Monday, January 28, 2013

Variations on a Theme

Just a quick update on how CSM's involvement in CCP's planning process is proceeding.

On Friday, January 18th, we sent our sample themes to CCP Seagull. In return, on January 23rd, CSM got a package of the themes created by CCP teams, performed a quick analysis of them, and sent her our recommendations.

While I can't go into any specifics, I found the CCP themes to be very interesting reading, and they gave me more insight into how people at CCP are addressing the new planning system.

Today, Monday the 28th, we had a followup meeting with CCP Seagull.  She gave us a broad overview of the overall theme that had been decided upon, which the CSM members present strongly endorsed. Over the next week, CCP will be determining what set of features best fits the theme and is practical given time and resource constraints.

CSM will receive a package of materials on Friday related to CCP's initial prioritization decisions and will provide our trademark :48hour: turnaround on them.

Based on what has happened so far, I am cautiously optimistic that the new planning process is going to do a good job of ensuring that CCP does a better job of delivering an expansion with good "bang-for-buck" when it comes to pleasing the community.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Begun, The Planning Wars Have...

CCP has now begun their planning process for the May expansion, and true to the promises made at the Summit by CCP Unifex, CCP Seagull and CCP Ripley, CSM has been given unprecedented access; for the first time, we are being consulted before any significant decisions have been made.

Because of the NDA nature of a lot of what is being discussed, this post will be short on specific details, but I do want to give the community an update on what's happened so far.

Last week, all the major feature teams at CCP made presentations about what features they could potentially work on for release in May; these ranged from big ideas to little things, and from things they'd just like to do to things they'd already done substantial work on. Some were standalone items, while others were dependent on other items (often items from other teams).

Then all the feature teams were given a task -- come up with a "theme" that combines features from all the teams into a package that forms a coherent expansion.

On Wednesday, about the time the Minutes were published, CSM received copies of all the presentations as well as a video recording.

This morning, we had a Skype conference with CCP Seagull. We presented our evaluation of the feature proposals, and received more information on how the planning process was to proceed.

We received a further task: to create our own themes, in order to help CCP Seagull understand what kind of themes the Community might like. While we obviously don't have the same information as CCP teams do (such as the complexity of some of the features and their interactions), she feels that this will be useful in helping evaluate CCP's theme proposals. We will be delivering these themes on Monday, 1/21.

Once all the themes are received, CSM will be provided with copies of all of them. By the end of the week, CCP Seagull will have created a shortlist of candidate themes, and CSM will be told which they are. We currently are scheduled to discuss the shortlist with her on Monday, 1/28.

CCP certainly seems to be executing on their promise to iterate on "CSM as a Stakeholder"... :)

Addendum: I've been asked to give my personal opinion about all of this. While it is early days yet, I am very pleased with the level of access CSM is getting, and all the meetings have been very productive. I look forward to seeing how things evolve, and I feel comfortable in saying that I and other people on CSM are looking forward to putting a lot of effort into trying to help make this new planning process work.