[sugar] Update.1. When What How and Why

Martin Dengler martin
Tue Feb 5 03:15:16 EST 2008

On Mon, Feb 04, 2008 at 01:41:43PM -0500, 'Caperton, Idit' wrote:
> I read Jim's list of To-Do's, see below, and then the casual comment in the
> open from Kim to Jim: "I think this is way too much stuff for Update.1." 

This is good; as I think you imply (but am not sure). I don't think we
need to have a Jim vs. Kim watch and deconstruct anything.  It should
be possible to have exactly this kind of discussion on the list
without lots of people worrying that something's wrong.

> But, it doesn't mean that it cannot be well-managed with reasonable
> executable plans and dates attached to the plans (that could be revised by
> the community, if needed). 

I think the implication is because people are talking and discussing
things in the open, it's not well-managed with reasonable etc.  I
don't think I can opine on that since I'm not privy to all the in-situ
discussions in Cambridge, but I've seen nothing in the past few months
to make me have that concern.

> But I am not aware -- what does OLPC do to re-evaluate process and progress
> on an ongoing basis? and how does the olpc org learns how to optimize and do
> things better, and on schedule? How does the OLPC software development
> system learns to be deliverables-oriented, and how do we learn to lead these
> global processes more productively?

I'd rather OLPC didn't take the time to explain this explicitly.  I
can infer (over time) the observations you mention, and if people
don't have the abilities you mention, I don't think anyone's going to
be able to teach it.  I'd much rather those in charge spend time
doing what they can how they know best.

> FACT: From what we see so far, Update.1. has been delayed and delayed and
> delayed again. 

It's important we don't confuse delays with lack of progress.  I think
based on the software development going on progress is occurring.

> - Where is the Update.1 master plan? And what comes after and when?
> - Who keeps track and makes sure we are constantly re-evaluating it and
> documenting changes in decisions? 
> - Is it well-strategized and well-monitored against the strategy? 
> - How does s--t gets done and optimized in this messy open system? 
> - Even decentralized system needs organizational management - What did OLPC
> software team learned so far? 
> - Where are the pages with reflections on lessons learned? 
> - How are decisions about what's in or out being made? 
> - Where are the software-release-phases with dates for 2008? 
> - Is there a clear schedule and list of deliverables with dates for 2008?

Isn't all of this incredibly subjective (2, 3, 5, 6), on the wiki (1,
8, 9) or obvious to those who know what they're doing and read this
list (4, 7)?  I don't think we need to discuss the subjective stuff
(my point two sections above), discuss improving the wiki (interested
parties should just do it), or get in the way of the people actually
doing work.

On scheduling (since that seems to be the germ of your concern), I
don't think the project needs a fine-grained or top-down dictated
schedule. Any that exists will be blown away by deployment schedules,
which are dependent on policy/political issues outside the control of
the developers.

> But please remember that I am sending it in order to shake the existing
> system, as a serious call for change, to be provocative, and get you all to
> think about it positively.

I don't think this list is the best place to start bringing about the
type of change you want to bring about.  Many have opinions, few have
the time and exposure to the decision-makers to make a difference.
Talk to Kim & Jim offline if you want.  But I hope this thread won't
be a place for the peanut gallery to tell the people doing the real
work how to do it.

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