@Ali, I took the survey now and have completed it. Kudos to you and everyone else who helped design this awesome survey that asked relevant questions. I am impressed and hopeful.
@Ali My best guess is somewhere between 10-25% of my time is spent on Metawork. I think the devs have the worse end of it since they have more total processes. I also work half time so the proportion of metawork is greater than if I worked full. It might be half of that in other circumstances.
It was 100% before Falcon switched around epic ownership duties, now it’s more like 40-50%. But that shuffling has led to more planned departures, because developers don’t like it when they don’t get to write code.
I think it’s around 30-40% for me.
I spend a large amount. I think it’s about 30 to 40%.
Yeah I went from spending 6 to 8 hours a day using the code editor for other jobs, to 3 to 6 hours at most, per sprint, at OpenCraft.
This was one of the main reasons @hadi1 chose not to continue with us.
I have moved the discussions about the survey to a dedicated thread here, to make it easier to track.
I have also posted an update related to the topics on this thread, as we have had many related discussions in separate threads: Capacity & process issues - Update
@Ali Thanks again for organizing this survey! It will be really useful to process the results.
Is there any way I could see the current raw answers? That will be helpful for me (and potentially anyone else interested?) to read those progressively to think about it.
Also, how many answers did you get? If that’s helpful to get more answers, we can schedule a task for those who haven’t replied yet.
Pleasure! I’m looking forward to digging through the responses.
You can take a look at the responses here if you have access to the Typeform account (let me know if I should export the answers for you if you can’t access them). There have been 17 responses so far. Bear in mind that there is some additional info in this thread regarding the percentage of time spent on meta work, as this question was added to the survey after some members had already completed it (see this comment).
I’d say 60%. What follows is the long answer, formatted to be multi-line (Please skip the details and the rest of this comment, there are too many details):
There are many interpretations so I don’t think we can use numbers until we know what do the numbers mean.
I’ll mention my interpretations, the process I followed, and the result I got (60%).
My „work hours“ can be 55 or 45 or 30 or 25 h/week depending on interpretation. These are actual averages of sprints this year:
- I’m 55 h in work mood (I don’t feel away from OpenCraft work). Subjective
- 45 h actually logging some minutes of work during the hour (this is a weird metric I created. I can provide details)
- 30 h reported (net total of hours worked. Nowadays, reported hours and worked hours match)
- 25 h officially committed
There are also several interpretations of metawork.
- my extra-task metawork could be (55-30)/55 = 45% (should be 0%)
- and my inter-task metawork (all of which is logged time)
- it’s hard to estimate, because work==metawork. E.g. I consider a task about management or client communications to be both work and metawork
- I’d roughly guess that from the 30 logged h/week, more than 50% are about planning/processes/discussions/reports/…
- note that I’m happy doing non-code tasks so not all of this is bad, though I would also prefer if it dropped to a lower number since a lot of the discussions about processes are chaotic.
There are other interpretations, but if you need to reduce things to a number, I’d use an average between:
- inter-task metawork (50% as mentioned), and
- all indirect work when actively working ((55-30*0.50)/55=70%). I’ll skip defining this concept
The average is 60%.
Here’s my original 1-line submission (like in the TypeForm form):
There are many interpretations so I don’t think we can use numbers until we know what do the numbers mean. I’ll mention my interpretations and the process I followed, and the result. My „work hours“ can be 55 or 45 or 30 or 25 h/week depending on interpretation: I’m 55 h in work mood (I don’t feel away from OpenCraft work), 45 h actually logging some minutes of work during the hour, 30 h reported (net total, and nowadays it matches the gross total), 25 h committed. These are actual averages of sprints this year. There are also several interpretations of metawork (https://forum.opencraft.com/t/metawork-what-is-it-how-to-measure-it/496). So my extra-task metawork could be (55-30)/55 = 45% (should be 0%); and my inter-task metawork (all of which is logged time) is hard to estimate, because work==metawork (e.g. I consider a task about management or client communications to be both work and metawork); I’d roughly guess that from the 30 logged h/week, more than 50% are about planning/processes/discussions/reports/… (note that I’m happy doing non-code tasks so not all of this is bad, though I would also prefer if it dropped to a lower number since a lot of the discussions about processes are chaotic). There are other interpretations, but if you need to reduce things to a number, I’d use an average between inter_task_metawork (50% as mentioned) and all_indirect_work_when_actively_working ((55-30*0.50)/55=70%), that is, 60%.
