Parkinson's Law: work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion.

Having a set of vague tasks to finish within 6 months is great, but having a weekly more specific priority list to go along with it would be better. If, in addition, there was some accountability (not with negative implications, just a designation of responsibility) that would further narrow focus and ramp up productivity.

As a draft proposal, something like a weekly sticky TODO thread with clear goals could work. You'd list a few high priority items and ask for a volunteers for each and list them as they come in. You'd have bigger medium priority item list and ask for volunteers but only half of them need to be assigned to someone and completed. Then you'd have a much longer lower priority list that can be a bit more vague that people are encouraged to work on but that they don't need to volunteer for, just submit their pull requests (but they can flag an item and have it ticked off if they want). On top of that have a weekly pull request goal that updates daily (with a time stamp) and an overview of pull request numbers from previous weeks.

If an item isn't completed it gets rolled over to the next week with an asterisk (if it's medium or high priority) for each time it's been rolled over and the previous volunteer listed as such (and they can volunteer for the same item the next week giving them the perfect opportunity to say where they're at, what needs to be done, if the task should be broken down further, etc). It'll make it clear if whoever volunteered for a task needs some help or encouragement, or if certain high priority tasks need a volunteer or to be broken down into more manageable chunks even if someone drops off the face of the earth. With a one item at a time rule you're going to cut down on stagnation.

I'm sure there are lots of people who'd like to help out but they're not really sure what needs to be done or who else is doing it or if they'll step on toes, etc. Anyone wondering what's being worked on can take a look and help out themselves rather than getting upset in the forums about feature x never seeing the light of day. If they want feature x done they can take a look at the priority list and pick where it should go in the scheme of things, maybe even break it down - turn negative energy into productive energy :)

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