We’ve all been on “that” project, the one that is plagued with problems, the one that you’ve been on for 6 months and you can’t seem to the team motivated on.
It’s not a problem with the team or the purpose, somewhere it just waffled into what is today – people are doing things but it’s not really going anywhere. No one wants to set an end date to walk a way from it, it just keeps going – taking on new features, working through bugs, trudging along.
Ask anyone and no one wants to part of the Waffle Project – it lost it’s shine sprints ago, it has no more glamour or shine to it, all it has become is the toast of the water cooler and “that” project.
I’ve seen the waffle project in action, I’ve been on a few waffle projects as well. They aren’t pretty, they are soul-sucking, never-ending and people start to base their entire careers on this one project.
How do you fix a Waffle Project?
You go outside, you bring someone in who has been on a Waffle in the past and you ask them what to do how to kickstart it, how to make it better. Before that, you admit to yourself that the project has started to waffle and it needs something, anything to get it back on track – perhaps those last 6 features to be turfed, perhaps it to be deployed today, perhaps it to be *gasp* shelved for awhile when we are ready to waffle no more.
But the first and foremost important thing is to recognize your project is waffling, to admit, through no bad intention or effort on your side, that this is happening and to start doing something about it… to commit to doing something about it… and to raising your hand up to ask for help from your team, your leader, your senior dev that you need help.
Many won’t, it’s an admission of defeat, they can’t handle it. But those that do, will learn how to never have a project waffle in front of them again.