Further delegation of my work & scheduling requests


Between the growth of OpenCraft, the increased activity lately and all the new projects, I have been operating at a higher workload for the past few months. This is expected during phases of growth, and there have been phases like this in the past, but I need to be careful about not letting those phases stretch out for too long - so, just like in similar cases in the past, I’m looking at rescoping my workload, to make sure it keeps being manageable on the long term.

Some of the measures are already in progress for some time, to delegate some of my work – for example, with recruitment, or community liaison. Delegating by itself takes work to do properly, and that has been part of the workload increase lately, but it is already worth it.

In addition to this though, I also need to be able to better predict what gets in my sprints, ie limit sprint insertions. In particular, pings and emails coming in have been reliably in the 150-200 threads per day lately (and the actual emails a multiple of that), which often takes me half of each day to go through. A lot of this is often just a quick question, or even just something I need to read, but cumulated that adds up to a lot. Throw in one or two unscheduled reviews in the mix, and I end up finishing my day much later than expected.

Part of this is my own fault - I have been inserting myself into too many discussions and projects, at a level of detail that is too high for our current scale. And ending up with too much work is actually a feature of self-management – this is to make sure that I prioritize and focus on fewer things, and let each of us manage their own work, within the cells.


So I will back off from a number of topics and discussions, and let you figure it out by yourself, and with your fellow cell team members. That might not always be what I would have done, but that’s also the point - to have the people who do something who make the calls. It’s time for the cells to grow more into what they have been designed to be – ie, self-managing entities. We need to be able to function this way now, to have any chance at making it work at larger scales.

Escalation process

We do still keep the management layer as a “backup” though – I’m not going anywhere. :slight_smile: So for the few places where it would still be useful for me to participate, if I don’t realize it and join in by myself, you can still ask me.

But with one important change: going forward, please treat requests to me like we treat development tasks. Ie, they should be made a proper task on my backlog, scheduled for a future sprint – even (and maybe especially if) they would have been a simple ping or CC in the past. In most of those cases, just take the decision yourself, or with your fellow cell team members. You’ll know what to do - and if not, it will be a learning experience.

For complex, critical or strategical issues that you still think I should participate in, create a task in my backlog - describe the issue or topic, what you would like us to work on together, and schedule it ahead of time. Note that in some cases, I might simply tell you that you should decide by yourself. And in some other cases, if there is truly something that can’t wait for a future sprint, I might take on the task immediately as an insertion – I’ll try to keep a bit of firefighting time. But if you can, try to avoid it – and in any case, a proper task, rather than an email or a ping, would be appreciated.

And let me know what you think! This is further uncharted territory, so we can adjust and adapt it as needed.

[ Ticket to log time answering this thread ]


I wanted to say a quick thank you to everyone who has already started doing this – it has only been a couple of days, but I’ve noticed a big drop in requests coming my way, and the new ones have almost all come under the format of a ticket to be scheduled in my backlog. This is awesome, and my days are already a lot more manageable!

So, thanks :slight_smile: :+1: :heart: