A software project isn’t done at launch. That said, you should balance these potential to-dos with doing a Good enough job when appropriate (also, the Pareto principle).

Inspiration, and line items, taken from (Henley n.d.) and (Ramsey n.d.). “Evangelism, documentation, and polish are often just as important as the core project” (Henley n.d.).


Write to solve problems at scale.

  • Write outward-facing documentation (e.g. From the perspective of someone trying to use/integrate/etc the project)
  • Write inward-facing documentation (e.g. From the perspective of someone trying to maintain/improve/extend/fix the project)
  • Write on the things you learned by going through the project (e.g. project management, interpersonal relationships, internal politics, processes, programming, etc). You don’t have to publish/broadcast these — they can just be for you.
  • “Sketch out a next-steps document, even if you have no plans to continue, that explains what you would do next and why” (Henley n.d.)
    • Could anything be rewritten or extracted into a library, service, pure function, etc?


Reduce toil for those who will use and support the work in the future.

  • Add metrics (performance, reliability/uptime, errors, usage rate, resource usage) and dashboard(s) to show these metrics (Ramsey n.d.)
  • Add alerts for cases when maintainers need to take a closer look (Ramsey n.d.)


Hold Retrospective(s).

  • Discuss the project with those who worked on it; where were the pain points?
  • Seek out feedback, document it, and make improvements
  • How would you do the project differently if you had to do it all over again?


They won’t come once you build it. They’ll come when you sell them on why they should come.

  • “Present the work to other teams” (Henley n.d.)
  • Recognize and congratulate the team and individuals who worked on the project in a public forum (Praise in public)
  • “Look for adjacent projects that could benefit [and reach out]” (Henley n.d.)
  • Broadcast to the larger community by writing a blog post and submitting it to a forum (e.g. Hacker News, Reddit)
  • “Broadcast an email with the takeaways so that the rest of your organization knows about it” (Henley n.d.)


  • Fix the backlog of bugs
  • Pay down technical debt
  • Measure the success of the feature and schedule a check-in after N months to guage effectiveness


Henley, Austin. n.d. “Stopping at 90\%.” Accessed December 4, 2023. https://austinhenley.com/blog/90percent.html.
Ramsey, Jared. n.d. “The Last 1\%.” Accessed December 4, 2023. https://jaredramsey.com/blog/20230808.html.