Wednesday, September 4, 2019

E. U. N.

Some time ago, I read a blog article on how to prioritize requirements. The author called it N-U-N analysis. The letters stood for Needed, Useful, Nice. I thought this was a brilliant idea, but the acronym was awkward, because there were two "N"s. I decided to traded the first for a better synonym: Essential. Essential, Useful, Nice. E. U. N. This is a powerful organizing principle.

I recently was dealing with a ham radio project list that had gotten too long. I had a number of great ideas which I had added to the project list, so it crossed several pages of my station log. This made actually finding something I could work on difficult -- especially when dealing with projects that could actually add value.

Mulling this over, I decided I needed to apply the same principle to my project list. But what was Essential, and what was merely Nice? and how about the Useful projects in between?

I decided to break it down this way:
  • Essential - fixing what is broken
  • Useful - allowing new capabilities
  • Nice - anything that might be a nice addition
I organized my long list, and low and behold it was very helpful. I only had a few projects in the Essential section, but one of them I had basically forgotten (fixing a broken switch contact on the Ameritron AL-80A).

Several of the projects were in the Useful category, and I'll be getting those done sooner. Everything in the Nice category can wait a bit.

I can't say that this exercised has helped me get anything done sooner, but now I know my efforts will be focused on the most valuable projects.