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Old 06-03-2008, 08:44 PM
"Paul W. Frields"
 
Default Tracking contributions

On Tue, 2008-06-03 at 16:00 -0400, Greg Dekoenigsberg wrote:
> Look, metrics are important. Data is important. It helps you make better
> decisions. We shouldn't be ruled by data, but we shouldn't pass up
> sensible opportunities to collect it and analyze it, either. Even the
> most rudimentary data analysis can frequently tell you things you didn't
> know.

{Bless,Curse} you, DeKoenigsberg, for your infinite ability to boil down
the issue better than I. :-)

--
Paul W. Frields http://paul.frields.org/
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http://redhat.com/ - - - - http://pfrields.fedorapeople.org/
irc.freenode.net: stickster @ #fedora-docs, #fedora-devel, #fredlug
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Old 06-03-2008, 08:52 PM
Josh Boyer
 
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On Tue, 3 Jun 2008 12:10:10 -0800
"Jeff Spaleta" <jspaleta@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 12:00 PM, Greg Dekoenigsberg <gdk@redhat.com> wrote:
> > You are focusing entirely too much on units of time. I'm thinking more
> > about units of work. A patch is valuable. If someone puts even one patch
> > in bugzilla, we should know about it.
>
>
> Yes, units of work. my original comment concerning office hours was in
> the context of organizing frontline help in #fedora because i think of
> time spent as the unit of work for that specific case.

Ok. Well units of work is much easier, and more palatable.

Lesson learned for the day:

Avoid the mention of the words "time" and/or "manhours" in all
emails concerning tracking of things.

josh

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Old 06-03-2008, 09:03 PM
"Jeff Spaleta"
 
Default Tracking contributions

On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 12:52 PM, Josh Boyer <jwboyer@gmail.com> wrote:
> Avoid the mention of the words "time" and/or "manhours" in all
> emails concerning tracking of things.

Fine I'll just use manmonths, though manmicroseconds would look more impressive.

The crux is, as we stand up new groups for a new work area or to
re-organize existing work, I want some thought into a metric to use
that makes sense for the work that new group is being created to do.
If punching in makes the most sense for a helpdesk like #fedora, then
so be it. I don't need the same metric for each group, but i do need
something that makes sense as a metric so we can trend that groups
growth and impact over time.

-jef

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Old 06-03-2008, 09:13 PM
Josh Boyer
 
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On Tue, 3 Jun 2008 13:03:34 -0800
"Jeff Spaleta" <jspaleta@gmail.com> wrote:

> On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 12:52 PM, Josh Boyer <jwboyer@gmail.com> wrote:
> > Avoid the mention of the words "time" and/or "manhours" in all
> > emails concerning tracking of things.
>
> Fine I'll just use manmonths, though manmicroseconds would look more impressive.
>
> The crux is, as we stand up new groups for a new work area or to
> re-organize existing work, I want some thought into a metric to use
> that makes sense for the work that new group is being created to do.
> If punching in makes the most sense for a helpdesk like #fedora, then
> so be it. I don't need the same metric for each group, but i do need
> something that makes sense as a metric so we can trend that groups
> growth and impact over time.

You're looking for a metric like "number of questions answered" or
"number of people helped" for #fedora. Helpdesk type hours would
certainly be helpful for #fedora, regardless of how you track your
metrics, but there's more to being helpful than punching in and I think
that is what you want to be tracking.

My $0.02 anyway.

josh

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Old 06-03-2008, 11:44 PM
John Poelstra
 
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Max Spevack said the following on 06/03/2008 01:19 PM Pacific Time:

On Tue, 3 Jun 2008, Greg Dekoenigsberg wrote:

Again, you are focusing too much on time. I don't think anyone, Jef
included, was looking for strict metrics of time. They're never worth
the trouble.


+1

In my experience in the professional world, almost every time a group
inside a company or organization is asked to account for how they spent
their hours, it follows with much gnashing of teeth by the employees and
general thinking that the management is doing it wrong.


