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So I find every project I get involved in, the start is great and I am all gun-ho lets do some coding. Next thing you know, the project is nearing completion, we are refining, testing, revising, waxing the car if you will and I just cannot retain focus. I get to this point and I cannot stop thinking about how to maintain and get the job done.

Any comments on how to retain focus as project nears end and you cannot wait for next project?

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closed as primarily opinion-based by ratchet freak, durron597, MichaelT, GlenH7, Snowman Jul 18 '15 at 14:58

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Software is finished when it has no users. Otherwise, it can always be improved. – Randall Schulz Sep 28 '10 at 18:47
@randall: I am referring to an iteration of the development cycle. – Chris Sep 28 '10 at 21:56
my exact problem I am having right now.. – WalterJ89 Oct 7 '10 at 16:35
up vote 8 down vote accepted

You are a perfectionist. Perfectionists = huge procrastinators

I'm a huge procrastinator. But I've found a solution that works pretty well:

Deliver your software early. By small iterations of 4 weeks. Ship it fast.

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"huge procrastinators" is an understatement sometimes... – WalterJ89 Oct 7 '10 at 16:36
@Piere 303: I wanted to follow up on this answer and confirm this is a great solution. Indeed procrastination and perfection can be hand-in-hand. The smaller chunks you create the easier it becomes to get "something" done. Thanks again for your advice! – Chris May 15 '12 at 18:39
Thanks for the feedback Chris! – user2567 May 15 '12 at 19:44
Not only ship early, but ship often! If you already have users, you can use the perfectionist part of yourself to keep delivering better and better versions of the software. – Owen Johnson Aug 3 '13 at 7:49

I tend to do this, and it is most likely because I'm now "bored" with the project. It's almost done, there isn't really much more thinking involved, my mind is moving on while I'm stuck on this.

My solution is to just put my back into it. Layout definitive goals and tackle them as fast as possible. Complete unit testing could have eight or so systems under it that all need to be done. Break it down further. Litter your desk with sticky notes and remove them when done. Visually indicating progress helps me a lot in this phase.

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+1 for sticky notes and visually indicating progress. I like this. – Chris Sep 28 '10 at 21:57

Well, since I'm pretty shure you're not talking about gold-plating, this is what I do regarding this problem: We choose the minimun number of developers from the original team necessary to finish the project with quality (By luck - like drawing straws), and them we put some interns to fill up the space (We have good interns, hand picked). The rest can go to the new exciting projects :) So, we do not actually solve this issue, but we try to avoid it completely.


P.S. English is not my native language, sorry for anything

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Your English is fine! Cheers mate for a good answer. – Chris Oct 9 '10 at 15:01

I think at this point it would be best to just ship it. There are always ways to improve a project, and sometimes 'good enough' is just that. Get it out there to live users, you can see how they use it in the wild, and have a clearer look at what the project needs, and go from there.

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I do not think you understand, I am not saying its finished but not perfect in my opinion. I am saying it is not quite there yet, theres a few kinks to iron out, maybe a small bug or two. I agree with what you said, but not quite what I meant by the question. – Chris Sep 28 '10 at 21:57

The best part of a project coming together is that you get to work on those last 10% that make up 90% of the feel of a product.

Each fix makes the product much more complete, if you can imagine counting like that (I.e the 20th last fix accounts for 5%, the 2nd last fix for 50%).

I love that phase, but it can be a grind too.

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