What to do when your project seems ‘too grand’


From the NationalGeographic.com

Just as this snake learned (or didn’t), sometimes you’ve got to realize if what your trying to do is ‘too much’. How do you define too much? It’s subjective, but for me, I notice it when my motivation is loosing steam. I noticed it for my wireless testing project, just as I’m noticing it now. When confronted with it for the wireless testing, I let myself go work on another project. This time I wont.

I think when your motivation is starting to stagnate, it’s a good time to look at your goals from a fresh set of eyes, and ask yourself what is the minimum needed to get this project complete, at least for this revision. And if we look at the recommendations of Fredrick Brooks in The Mythical Man-Month (I linked to a good summary of it), we can see that in most cases, the first design of something should be discarded. The logic being, when you design it the first time, you have no clue what your doing. The second time, you know much more about making ‘thing’, and you can use your experience to make ‘thing’ better.

So instead of switching projects, I’m redefining my goals, to achieve the core set of features needed to get it up and running. I already feel motivated to get this completed!


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