Am I wrong? Or are my experiences simply too narrow?


Yes and no. Gnashing of teeth is usually an indicator that the wrong
the thing is being measured and is not useful.


Shameless plug as we consider tracking contributions and creating
satisfying place to work: http://poelcat.wordpress.com/2008/02/23/miserable/


John

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Old 06-03-2008, 11:55 PM
Matthias Clasen
 
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I missed most of this thread, but I felt like I should point out this
post
http://taschenorakel.de/mathias/2007/12/22/no-privacy-foss-developers/
as an example that not everyone is happy to be measured, monitored and
tracked around the clock. Maybe thats an old-fashioned sentiment in this
time and day...


Matthias

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Old 06-04-2008, 12:47 AM
"Jeff Spaleta"
 
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On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 1:13 PM, Josh Boyer <jwboyer@gmail.com> wrote:
> You're looking for a metric like "number of questions answered" or
> "number of people helped" for #fedora. Helpdesk type hours would
> certainly be helpful for #fedora, regardless of how you track your
> metrics, but there's more to being helpful than punching in and I think
> that is what you want to be tracking.

tracking number of people helped would actually be more effort than
just clocking in office hours. There is a balance to be struck. I'm
not expecting to be able to have answers to everything that i could
ask for with the granularity i could ever hope for. We need metrics
that means something but also minimize the amount of extra work by the
contributors. For other areas, we have tools that we require to use
that produce their own interaction logs that we can datamine. The
technical processes we have in place build in useful interaction
logging that we can make use of. Trying to mine irc logs or even
mailinglist threads for subtle things like 'number of users helped'
may simply be out of reach of what we can effectively toolize. So to
answer those questions we end up asking people to 'clock-in' every
time they do the unit of work as an extra step just to do the
metric...that's not what we want. That isn't to say that someone
couldn't create the necessary ircbot that fedora helpers could
register units of work with.. if that is what the particular group of
contributors wants to do to provide a metric.
All I ask is that when we set up new groups, the group of contributors
who are going to be working on that task think provide a metric for us
to trend and agree to use that metric as part of startup phase of the
new group's workflow. The processes of organizing the work need to
include a metric we can trend. For the case of #fedora like helpdesk
work, organizing officehours helps provides 24/7 coverage as a goal
for the group and at the same time we can use that information to
trend contributions.

So back to the original question... mentoring which is not the same as
what a #fedora helpdesk does. I don't think anyone has come up with a
mentoring process or workflow that incorporates something we can
trend.

-jef

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Old 06-04-2008, 01:10 AM
"Jeff Spaleta"
 
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On Tue, Jun 3, 2008 at 3:55 PM, Matthias Clasen <mclasen@redhat.com> wrote:
> I missed most of this thread, but I felt like I should point out this
> post
> http://taschenorakel.de/mathias/2007/12/22/no-privacy-foss-developers/
> as an example that not everyone is happy to be measured, monitored and
> tracked around the clock. Maybe thats an old-fashioned sentiment in this
> time and day...

Clearly the discussion is focusing on the wrong thing. I've no desire
to mandate the minute by minute activity of all contributors be
tracked. We do not need that level of granularity for resource
planning. Voluntary details of individual contributor activities
would certainly help if we we talking about building a competitive
recognition system..but that's is not what we are talking about doing.
I am not talking about collecting trending information in a way that
directly compares the value of individual contributions. I'm talking
about making an effort to collect information on a subgroup impact and
growth for overall project planning purposes so we can have more
information to work with for resource planning and perhaps to get
ahead of bottlenecks in subgroup interactions.. I've no desire to
mandate to subgroups what specific metric to trend. I'd much rather
prefer that individual subgroups tell me what metric to trend. What I
need is for individual subgroups to value the value of trending the
work they are doing as a group so they will incorporate a metric that
is relevant into their workflow.


-jef

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