Momentum – Has its hands in just about everything and is incredibly important. Especially for morale. Most typical projects are really exciting at the beginning and then people tend to lose interest and fade out. Long projects eat at you and you’re not even looking to do good stuff you just want to finish things and they don’t turn out well. Create a situation where projects are short and there’s excitement and it’s a short 2 week project and it leaves people in excited mode. Break big projects into as many small projects. 2 week rule.”
Jason Fried
on here.

Having worked on multi-year OSS projects that have been intense but “never-ending,” this technique sounds like it has some merits. It is important to be seen to be delivering something quickly for stakeholders, project teams, implementation teams, CFOs, etc.

The perfect example might be with the installation of an alarm / fault management tool. Where viable, I often start a roll-out with this because it tends to be able to deliver a level of functionality almost straight off the shelf, with raw alarms being shown as soon as event collection is established. The user-interface can then be demonstrated and data set visualisation communicated with users, allowing immediate feedback.

The next stages could include:

  1. Additional event collection (ie additional collectors configured)
  2. Additional filters / sorting of events
  3. Event prioritisation mapping / presentation
  4. Event correlation
  5. Fault suppression
  6. Fault escalation
  7. Alarm augmentation
  8. Alarm thresholding
  9. Root-cause analysis (intra, then inter-domain)
  10. Other configurations such as latching, auto-acknowledgement, visualisation parameters, etc
  11. Heart-beat function (ie devices are unreachable for a user-defined period)
  12. Knowledge base (ie developing a database of activities to respond to certain events)
  13. Interfacing with other systems (eg trouble-ticket, work-force management, inventory, etc)
  14. Setup of roles/groups
  15. Setup of skills-based routing
  16. Setup of reporting
  17. Setup of notifications (eg email, SMS, etc)
  18. Naming convention refinements

Each provides a tangible outcome that demonstrates and maintains momentum. Each of the other domains within your OSS can be planned with similar activity breakdown.

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