In July of 2013, we are beginning a quest for improved project management. This might involve using dedicated tools. If we were to use such a tool, here are the properties which we think that might be on the cards.


Three views of tasks:

  • by person (What are my tasks? When are they due?),
  • by product (What are the tasks in core Tor? Torbrowser? ooni? etc), and
  • by sponsor (What have we promised Sponsor Omega?).

Several attributes for tasks:

  • description of what is to be done, including ideal/intended/promised/minimal end states;
  • possible: list of subtasks/steps (could be free-text);
  • clear distinction between actual text of guarantee to funder and exegesis of that text,
  • which product(s) the task works on {core-tor|torbrowser|ooni|bridgedb|tails|torbirdy|...};
  • which sponsor the task is promised to,
    • [just one, create separate tasks for separate sponsors],
    • [reflect on how Tor actually deals with similar deliverables from different sponsors & implement that.];
  • who is responsible for understanding the funder's requirements, who is responsible for making sure the task happens, who else is involved;
  • status: {unassigned|assigned|in-progress|blocked|at-risk|canceled|complete|deferred};
  • due date;
  • estimated time needed from whom, actual time spent;

Other tool needs:

  • It should be possible to make world readable tasks (all our tasks are world-readable).
  • The tool should be readily usable over Tor, perhaps even using Torbrowser.
  • We should have sufficient confidence that the tool is secure, reliable, etc.
  • The tool should be as consistent with our principles of free speech and free software as possible.
  • We should readily be able to obtain a comprehensive data export.
  • It should be easy to backup offsite as part of our normal backup routine.
  • Email notification when you need to take some action on one of your items
  • If this is a tool we're going to self-host, we need a plan for who will install, maintain, and update it.

Technical solutions don't always solve social problems. Here are some policies we may need:

  • The tool needs to provide easy, clear answers to "What are we doing? Who is doing it? When is it done?"
  • If you comment on a task it is your responsibility to update the flags/attributes to reflect the state you think the task is in after your comment.
    • (Possibly, though we shouldn't pretend that this will work without maintainers)
  • We should come to a conclusion about how we deal with similar deliverable from different sponsors. This tool's configuration should be consistent with that.


Some proposals or suggestions about tools which might meet our needs:

  • Trac
  • Basecamp
  • Trello
Last modified 6 years ago Last modified on Jul 11, 2013, 1:55:47 PM