There are some recurring themes that we see in policy and software development. This page attempts to document some of them.
- Attempting to take too many steps too quickly
This pattern is common to both policy and software development. As any toddler learns, attempting to take too many steps too quickly results in stumbling. The botched roll-out of VisualEditor and the botched attempted update to the access to nonpublic data policy both exhibited this problem. Rather than taking small, incremental steps, a few people attempted to charge ahead and consequently damaged their reasonable cause in the process.
- Attempting to hit an ill-defined target
Policy development often has this issue. It can stem from a lack of a proper discussion, which results in unclear and possibly ulterior motives not coming to light. In writing or rewriting policy, from the outset there has to be some common agreement about what the goals are. Trying to write or rewrite an acceptable policy without first establishing what objectives are trying to be met will almost always result in failure. It's very difficult to hit an ill-defined target.