Packaging your OSS products for rapid rollout

Yesterday’s blog spoke of building an ultra-cut-down version of OSS products to get them in and working quickly.

That blog leads into an interesting concept being used in the Agile world, Weighted Shortest Job First (WSJF) [Hat tip to Scott for bringing this to my attention]. “WSJF is a scheduling algorithm (or if you prefer, prioritisation method) that maximises the amount of whatever it is you choose to “weight” by in a given time period through a constrained resource.”

Having worked on many multi-year long OSS builds, one of my delivery mantras is to seek rapid momentum because confidence / morale on customer and implementer sides can diminish if there isn’t the perception of progress. Agile taps into this concept by breaking a project into “features” that can be scheduled into quick-fire releases.

WSJF provides a method for prioritising, not just for getting lots of little features out the door, but also prioritising for what’s most important. The Black Swan Farming article introduces the concept of CD3 – Cost of Delay Divided by Duration. This is a great concept for establishing and maintaining momentum on large OSS projects!

Bringing this back to yesterday’s blog, the idea is to package up an ultra-cut-down entry offer/product so that the duration to get a working OSS installed is minimised. Then the new customer can start using an iteration of the final product within hours/days, not months/years of project commencement.

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