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From: steve-humphreys@gmx.com
To: Ihor Radchenko <yantar92@gmail.com>
Cc: Tim Cross <theophilusx@gmail.com>,
	emacs-orgmode@gnu.org, Jean Louis <bugs@gnu.support>
Subject: Re: Adding Org Files to org-agenda-files
Date: Sun, 13 Dec 2020 17:27:43 +0100	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <trinity-a2b7767a-f74f-402f-9c58-d5a2d676013f-1607876862881@3c-app-mailcom-bs09> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <87v9d54t19.fsf@localhost>

> Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 4:36 PM
> From: "Ihor Radchenko" <yantar92@gmail.com>
> To: "Jean Louis" <bugs@gnu.support>
> Cc: "Tim Cross" <theophilusx@gmail.com>, daniela-spit@gmx.it, emacs-orgmode@gnu.org
> Subject: Re: Adding Org Files to org-agenda-files
>
> Dear Jean Louis,
>
> Thank you for the detailed insight into your extensive experience of
> project management and practical planning. I do not have that much
> experience, but can provide a significantly different point of view
> related to my research work.
>
> Jean Louis <bugs@gnu.support> writes:
>
> > * Ihor Radchenko <yantar92@gmail.com> [2020-12-01 05:21]:
> >> Jean Louis <bugs@gnu.support> writes:
> >
> > Just as you got a hunch, random incidents happen all the time on
> > ground. There is set of policies and staff members get trained to
> > apply them. For example our coordination policy is to pretty much
> > coordinate any reasonable action before, during and after
> > execution. If staff member is departing to village such will send a
> > message and we know what is the action of a staff member. If
> > supervisor is on computer such action can be entered in same central
> > file. Otherwise email list of staff member holds track of actions.
> >
> > In that sense we help each other.
>
> Thanks for providing an example. I do agree that the management model
> you are using for your job fits into defining projects rather strictly
> and delegating the planning/non-trivial decision making to competent
> people. In such a context, ordered project plans with a single action at
> a time and each employee assigned to a single project do make a lot of
> sense. However, different perspectives do exist.
>
> My personal experience is doing a lot of research work. That's probably
> on the other side of the spectrum from the environment you are working
> in. I cannot define very concrete steps to execute a research project.
> Not because it is impossible, but rather because failures are pretty
> much guaranteed far before all the steps are executed. Moreover, most of
> time, it is not possible to consult someone else on resolution of the
> problem causing blockage, simply because the problem is something that
> never ever appeared in the past (that's the whole point of doing
> research). Instead, I need to spend a significant time trying to find
> *similar* problems digging through literature, talking to people working
> on related problems, or even just thinking. Then, waiting until the
> solution appears becomes a waste of time (there is even no guarantee
> that solution exists) - if there are other alternative approaches to
> achieve the global project objective, they would better be tried before
> the blockage in one particular direction in solved. In fact, switching
> to alternative approaches (or even projects) sometimes help to look at
> the problem from different angle and solve it. The described difficulty
> is *underestimation* of what can happen - even the initial project
> objectives can be changed according to the current research results.
> Trying to stick to a strict project structure in such a situation is a
> waste of time - project must be re-created from scratch very too often,
> unless it is more flexible from the very beginning.
>
> In fact, the situation does not apply to a single project. The whole
> project can be stuck and it is often helpful to have multiple projects
> that can be done (though it is necessary to stick to highest-priority
> project when possible).
>
> The described situation is where NEXT tasks/projects can become
> extremely helpful. Multiple NEXT tasks do not mean that I need to look
> at them every day and switch from one to another. There are NEXT tasks
> and there are NEXT tasks that are actually scheduled on specific day.
> One day cannot have more than several (ideally one) NEXT task (possibly
> containing a checklist). That's where agenda comes handy. It is not used
> to decide what to do during that day. It merely shows earlier decision
> when planning which project (and corresponding doable NEXT task) to do
> on specific day. Other items in agenda are things that must be done on
> that day anyway (meetings, mandatory habits, etc). Polluting agenda with
> unnecessary staff is no better than mindless browsing of youtube.
>
> > After this discussion and review of how SMOS implemented NEXT and how
> > some people implement NEXT while doing their planning with Org mode,
> > I see that it will never be necessary on my side. Just never.
> >
> > This is for reason that we use set of policies beforehand and train
> > people how to do projects. Number one is that person cannot start
> > doing any action without fully understanding all parts of the full
> > project. We expect person to be literate and capable at least in the
> > context of the project being executed. We push the purpose of the
> > project and reason, not the execution of single tasks. As purpose of
> > tasks are to achieve the purpose, person executing those tasks is
> > supposed to collaborate on the project and contribute to it. Executing
> > tasks is done by reason and not by robotic planning.
>
> > ...
>
> > That should clearly answer why NEXT is completely redundant as in all
> > experience of years of planning, writing projects and assigning such
> > to people I have not even encountered a problem related to the subject
> > "NEXT" as used by people in Org planning:
> >
> > - there is set of policies on how to train people for projects
> >
> > - there is set of policies how to coordinate, communicate, report,
> >   including report on events
> >
> > - plans have goals and purposes, projects fulfill one step of a plan,
> >   projects have its own purposes and tasks are there to complete a
> >   project
>
> > ...
>
> I hope I described my use-case sufficiently to show the difference with
> your situation. For research, "fully understanding all parts of the full
> project" means that project is pretty much completed and there is no
> need to look further except maybe writing reports.