Hey, @daniel , this one’s kinda out of left field and I’d DM you about it normally, but I’m also curious if I’m the only one experiencing this effect.
I noticed a pattern in my behavior in response to your posts which is often a feeling of bewilderment on what you’re talking about and then a feeling that I’m not sure how to respond and then it just looks like I’m ignoring you because I then find myself out of time and move on to other things.
I’m not always able to pin-point where I’m getting confused in what you’re talking about-- sometimes I think it’s that you’re speaking with an assumed context on my end that I don’t have. For this particular post I just read I think I understand what you’re saying but I also am a little confused because it’s all one paragraph run together, so this would probably be more readable if you broke it down into chunks and maybe added some unordered lists?
Anyway, I wanted to point it out because I figured if I’m not responding to your posts out of a feeling of confusion, then maybe other people are too, and that might be why when you’re making suggestions you feel they’re being ignored? I don’t know. Just figured I’d bring it up in case it helps. If anyone else can tell me if they’re experiencing the same thing, I’d appreciate it. I’m not exactly sure of the solution but if we can identify the problem it should be easier to address. It may also just be me!
I’m sorry, I was going to add to my message why I wrote it in one line: I forced everything into one line because that’s the format that was expected by the TypeForm form (everything in one line). I guessed that’s how @Ali would be collecting the responses, in one line per submission.
I guess I should have submitted it to the form (1 line) instead of here.
I’ll reformat it here and keep the 1-line version too.
I’d prefer if the TypeForm form could accept line breaks!
I’m sure it happens; sometimes I write intricate posts with too many details, when I feel that the topic is important and the details are needed. I also find that writing shorter posts or better explained would take more time than I have, so I need to decide between sending them in the long form or not sending them (which I often do).
My preferred option now is not to answer or participate in discussions. This is harder now because recently there are many discussions where an answer is required.
I’d prefer a forum with lower activity.
It’s fine not to answer and to ignore the details. I’m also not making specific suggestions (usually I don’t have time to do that) so some of the details I post may be brainstorming and I don’t mind if they’re ignored. I also like reading brainstorming from others. In case a post is long, I apologize, since I know that the forum is a distraction for everyone.
By the way, in this case (the question was: % of metawork), I answered with the long answer because:
- it’s the first time in several years that I see this important question asked
- I have been studying this concept for a long time, collecting data, researching, building scripts, …
- I hope I can motivate others to research it too, since I think it’s important for work/life
In the future I’ll add phrases to long posts, like „you may skip the details“ (though I guess this is implied).
And thanks. Comments about writing style are always welcome. Grammar corrections too (maybe through private posts…).
@Ali Since we currently only have 18 answers, we still have a fair few to gather - are we tracking the answer to this survey in individually assigned tasks already? Either way, it would be worth reminding the people who haven’t answered yet to do so by pinging them individually, to make sure they don’t forget to do it, without distracting those who already have answered. Would you be able to take care of doing that?
(btw I’m not answering the survey because I’m not a dev and most questions don’t apply to me)
Thanks for formatting your feedback. I agree - it would be helpful if Typeform allowed line-breaks! You’ve given me a lot of valuable information to dig through. I appreciate it
Sure. I see you’ve already created a team-wide ticket for Serenity. I’ll do the same for Bebop and Falcon, and ping each member on their ticket. I hope that’s what you had in mind…?
I’ve replicated the tickets you created for Serenity member for Bebop and Falcon. I’ll ping each member individually and remind them (if necessary) to complete the survey.
@Ali Thank you! I had actually already created the tickets for Bebop and Falcon too - sorry that I wasn’t clear about this :/ They were linked from the Serenity ticket (which is the canonical ticket description for all cells), but I hadn’t explicitly mentioned them: https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/BB-4886 and https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/FAL-2415 . So we have a few duplicate tickets I’m afraid! I’ll close the extra ones.
