Looking at my to-do list today, I noticed for the millionth time how two key attributes of a task seem to be either redundant or in conflict: its due date and its priority.
It always seemed to me that you should only need to assign one or the other. If you have a deadline, then what does the priority affect? If the item is high enough priority, isn’t the due date ASAP?
Today, though, I had a flash of insight. The due date defines how much I have to work on the item in order to get it done in time, almost like the velocity of the task. The priority, however, defines how resistant the job is to being derailed by other tasks, more like the inertia or mass of the task.
Put that way, the two values aren’t redundant at all. In fact, you can put them together to determine the overall momentum of a project, based on the combination of the deadline-driven velocity and the priority-based mass. It might even be possible to come up with a formula for determining the outcome of a collision between two tasks, but I’ll leave that as an exercise for the project manager.
Seems like we’re getting back to the future in style.
The Climate Friendly Cities is a project of the Green Renewable Independent Power Producers (GRIPP), a local non-government organization. In the Ecopolis episode, GRIPP Chairperson Athena Ballesteros explained that she envisioned GRIPP to address the pollution and noise problems that come with the 250,000 or so diesel-fed jeepneys clogging Philippine streets.
The project’s first component involves the use of electric-powered jeepneys – or eJeepneys. Their diesel engines cause traditional jeepneys to emit a lot of noise and smoke. In contrast, eJeepneys run on electric motors and emit barely any noise and no smoke at all. The project’s second component involves the installation of bio-digesters coupled to gas engines – essentially power plants that would convert organic trash to energy, producing electricity to run homes, offices, and, of course, the eJeepneys. The project’s third major component is a piece of land that will serve as the garage, maintenance area and charging station of the eJeepneys.
(via my friend Pia who is involved with this project in Manila.)
“First, writing the decisions down is essential. Only when one writes to the gaps appear and the inconsistencies protrude. The act of writing turns out to require hundreds of mini-decisions, and it is the existence of these that distinguishes clear, exact policies from fuzzy ones.”
— Frederick P. Brooks, Jr. “The Mythical Man-Month” (via Brad)
The new endeavor, named Virgle, has been written up on the Google blog by Sir Richard Branson.
Radcliffs, get your rockets ready!
At least Chris and I are. He’s interviewed on Podbop, and I’m profiled on Offbeat Bride. I’m also in the Offbeat Bride book, too….