From: email@example.com To: Ihor Radchenko <firstname.lastname@example.org> Cc: Tim Cross <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Jean Louis <email@example.com> 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" <firstname.lastname@example.org> > To: "Jean Louis" <email@example.com> > Cc: "Tim Cross" <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.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 <email@example.com> writes: > > > * Ihor Radchenko <firstname.lastname@example.org> [2020-12-01 05:21]: > >> Jean Louis <email@example.com> 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 . 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. > >  Allen David  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 . > 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. > >  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 >
next prev parent 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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