Imagine you are a painter, by hobby, not by trade, painting for the love of painting. After spending many hours creating paintings and giving them away, you reach a point where the requests have slowed and you can relax a bit without the pressure of people clamoring for more. And then an opportunity presents itself to you to paint a mural on the side of a building.
The owner is in no rush and has few demands since he's not paying you for it. The theme of it is set at "rural landscape," which is something you enjoy painting and have some experience in, and all the details of how the landscape is portrayed is up to you. You accept, welcome to have the chance to take your time, form your vision, and paint the image you envision with no rush to get the results into peoples' hands.
You sit, staring at the wall, sketching your ideas on paper, trying this, trying that, experimenting. You have a few books with new painting techniques you want to try out and are learning those as well. There isn't much progress on the actual mural, yet, but that's ok because you're not in a rush, and you want to be sure you are on the right path before putting your work up for public viewing.
But then you start getting a excited about the potential of the mural and how it will brighten up the community so you mention it to a few people here and there. One of them encourages you to put up a little sign on the wall to announce that there is a mural in progress. Even though you haven't gotten much done, yet, you are confident you will be putting paint to wall soon and so put up the sign.
Before you know it, you've attracted a crowd around you, watching you sketch, trying to catch a peek. Some of them insist you tape your sketches to the wall for all to see. It doesn't matter that your third sketch bears no resemblance to your first and your fifth is yet another concept all together. Release early, release often is the norm and they don't understand why you are keeping your experiments to yourself. Sketching by yourself, trying out various ideas before committing to any concept, makes people look at you funny, wondering why you aren't sharing.
Some of the crowd starts asking questions, are you doing this, are you doing that, when will it be done? A few tell you how you should be doing it. They're fairly easy to ignore because they aren't actually offering to help or anything, just offering to micromanage. So you tell them to just be patient and go back to your sketching and researching.
But then you get some that are much harder to deal with: people who want to help. They not only have ideas, they are picking up their paintbrushes ready to pitch in. After all, it's a big mural, tons of work, and it will go a lot faster if more people pitch in. And that's hard to argue with. You look at the huge blank wall in front of you and wonder how you will ever get it all painted and, after all, you are doing this for the community, why not let them help? Sounds like a no-brainer.
As soon as you start taking on help, you have a community project and you, by default, become a project manager. Suddenly you need to do more than share your unfinished sketches, you need to create a roadmap. You need to pick a path and stick with it because waffling and fickleness have no place in project management. You need to keep on top of what others are doing, give them direction, check their work, decide if you're going to let them paint directly on the wall or submit their sketches to you and then you need to make sure it gets added to the project in a timely manner.
And, often, you'll need to scramble to keep up with them. Because many of them aren't painting for the love of painting, just creating something cool for the community. They are or work for the business people in the community and they are counting on your mural to pull in more business. It needs to be done, yesterday if possible, with all the features they are looking for. They're willing to pitch in and help but they expect progress to move along at a good clip so they can get some use out of the work they are putting in.
There is, of course, plenty of good reasons for roadmaps and schedules and issues for every feature and collaboration and keeping a project moving swiftly towards the goal. If you are painting to spec, paid for your work, with a client to answer to, getting it done takes priority over visions and experiments and learning new craft. But, when you're not, when the journey is just as important as the destination, sometimes you just need...
... space to create.