I’ve been going through the proposal and will continue to do so, but I do have one major concern so far. We are taking one of the most expensive, time-consuming and disruptive things we do at OpenCraft and expanding on it so that it potentially happens more often?
Projects are generally supposed to be a lot shorter-lived than cells, and one of the reasons the whole cell creation overhead is worth it is that it’s permanent. It sets up a new permanent team.
I’m wondering if it’s possible to accomplish these goals in a different way. For instance, we already have a mechanism for scoped vacations. What if you could have a similar concept for an entire team inside a cell, or even the entire cell?
What I’ve seen with many major projects is that sometimes they need time to ramp up, they definitely need time to ramp down, but also that it’s possible that at times you need more than 100% capacity. In a cell, this is easier to accomplish since you have a buffer of people.
Let us consider first the situation in which we can even take up a large project that would need its own cell:
- The project is starting soon, and we already have the required capacity in a single cell
- The project is far enough away that we can hire new people in the meantime.
In these situations, what we can do instead is:
- If we already have the capacity, then let the cell just take on the project and start hiring. While the project is ramping up, so are the newcomers. When the cell reaches sufficient size, it splits as normal and one of the cell focuses on the single project, while the other keeps the rest of the clients.
- If we need to ramp up capacity, then first start ramping up, take on the project and as the project ramps up we can split off a new cell when there is enough capacity.
In this situation, the single-project cell isn’t a project cell, just a regular cell, but a cell that can have cell-specific rules about focussing on one project, and about how firefighting works, and can choose to not take on new prospects and newcomers until needed.
I’d just like to avoid the unnecessary metawork of cell creation (and now cell closure) unless it already aligns with situations where we would create a cell in the first place.
On a side note, I think we need to really roll back with the metaphors here. It’s fun and I don’t mind that kind of language when we’re discussing things here, but when committed to the handbook, let’s be very clear and use non-metaphorical terms like:
- Cell creation
- Cell dissolution/disbandment/closure
- Cell merger/recombination
- Cell split