Project: Fill Out a Project Template Successfully

Project Summary

Summary: This project is just to fill out the project template in the CF Projects category successfully. The filled template is the main deliverable for this project.


Goal: Fill out the project template in the CF projects category without making major errors or omissions

  • I have sought and received answers to any questions I have about what should be in the fields of the project template
  • All fields in the project template are filled out
  • Any errors or omissions pointed out by others are either addressed or I judge them to be minor

Broader goal: Try a small project and see how it goes rather than dismiss projects as uninteresting without trying one
Values: I want to be open minded and willing to try stuff
CF relevance: I want to know that I’m able to successfully use the CF projects category if I choose to do so in the future


Plan: Ask questions or seek further explanation / examples about any fields that I don’t think I understand enough to fill out correctly. Attempt to fill out the template correctly on the first go. Post the template. Address any major errors or omissions detected by myself or others, by additional text or by filling out a new template if necessary. Wait approximately one week for comments before making an evaluation of success or failure. Write project conclusion.
Project size: Super small. I expect most of the work to be done with this initial post. I expect either no major errors / omissions or for any errors / omissions to be correctable without much additional work.
Resource budget: Time for this initial post (done when I post) + up to 2 hours over the next week to respond to any major errors or omissions detected by myself or others and write the project conclusion.
Asks: If people notice any errors or omissions, I’d appreciate a comment about them. If you have an opinion about whether the error / omission is major or minor, I’d appreciate hearing that too.
Offers: Helping me complete this project will help provide an example of a super-small, easy project that you can do something similar to. If it fails, that will provide an example you can avoid repeating.
Independence: I will complete this template and judge whether this project succeeded or failed regardless of whether I get any responses. I think I can judge accurately whether I succeeded or failed without input from others.
Confidence: I think I’m highly likely to succeed at this project. In terms of percentage my guess is my chance of success is near 100%. It’s super small and easy. I’ve repeatedly filled out templates successfully before and I don’t think this one is more difficult than some I’ve done before.
Follow through: Because I expect to finish in approximately one week I don’t expect to need a break. I think my chances of finishing in approximately one week are near 100%. I already review CF for new posts regularly so I don’t expect to miss comments on this project. I have set a reminder in 1 week to write up a conclusion. It’s possible the conclusion write-up could be delayed a day or two if unexpected circumstances arise, but I don’t think that’s likely.


Context: Justin suggested I try a small project:

I don’t think the template will be hard to fill out. I’m curious about why Justin had “the damnedest time” filling it out the first time.

Background: I’ve filled out lots of templates before. Some were more complicated and/or had more specific requirements than this one. Templates (often called “boiler plates” where I’ve worked) are very common in my industry.
Track Record: I’ve had repeated success filling out templates when I’ve tried. It’s been rare for me to have any problems at all. When there have been problems with templates in the past they’ve always been easy for me to fix.
Priorities: I’ve had some problems on CF lately so I think it makes sense for me to do something I think will be an easy win. Because I think I’ve done lots of projects like this before I think this project will turn out to be an easy win.
Progress: By the time this is posted I think I will have done most of the work for this project. Since this is the second to last field in the template and I’m going through the fields in order, I think I’m already mostly done. :slight_smile:
Problems: I have not run into any significant problems filling out the template. I did review the template explanation (About the Projects category) for pretty much every field just to be sure I was putting in the right kind of information. I also reviewed one of Justin’s projects (Project: Second Chapter of Geometry Book) for inspiration on a couple of fields - thanks Justin.

Those offers seem targeted at people who don’t know what they’re doing, with no incentive or value offered for people who do know what they’re doing.

I think my offers could have value to people who know what they’re doing, but it’s pretty small / narrow.

I think I know what I’m doing wrt to filling out the project template. As with everything, I accept that I could be wrong. But Justin’s comment about having the “damnedest time” caused me to specifically wonder if maybe I’m overconfident about my ability. And so I think doing a test with a minimum viable project has value to me.

Someone else who knows what they’re doing could be in a similar situation: wanting to test their belief that they know what they’re doing with a small, simple project. Having an example project like this subject to criticism from people who know what they’re doing could make its existence more valuable for them.

For example, maybe they think a project just to fill out the template is too simple and they need something bigger. If it turns out I have a major omission in the template that the project is indeed too simple to fill (and thus fails), that’d be a useful data point to someone who knows what they’re doing and is looking for a minimum viable project to validate that they actually do know what they’re doing.

Good question (well, I’m interpreting this as a question anyways :slight_smile:). Two things:

  1. I had some kind of objection to/disagreement with filling out the template that I couldn’t articulate well and that it took me a few days to work through. I wasn’t treating it as like, a helping tool that could make potential issues clearer to me and give people an opportunity to point out issues.

  2. I got hung up over how to handle 1 or 2 of the fields rather than taking the approach “This is a tiny project so I won’t fret about this particular issue for now - I’ll just think about it and improve next time, and maybe someone can point out a good approach.” I think this may have largely been a result of issue 1 - like I was getting hung up because I had some objections and didn’t wanna do the template, not cuz I was actually unable to figure out a reasonable way to proceed.

I’ve seen templates and template-like stuff used as gatekeeping tools. And sometimes they’re intended to be helpful but actually aren’t. Regardless of intent, they’re not always helpful and maybe you had exposure to some in the past that weren’t.

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Did you succeed or fail? I succeeded.
What went right and wrong? Right: Project was quick, easy, didn’t rely on others. Wrong: Needed to explain what I thought the value of this project was to people who know what they’re doing.
What could you do better next time? Explain what I see as the value to people of high skill, or state clearly if I don’t think I’m offering them anything.
What did you learn? I can fill out the CF project template and complete a simple CF project.
If you failed, how and why did you fail? If you succeeded, explain how you know you succeeded, what you achieved, and what the benefits were.
I succeeded because all fields in the template were completed, I had no unanswered questions about what should be in the fields by the time I was done, I didn’t see any major errors or omissions in the template, and no one else pointed out an error or omission that they said, or I judged, to be major. I successfully completed a CF project, which means I could do another CF project at a little more complexity if I want to.