We've all been there. Whether it be your Product Backlog, or that piece of Ikea furniture you picked up with 300 more pieces than expected and directions in Swahili (sp?). There are some things that will just sit in the virtual or real life closet and never be built.
I will give you three ways to solve this problem and gain maximum efficiency in your product design and life (design):
1. Strike these items from the list PERMANENTLY
2. Strike these items from your mind and your CUSTOMER'S MIND (expectations setting)
3. Stop shopping at Ikea (ok I will still probably shop there on occasion)
I felt compelled to post on this topic after a colleague had mentioned to the team that they had 100+ items in their backlog and were "SO BUSY". I get it, I'm busy, you're busy, the world is busy. My backlog is smaller, do I have less work? Negative. I have simply struck the "Santa items" from my list en masse, and have prioritized the rest accordingly by size and need.
Sure, I would love it if my application could do your taxes, give you a haircut, and then transport you and your kids to Disneyland. Alas, this cannot be done.
We are not talking about rejecting enhancement ideas or not listening to customers, but we are talking about removing items that will never be in scope and are a waste of time to continually review with your team. These items will remain cluttered in your mind and your team / customers / everyone else's mind the longer they remain on the list. You can strike these items from your main list and throw them on a "future wish list" if you like that is only revisited every 3-6 months in the privacy of your own home / office / cubicle.
Projects become overwhelming and unfocused when you allow yourself to become buried under the constant weight of unreasonable expectations & proposals. If you stay focused on the primary goals & purpose of your application (while accounting for the resources you have available), you will achieve success!
The life prioritization part was a bit of a sidebar, but also applies. Don't be afraid to clean up your own personal Santa list and you will probably feel less guilty for things you aren't doing, and feel better about the things you are doing which are more important!
How do you handle your own Santa lists in work & life?
Please tell me in the comments!