Improvisation with your OSS

You can’t plan a script. The beauty of improvisation is you are experiencing it in the moment. If you try to plan what the next line is supposed to be, you’re just going to be disappointed when the other people on stage with you don’t do or say what you want them to do and you’ll stand there frozen…Be in this moment.”
Dick Costolo
, CEO of Twitter.

Managing an OctopOSS requires the improv skills of a stand-up comedian, as Dick Costolo has been.

Whilst you can certainly plan an OSS project, there are invariably many obstacles, big or small, to manoeuvre around along the way. Improvisation, whilst still keeping the key objectives in sight, has been a necessary component of every single OSS implementation I’ve worked on. That’s what makes them interesting.

But this doesn’t suit all people. They like to have everything mapped out in advance. Good luck with that!

But maybe the guys at 37signals have the right idea. Rather than planning a project that would take roughly a year, try breaking it into 52 x 1 week projects. That sounds less daunting. They also claim that the decisions tend to be smaller and less fearsome. Could that work on your OctopOSS?

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