Idea Documents

What are they?

Idea documents provide a short structured format, designed to help facilitate group/team problem-solving.

When might we write an Idea Document?

Any time we have an idea for a feature/improvement/bugfix/whatever which requires research, may impact others on our team, or impact other teams, or if we just want feedback.

If we find ourselves wondering if we should write an RFC, an Idea Document is lower-effort, and its format naturally evolves into an RFC (if needed/desired).

Why would we write an idea document?

  • To determine the viability of an idea.
  • To solicit feedback early in the problem-solving process.
  • To communicate impact and/or importance to others.

Who may write an Idea Document?

Anyone! Idea Documents are intended to be used by everyone, including product managers, engineers, designers, end-users, writers…literally any member of the organization may write one.

How to write an Idea Document?

This is my basic template, based on prior art by Josiah Hester, Kurt Braget, and Dror Matalon.

💡 The name of the idea

✏️ Description - a short elevator pitch

💩 Problem

🎉 Solution

👿 Bad things about this idea (1-2 sentences)

😇 Good things about this idea (1-2 sentences)

🕐 Estimated effort (t-shirt size: S, M, L, XL)

❤️ Who champions/supports this idea? (comma, separated, names)

Where do we publish Idea Documents? Where do I find them?

Use GitHub issues, or commit them to the source code directly.