Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-project (371 mails)

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[opensuse-project] Re: Does the project have a publicly accessible project management tool?
  • From: Jim Henderson <hendersj@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 19 May 2012 18:03:20 +0000 (UTC)
  • Message-id: <jp8n97$55d$>
On Sat, 19 May 2012 12:02:03 +0200, Pascal Bleser wrote:

As an intermediate solution, would you be able to use a management tool
of your choice to maintain your own overview, importing/exporting
information/lists/calendars to Google Docs?

I believe that there would be real added value in using a "project
management tool", especially to - track things that need to be done -
dependencies between tasks - whom is taking care of what

Yes. The more I look at it, the more I think maybe the MediaWiki "Todo
Tasks" plugin provides sufficient functionality to do this, with the
added functionality of e-mailing the task owner. It doesn't track
status, but it tracks what needs to be done, and in that regard it's a
step in the right direction.

We definitely don't need gantt charts and probably not even estimations
of effort (although it might come handy for a few things if it is used
by everyone on openSUSE, e.g. thinking of OBS development).

I think we need to track dependencies, though (something a gantt chart
would do) - and time estimates are useful to ensure we move forward on
stuff. If we have to adjust the time estimates, that's fine - project
management isn't about the PM plan being a "roadmap" but more of a
"directional guidance" - and if we see something bogging down, we can
solicit additional help on a task that's holding things up. But that's
more effective if you have an estimate as to the effort to complete a
task to begin with - otherwise you don't know (falling back into PMP-
speak) what the "earned value" is on the task and how it's tracking to
the "planned value" - which is how you know if you're ahead of or behind

* topics/categories/groups/projects
* status (todo, in progress, done, frozen, canceled)
* dependencies/links to other tasks
* description
* comments
* integration with accounts and SSO
* obviously web based
* maybe subtasks
* maybe effort estimation and time tracking

These are the reasons why I initially was thinking Vibe would be a good
choice - its task management module has nearly all of these features.
The integration with accounts/SSO does mean some level of
integration with Access Manager, which will slow things down (in terms of
implementation), though OpenID might be an option (which I think means we
can just implement and point to the OpenID provider) - I can look and see
if that's something that can be added and what would be involved.

But that is a bit of "cart before the horse", too, if we organize a
project to select a tool.

If we go down that route, and I believe we should, let's make it
properly for once and take our time to pick the right tool:
* let's gather requirements * let's talk to a few people and teams to
see whether they would
use it (if there is very low adoption and we just end up with 5 people
using it, it's just a burden)
* let's make a list of candidates (tools) and see whether people
have experience with them and feedback to give (ChiliProject,
RedMine, Trac, Trello, Retro, ...)

Essentially, we need a project to decide on a project management tool. :)

So the first step would be to identify who the stakeholders are so we're
sure we're assessing the needs from the proper audience.

Anyone interested in driving this?
I'm definitely interested in taking part as I have some experience with
such tools but I'm too swamped to drive it.

I'm interested, but at the same time, while my time is presently somewhat
free, that's subject to change depending on availability of contract work
or taking on a full-time position.

Perhaps you and I could work together (would you have time if we split
the load?) to drive this.

I must say that personally, I'm a big fan of the Features/"RFC"
kind of pages the Fedora folks are doing in their wiki for specific
tasks and topics (e.g. introducing systemd, moving everything to /usr,
etc...), e.g.

IMHO we should set it up like that and make an RFC page on our wiki to
collect all findings, give context, list stakeholders,
and ultimately the decision. Document for posterity in a more visible
and clear manner, if you will, rather than having it buried in lengthy
email threads.

Agreed. E-mail is good for bashing ideas out, but it gets difficult to
follow after a while (even following via NNTP on, which is what
I'm doing) and we need to make sure we don't start repeating ourselves. :)

No need to slavishly follow the structure of Fedora's pages,
they have a slightly different purpose, but most of the document
structure could be mimicked (Summary, Owner, Current Status,
Detailed Description, Benefits, Roadmap, add "Potential Issues"

Agreed, but a consistent structure is something I'd highly encourage, as
having a repeatable process means that we can more accurately predict the
outcomes - and predictability is something that I think is highly

Jim Henderson
Please keep on-topic replies on the list so everyone benefits

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