Spot On

> As I mentioned earlier, the purpose of NEXT items is not for daily use.
> That's where scheduling can be used (at least, in my workflow). The
> purpose of NEXT items is making project review easier - they are mainly
> needed to provide hints on decision how to proceed with a blocked
> project. As you mentioned, this is useless when project steps are
> well-defined and little trouble is expected during execution.
>
> > - any task becomes reasonably redundant if we have achieved the
> >   project target. Any project becomes redundant if plan's step or
> >   plan's purpose have been achieved. This is contradictory to
> >   robotic way of how Org have been programmed in relation to list
> >   items:
> >
> >   - mark heading with TODO (let us say project purpose)
> >   - [ ] add TODO list items
> >   - only if all TODO list items are marked [X] the parent node can be
> >     marked as DONE
> >
> >   That approach is contradictory to human logic of achieving things. I
> >   am not doing a single task for the single task's sake but for higher
> >   purpose and if higher purpose have been achieved, all those planned
> >   single tasks become reasonably redundant.
>
> If target is flexible (like in research), extra TODO items can be useful
> as a reminder what else might be done. Also, note that org-mode does not
> strictly force todo dependencies. One can always force unconditional
> todo state change with C-u C-u C-u C-c C-t (or by setting
> org-enforce-todo-dependencies and
> org-enforce-todo-checkbox-dependencies).
>
> >   I am using word "reasonably" as that involves human who decides
> >   about it and not robotic following of the tasks and executing them
> >   just because they may appear as not DONE.
>
> I look at it from different perspective. Task dependency is forcing me
> to double-check the tasks not marked done and explicitly thinking if I
> need to do them and improve the project (remember, there is no
> well-defined project goal for me - things can always be improved, unless
> there is time limit). If I decide to not do the not-done task (by
> actively thinking, not by mindlessly marking project done just because I
> think the goals are nominally achieved), I just mark the task CANCELLED
> (which is a type of "done" keywords in org terminology). At the end,
> task dependency allows to double-check for any missing ideas I could
> forget about.
>
> > What is not reason is to have unreasonable files of allegedly ordered
> > tasks which are in reality not ordered and proof for that is that
> > org-agenda exists in the first place. People do not keep their
> > projects and tasks in ordered manner and they need org-agenda.
> >
> > That is why I almost never used org-agenda in last 5 years.
>
> While reading your examples about why org-mode is often promoting
> procrastination and messed up organisation, I feel that you expect more
> from org-mode than it is.
>
> You provided examples that people used their brains instead of computers
> and paper instead of files in the past and successfully managed complex
> projects. I would like to point out that org-mode to organisation and
> project management is just like pen and paper to project management and
> organisation. It is easy to have paper notes scattered all around the
> office, home, and half of them lost somewhere. Same in org-mode, and you
> provided enough examples. One needs to have a proper mindset and
> established workflows to manage real projects with pen and papers. I
> think about org-mode as about improved pen and paper - with proper
> workflows and organisation it can be very efficient; without
> organisation - it's just a digital mess, worse than some computer
> desktops. org-mode provides a set of instruments - they can be used in
> vastly different project management styles, some are more suitable to
> specific styles, some are less suitable. As you mentioned, org-agenda is
> not suitable for your style. It can be much better for others.

But you can use scripts on them, parsing operations to other programs,
and analysis.