@antoviaque Oh geez, oops! Sorry. I looked for Bebop and Falcon tickets but must have missed them. Sorry for giving you extra admin! Thanks for closing the duplicates.
@Ali This is an amazing survey! Thanks for putting it together!
The results from the “Improving the Work Experience at OpenCraft” survey are ready!
Thank you to everyone for taking part. I hope this document makes it easier to figure what the next steps should be, and how we can make OpenCraft even better. You can check out the results here.
@Ali Thank you for the nice work on this survey! This report, and the survey answers it contains, are really helpful to understand the situation better, as well as have everyone’s opinion.
I agree with many of the points made - it’s a good occasion to fix them, the pressure on the processes made the inefficiencies more visible. It could both help providing relief now, and make us more resilient to overload in the future.
In terms on action items on this:
The way we are currently progressing on these fronts:
Confirming new core members:
As mentioned on Capacity & process issues - Update , “the recruitment managers and the recruitment process seem to produce a good stream of newcomers currently. We have had 6 newcomers added over the last month, though we’ll still need to see how many core team confirmation they turn into. In the meantime, we have paused accepting new projects”, thanks to efforts from Fox in We are having difficulties with capacity. How do we address this? and related discussions/adjustments in Hiring pace.
There is also @braden 's initiative to turn the trial into a test project, to accelerate the decisions on core team confirmation, being implemented in the recruitment process by @shimulch : https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/BB-4885
Redefining and simplifying roles: We are working on several simplifications and merges of roles this sprint, with handbook PRs being reviewed on:
- the merge of the epic planning and sustainability roles by @tikr in https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/SE-4852
- the simplification of community engagement roles by @braden on https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/MNG-2415
Allowing for more specialization:
- One initiative in that area is the project manager role that @tikr is leading, which should aim to enable team members more interested in the project management aspects to take more of it, and take over from cell members who prefer to focus on code. https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/SE-4841
- There are also discussions around a developer advocate role from @nizar (see Proposing a Developer Advocacy Role) and project-based cells from @adolfo (see https://forum.opencraft.com/t/project-based-cells/1138)
We are all participating to the reviews on the points listed above through https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/SE-4838 (and the related tasks for each cell), so we’ll discuss many of these points on the handbook PRs next week.
I also started preparing the follow-up survey, to get a better feel for what everyone is thinking, and making sure that we’re ready and ok to switch to the new changes, once the PRs are merged. The current rough draft is at https://admin.typeform.com/form/cvNqy6HT/create?block=83c07b82-351d-4348-a23b-c2a41299a7a9 - it still needs work (add open answers, URLs, refine the questions, etc.), but I’ve added most of the main questions I had noted, so if you see any missing question don’t hesitate to add a slide or a comment there. I’ll do another pass next week before publishing it - which should be once all the related handbook PRs are ready for the wider team review, so likely Wed-Thu given the timelines for reviews listed on https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/SE-4838.
This is something that I’m hoping we could get out of the developer/contributor advocate role that you are suggesting in Proposing a Developer Advocacy Role @nizar ? Having more time dedicated to this would be useful, I agree. I still do some of this work, like 121s, but we need to be able to scale this aspect.
Having someone in charge of maintaining the handbook actively, and taking care of what is describe here, seems useful yes. Part of the current issue is organizational debt coming from a lack of such maintenance. If OpenCraft is an open source project, then the handbook is part of its source code - it needs to be maintained. Maybe that would also be something part of the developer/contributor advocate role @nizar ? Or any of the community-related roles we have been discussing?
That’s definitely part of the pass on simplifying the sprint planning that @nizar is leading: https://tasks.opencraft.com/browse/SE-4839 with a great contribution on this by @giovannicimolin at https://forum.opencraft.com/t/sprint-retrospective/1012/85
@antoviaque, I haven’t yet read your reply fully. But I wanted to mention that I would like to be involved in providing feedback on the current situation and issues, even if it is collected after my last working day, since I have first-hand experience. I hope that is okay.