AirMo)
  2. Formed a working group
    • Sean Rich
    • Jason Crowe
    • Kadir Topal
    • Byron Jones
    • Corey Shields
    • Jennie Halperin
    • Matthew Noorenberghe
    • Cassandra Lee
  3. Held 4 project meetings
  4. Created a Product Comparison sheet
  5. Invited Jo as Queeniebee to share her wikimo survey experience best practices with the team.
  6. Refined the DRAFT survey
  7. Pulled user stats to understand how users are using Intranet and Mana.
  8. Conducted a listing exercise of key differences between Intranet and Mana so that we can address cultural preferences, develop education/training campaign, etc. See: Product Comparison

Lack of Standardization

  1. Introduction of Trello to align and track priorities. The Platform team has adopted this and project managers on the Desktop/Android side as well. It's a light-weight way to put a common face on organizing priorities.
  2. The 2015 planning process was a excellent exercise for the organization to help standardize on the way we plan, measure and track our goals. This was not spearheaded by the RRTP initiative but it will help address some of the issues that came out in the feedback. It also lays the ground work for us to solve some of the problems around the alignment between teams.

Lessons learned

  • "How" we ask questions is critical to the process - open text responses, while possibly best for the responder, make analysis and subsequent action much more difficult. The check box and drop down are our friends.
  • It's hard to maintain momentum on a project like this, where wins take time. If fixing roadblocks were easy (i.e. "low hanging fruit"), they would have been fixed by now. Figure out ways to keep yourself motivated -- add people to the team, eat cupcakes, celebrate even trivial progress.
  • Invite participation (oh, hey, we know how to do that). These things are hard to fix (see above) and impossible alone. Bring your friends.
  • Things change around here as fast as you can say that. Things that seemed critical to solve in January could easily become "no big deal" by March (or were replaced by something else). Constantly evaluate your priorities and don't be afraid to shift (even if you've invested in something).
  • It's okay to stop. This project was imperfect. We didn't solve all of our roadblocks (and many more showed up while we were working on these). This project had it's moment and now it's time for another. That's not a failure, it's evolution.
  • Mozillians like to solve their own problems. Some will solve problems that are identified as part of efforts like this. Let them. The goal isn't to do everything. The goal is to improve the life of Mozillians.

What's happening in 2015 to carry the work through

Developer Productivity

  1. Autoland continues to move towards deployment
  2. Continued enhancements of ReviewBoard and Bugzilla
  3. Continued investment into SCM and build improvements
  4. A new effort to improve test failures (oranges)

Lack of Standardization

  1. Regular program reviews to help articulate progress on goals and strategic plan. Some products are doing this already. I plan to have one for the Platform team.
  2. Introduction of tools like Trello for more and more projects to provide an infrastructure for planning and tracking.