> > org-agenda may be useful but it is on bottom of things, not on top of
> > things. Tasks in such planning do not belong anywhere, they are
> > distributed among files that are named any how where people do not
> > have any real method of sorting them. org-agenda will show then
> > anything, from personal tasks to business tasks, recreational, family
> > tasks or anything together and it does not make sense to me.
>
> While agenda can certainly show such kind of mix, it is indeed very
> inefficient use of this tool. If other readers of this thread are
> interested in better practices on using agenda, I recommend what is
> recommended in [1]. It is absolutely crucial to keep daily agenda as
> small as possible - only tasks that must be done on that day *and in the
> location context* should be shown. Mixture of home and work tasks must
> not happen. I knew this when I just started playing around with GTD, and
> I thought that it is not important. After years of experience, I have to
> say, that the rules about agenda are determinal to finishing work that
> matters.
>
> [1] Allen David [2015] Getting things done : the art of stress-free productivity
>
> > Working on Org file means working from bottom to top:
> >
> > - make tasks, little here, little there, organize maybe by some
> >   groups, make this or that file, search through agenda because I have
> >   not ordered anything how it should be. Think of task first because
> >   it is scheduled for its own sake of being scheduled. Do the task
> >   because it is task and not part of one higher purpose. Mark flag,
> >   add properties, tag them to be able to search them.
> >
> > The Org way of doing things is organizing procrastination with more
> > and more increasing complexities that are allegedly supposed to make
> > life easier.
> >
> > Please do not stone me.
>
> While one can work with org file the way you described, it is not
> necessary (and should not be done most of the time). High-level planning
> is very important. It can be ignored to capture ideas in the middle of
> doing something else, but those captured ideas should be thought about
> in context of the whole project and placed into (or discarded from) the
> project according to top-level objectives.
>
> > Here is structure of a project, as part of bigger plan. Projects can
> > be structured any how on my side. When assigned to other people there
> > are sections of introduction:
> >
> > 1 Primary principle for reading ;; explains to people not to skip misunderstoods
> > 2 Primary principle for communication ;; that we shall collaborate, etc.
> > 3 Definitions of words ;; defines terms related to project
> > 4 About company
> > 5 Goal of the project ;; known objective, actions are done to achieve
> >                          the goal and it has clear quote
> > 6 Purpose of the project ;; A purpose is a lesser goal applying to
> >                             specific activities or the sujects. It
> > 			    often expresses future intentions
> > 7 Requirements for this project ;; no moving to "TODO" without it!
> > 8 How to do this project ;; explains how to conduct project, reason,
> >                             logic, collaboration is all here
> > 9 How to report
> > 10 How to report on events
> > 11 How to make pictures
> > 12 Communication requirements [0/16]
> > 13 Personal introduction
> > 14 Project steps            ;; this is where operational targets are defined
> > 15 Awards
>
> Note: This project template is fairly similar to what is recommended by
> Allen David, except reporting and communication. I lack experience of
> large collaborations, so cannot elaborate much on this part.
>
> > If things are well organized from ground up then agenda becomes
> > redundant.
> >
> > Organized implies to me to know what is next to be done.
> >
> > Unorganized person does not know what is next to be done. That is why
> > Org agenda is there. Because tasks are scattered, not organized.
>
> Agenda cannot help unorganised person. Similarly with a paper (or paper
> calendar) that cannot help unorganised person. However, either calendar
> or agenda can be used efficiently as tools helping organisation (when
> they are suitable for the specific situation).
>
> > Org mode has headings and hierarchy and established ways for people to
> > order their goals, projects, tasks, but it is not what people are
> > doing, because there is no form structure in Org mode to tell where
> > something is allowed to be ordered and where not.
>
> Well-organised person would not need computer to keep records in
> relational database - even a simple paper would do if used properly [2].
> org-mode provides such tools, but org-mode does not teach or enforce
> organisation. The cost of being flexible is possibility to misuse. The
> power of being flexible is possibility to use much more efficiently than
> more restricted tools.
>
> [2] https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/NfdHG6oHBJ8Qxc26s/the-zettelkasten-method-1
>
> > Each planning methodology requires something names goals or purposes
> > or objectives or targets and anything that has to be executed belong
> > to such goals. In military they will call them objectives. Myself I do
> > not approve of any wars neither military preparations, human animal is
> > crazy. But military planning methodology does not involve any random
> > searches over bunch of scattered tasks and data to find out what is
> > scheduled, etc. Army, marines, government officers in many countries
> > have methodology of planning that may be paper based or computer based
> > and outperforms any type of discussed Org established ways of
> > gathering the scattered.
> >
> > Thinking on long-range goal helps in determining short-range goals,
> > which help in determining which projects or tasks are to be executed.
>
> One can also refer to GTD methodology, which is more about long-term
> goals than about individual task - the point many people miss. (Search
> for GTD: Purpose, vision, goals, and areas of responsibility + weekly
> review).
>
> >> > children nodes with the tag. It becomes very trivial when using
> >> > database with nodes having a parent:
> >> >
> >> > ,----
> >> > | UPDATE hlinks SET hlinks_tags = 'TODO' WHERE hlinks_parent = THIS ONE;
> >> > `----
> >> >
> >> > But rather a function would be used or type assigned. The above is
> >> > only example that shows how complex hard coded Elisp functions can be
> >> > replaced with 3-4 lines single function when database is a backend.
> >>
> >> Why do you think that analogous Elisp function would be complex?
> >>
> >> (defun yant/trigger-children (arg)
> >>   "Change all the children to TODO when parent is TODO."
> >>   (when (and (eq (plist-get arg :type) 'todo-state-change)
> >> 	     (not (boundp 'trigger-children-progress))
> >>              (string= (plist-get arg :to) "TODO"))
> >>     (let (trigger-children-progress)
> >>       (org-map-tree (lambda () (org-todo "TODO"))))))
> >> (add-hook 'org-trigger-hook #'yant/trigger-children)
> >
> > Good for you, good for me. But not good as a product for people who
> > are not programmers.
>
> For people who are not programmers, the same can be done manually using
> keyboard macro, which is even easier than a need to learn SQL (probably
> because I don't know SQL and know macros).

