Roadmap? • Why? What? How? Who? • This approach is founded on ideas from human centered design. • Activities • Not going to talk about: • Building consensus around roadmaps. • Roadmap process. • How to manage partnerships that emerge around the roadmap. • Managing the scope of a project.
written by developers and for developers. • Here is a test: Is the roadmap on GitHub? • This is not a bad thing, but best to be honest. • Developers are already doing regular work, and tracking that work using systems such as Jira, Github Issues, etc. • As a result, separate technical roadmaps often feel redundant with these other tracking systems. • They easily fall out of date with the actual work. • One approach is to have a technical roadmap focusing on the larger picture, rather than individual technical issues.
want something that goes beyond a technical roadmap? • Users ≠ Developers • Many users of our open-source projects are not developers. • Many users of our open-source project are very different from us: • Skill level, language, education level, technical background, usage case, race, gender, country of origin, age, etc. • Many never visit our GitHub repos. Some don’t know that GitHub exists. • They would still like to know where a project is headed and when it might happen. • I am not talking down to users here in any way. We are here to serve them. • From a community growth perspective, it is still helpful to view all users as potential developers.
will happen if we give you money? • What is your record of delivering high impact work? • Who could do this work and on what time scale? • How will this work impact other projects and initiatives that we fund? • What will the impact of this work be on something that we care about? • Organizational Decision Makers ≠ Developers: • Users of your project in our organization need X, is that on your roadmap? • When is X likely to be developed? Released? • Who is working on it that we can talk to? • Who else is collaborating with you on this? • What is the business risk of waiting for you? Of building something ourselves?
and why? • Describe the proposed work from a user’s perspective, in non- technical terms. • Which users, both individual or organizational, will the proposed work impact and how? • How will the proposed work address those users’ pain points and usage cases, and what will they be able to do when the work is completed?
really challenging, especially with a large number of contributors. • This is the part of a roadmap that funders and organizational decision makers are going to look at. • A well written “What and Why” is like a catalyst. • Will require time and effort to distill something down to a short, non-technical description. • Short and non-technical!
collaboration: • “We propose adding Real-Time Collaboration to JupyterLab and JupyterHub to enable multiple users to share and simultaneously edit notebooks, text files and other documents. This will be built in a manner that does not require any outside services, to enable its usage in organizations that have private and sensitive data. This work will benefit all Jupyter users who are working in organizations and teams by enabling them to collaborate quickly and easily using a simple, familiar model, and without the usability challenges of version control systems or the tedium of manual conflict resolution. An additional side effect of the work will be a unified undo/redo system that works across all areas of JupyterLab.”
of the proposed work. • Provide a table of descriptive milestones an estimate of the Full-Time Equivalent (FTEs) staff required to complete the milestones. • I realize that that time estimates are difficult to make. • At the same time everyone reading your roadmap will want to know “when is this going to happen?” • Self fulfilling: no organization will give you money without some manner of timelines. • Try: • Take your min estimate, your max estimate and add them together. • Provide a range (1-2 months). • Hedge • Tell audience what the assumptions are: “in these estimates, we assume the work is fully staffed.”
“We propose to build the TypeScript/npm package `@phosphor/ datastore` which implements a strongly-typed, flattened, and normalized relational datastore capable of synchronizing and merging the changes of multiple users using conflict-free replicated data type (CRDT) algorithms. This library will be integrated into JupyterLab as the default in-memory data model for all documents. It will be backed by a server component in Jupyter Notebook Server and JupyterHub which synchronizes changes among users and maintains the global history of each document. Our implementation will scale to many users, large documents, and be deployable in secure contexts (no outside services required).”
granted. • Users often have no idea who does what in an open-source project! • Being explicit helps with transparency and risk assessment. • It is fine to say, “we don’t know who!” • For any complex project, answering the who question will require private conversations: • Will you fund this? • Are you available to work on this? • Who would be hired to work on it? • For open-source projects that prioritize transparency and open consensus, this requires thoughtful processes around authoring roadmaps.
to work on if it had funding for 3-5 years? • Thinking about that time frame, list major work areas your project would like to tackle. • Pick an approximate time interval for what you consider “major” work: • 6 - 12 months is a good starting point • First work individually, then share your ideas with other group members. • Aim for a list of 3-5 areas of major proposed work. • Can be code, design, community, governance, maintenance, etc. • It may be helpful to break ambitious work into smaller parts. • It may be helpful to combine smaller work into larger stories. • Aim for units of proposed that are focused, concrete and specific.
areas, and list the different user groups/personas that would be impacted by the work. • Alan Cooper, “A persona is a user archetype you can use to help guide decisions about product features, navigation, interactions, and even visual design.” • First work as individuals, then share with group members. • Jupyter examples: • Data scientists working in companies. • Scientists doing academic research. • High-schoolers learning to code. • DevOps teams deploying Jupyter to a large scientific collaboration project.
area + user groups. • What are there current pain points related to that major work area. • How would those pain points be resolved if the work is completed. • What will they be able to do if the work is completed? • How will they be happier and more productive?
parts of a roadmap. • Try to combine all that into at most 2 sentences that capture the idea • Example from Jupyter: • “We propose adding Real-Time Collaboration to JupyterLab and JupyterHub to enable Jupyter users working together to share and simultaneously edit notebooks, text files and other documents.”