For many people the run up to Christmas is a period of slow down, well for me at the moment it appears to be as hectic as usual.
Well, the WebPA project has no time to slow down. I have such a long list of things to achieve before January is out. All of the time constraints put up on us at this time of year are often unrealistic as people forget that there is Christmas and the new year. This means that almost two weeks are taken out of a the nine weeks for the two months. I am not sure that people bear this in mind when setting deadlines of the 31st December or even mid way through January. This then leaves realistically only 4 to 14 days to meet the deadlines, which then is further reduced when you have to confer and liaise with others.
So why am I writing this now, when I claim to have so much to do, well that's the thing isn't it. As the deadlines are so close now, I can find another million and one things to do other than what needs to be done. But if we are to make WebPA a successful project then we need to do all this extra stuff on top, such as entering global competitions, writing papers and workshops, wishing our fledgling community a merry holiday etc etc...While, in the back ground the mundane still has to happen, the new enhancements need to be made to the software, so that a new release can be made in the new year. The tasks for the work packages need to be completed, so that we can reassure the funders that they have not wasted their money in funding the project. This will keep the project ticking along and hopefully on track for the imminent future. It would be nice to think that this was considered from the out set, but as with all projects, the vision is great, the time scales crap and unyielding and the expectations are high. We then have other deadlines imposed due to external needs, resulting in a mamouth mountain to climb.
All in all, trying to keep the momentum of the project, while not getting bogged down in to much work and unrealistic deadlines is hard.