SQL can be a lot of bother.

> Best,
> Ihor
>


  reply	other threads:[~2020-12-13 16:28 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 52+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2020-11-28 15:39 daniela-spit
2020-11-28 16:51 ` Jeremie Juste
2020-11-28 16:54   ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 17:01   ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 17:41     ` Jeremie Juste
2020-11-28 18:12       ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 18:30       ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 18:43       ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 19:01         ` Jeremie Juste
2020-11-28 19:16           ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 19:26             ` Detlef Steuer
2020-11-28 19:44               ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 19:55             ` Jeremie Juste
2020-11-28 20:06               ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 20:11               ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 20:27                 ` Jeremie Juste
2020-11-28 20:40                   ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 21:32                     ` Jeremie Juste
2020-11-28 21:45                       ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 23:18                         ` Jeremie Juste
2020-11-28 23:29                           ` daniela-spit
2020-11-29  1:36                             ` Tim Cross
2020-11-29  2:54                               ` daniela-spit
2020-11-29  3:51                                 ` Tim Cross
2020-11-29  4:05                                   ` daniela-spit
2020-11-29  5:23                                     ` Tim Cross
2020-11-29  9:30                                       ` Jean Louis
2020-11-29  6:50                                     ` Jean Louis
2020-11-29  6:41                                   ` Jean Louis
2020-11-29 12:28                                     ` Ihor Radchenko
2020-11-29 13:00                                       ` Tim Cross
2020-11-29 17:11                                         ` Jean Louis
2020-11-29 17:05                                       ` Jean Louis
2020-12-01  2:24                                         ` Ihor Radchenko
2020-12-01  8:59                                           ` Jean Louis
2020-12-13 15:36                                             ` Ihor Radchenko
2020-12-13 16:27                                               ` steve-humphreys [this message]
2020-12-25  2:17                                                 ` Ihor Radchenko
2020-12-13 20:21                                               ` Jean Louis
2020-12-13 20:59                                               ` Tim Cross
2020-12-13 21:59                                                 ` pietru
2020-12-13 23:28                                                 ` Jean Louis
2020-11-29  4:46                             ` Jean Louis
2020-11-29 14:46                               ` daniela-spit
2020-11-29 17:01                                 ` Tim Cross
2020-11-29 17:38                                   ` daniela-spit
2020-11-29 20:55                                     ` Jeremie Juste
2020-11-30  0:21                                       ` Tim Cross
2020-11-28 23:36                           ` daniela-spit
2020-11-29  5:51                             ` Jean Louis
2020-11-28 20:28                 ` daniela-spit
2020-11-28 18:50       ` daniela-spit

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