Isabela and nickm organized a session on 'project management' with the goal to hear from all the people on Tor what they think are the things a project manager can do to help them with their work and what are the things they don't think should be done.

Note: I tried to aggregate the notes into 'areas' to help the organization of the information shared during the session. I also mixed the 'Do's' and 'Don'ts'


  • Help keep documentation updated to ensure an easy ramp up for contributors to join and help us with tasks.
  • Maybe create a org chart to help people understand who are responsible for what and understand the different resources (people) we have.
  • Mapping of the projects to help people know what is out there.
  • Make sure our Roadmap has a transparent process and is accessible to all.
  • Add documentation as part of the project process (to ensure all projects are well document and make it easier for people to know what is going on and how to help)
  • Help organize documentation / maybe we should have a 'doc team' that is focus only on this type of work.

Project's process

  • Develop a check list for developers to know what they need to do in order for an idea to become a project (how to estimate how long it will take, how to understand how munch money ould cost to do it, check other projects that might have tasks that overlaps with the idea being proposed and how to do in those cases).
  • Help translate to developers what the funders are expecting and to also keep them updated on new needs from the funders.
  • Collaborate with Karen on both ways: bring developers ideas to become proposals for funding <-> write reports of the work done by developers so she can report to funders
  • Resource management -> if someone would like to add another person to work in a project help them pass this request to the people who manage budgets and get answer back to developers.
  • Coordinate ideas from wish list that does not have fund but does have people who are willing to work on it as volunteers.
  • Make sure community leaders get feedback on ideas they have proposed to become funded projects.
  • Timeboxing decisions / make sure there is a decision that is consensus / avoid endless discussions with no decisions at the end.


  • Create an onboarding process for new folks - to help them ramp up faster and be able to start work on what they want to.
  • Stay engaged with volunteers and pay attention to their contributions.
  • Make sure code that is waiting for review are not hanging there for too long.
  • Pass information to the community to help them figure out how is useful for them to be working on.
  • Figure out how to include volunteers who want to collaborate with PM tasks and delegate tasks to them so they can get involve as well.
  • Public value to the work that is done (shoutouts to all the cool stuff we do!)
  • Don't forget our real purpose (avoid focusing only on 'payed work')


  • No daily phone meetings.
  • No phone meetings at all! :)
  • No daily stand ups.
  • Weekly and bi-weekly meetings are cool but keep in mind the timezones when scheduling.
  • Try to use asynchronous communication tools (i.e. email) to address timezone conflict for scheduling meetings.
  • Keep track of all the meetings and help update the google calendar. (maybe publicize more the calendar / might be useful for new folks and others who wants to know how to participate in a certain project).

Team's processes

  • While working with the different teams try to identify and share good practices between them.
  • Keep track of our deliverables and deadlines to give heads to the team whenever they are behind.

Call for help!

  • Sponsor S and T would love PM help
  • Researchers could use help as well / help them know what are the researches being done to avoid overlaps etc.

Be mindful of people's capacity

  • Don't overwhelm the volunteers sysadmins.
  • Help get a sense of people's capacity to know when they are out of bandwidth to pick up yet another task.

Tools and little things that can make our life easier

  • Trac can be painful
  • Although, don't just replace it without ensuring is indeed an idea people support and there are people available to help with the work (see 'be mindful of people's capacity note above)
  • Figure out a good tagging system for our tickets (maybe review teams practices and guidelines proposed and come up with a standard for all of us on how to create these tags)
  • There are small things like an IRC bot that can give updates on tickets activity.
Last modified 4 years ago Last modified on Mar 2, 2015, 11:32:10 PM