Project management on the forum

Introduction

If you’re looking for a way to do project management, then the forum may help out. In Discourse (the forum software we use) project management is just an after thought. Meaning that it’s not build as the primary use case. However, there is functionality available that covers the basics.

Teams

We have several teams here on the forum, which anyone may join. Teams may be used to contact a specific subset of forum users that have the same skills and interests to do activism. Such as the @it-team. This team may be tagged anywhere, which notifies its members. You may also start a group chat with these teams. Furthermore, we also have tags available, which may be used in topics to group them, such as #it-team.

Projects

By definition a project always has an end date and goal. The project length is never infinite. However, projects do tend to take up a long time, especially within TZM. It would not be great to have mega threads for a single project. This complicates the overview and might stall the project. A solution for this might be to promote the project topic to a #wiki and update the topic as a team with the most relevant information. Thus keeping a central overview at the top and discuss the progress, ideas and suggestions in the thread itself. Another solution would be to break up a project into subprojects when the scope of the project allows this.

It’s possible to request a tag for your project, such as #copiosis. You may then use that tag to group the subprojects in #activism:projects. Furthermore, you may assign these (sub)projects to people and teams. These tasks then show up in your personal overview, which also includes assignments based on your team membership. You’ll receive monthly reminders of the assigned topics that are still open.

Once a sub(project) is done, you may mark a reply as solved. After marking a reply as solved the topic will be closed automatically after 72 hours and you’ll be unassigned from the topic.

What’s missing

Full project management suites such as Atlassian and Gitlab include more broader functionality to manage projects. I work with these suites on a daily basis. I think the main thing that’s missing for TZM is the ability to set end dates for projects. That way you can track what’s overdue. There is however a plugin that offers these functionalities, but it’s an unofficial plugin. I tend to stay away from those plugins for stability reasons.

Furthermore, the kanban board functionality is limited and not very flexible. But I think we can do without these features.

If TZM outgrows the functionality available here, then of course we can look for something else. And it goes without saying that you may simply use whatever you think is best and then simply link to it in a topic here on the forum.

Forum tour presentation

Please check out this video for a brief tour of the forum in the context of project management.

What if better tooling is required?

In case we decide the forum doesn’t provide enough support to manage projects, we could setup a self hosted Taiga (open-source) instance. An example of how this looks can be viewed here. This supports the Agile workflow.

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This is a great method. I look forward to using it.
On totally separate subject, can you please change the expression “first class citizen”? The concept is such an aberration to human rights that it hurts to read it when not using it to point out the breaking of human rights.

Hi Mark! The “first class citizen” term is used in software a lot. For example, concurrency is a first class citizen in Golang. It means it’s part of the core design. I can change it of course. But it doesn’t refer to actual people, only in terms of design. Discourse is not designed with project management as its core focus, hence the expression in the text. But I can change the sentence.

Kees could you edit the initial post and add that projects need to be presented in assembly and updated periodically in the thread created for them to be considered active?

Hi Mark, first of all, thanks for you suggestions. However, this #doc only highlights how #discourse may be used to do #activism:projects. It doesn’t dictate a certain workflow, that is also not the intent of this text. It’s to guide people who want to use the forum for projects. That projects need to be active is by definition a project, just as it should have an end goal and time. Projects are not forever. This is something which I keep an eye on here on the forum. When a project doesn’t define an end time, does not provides activity updates and the project owner is also unresponsive, I’ll close the topic.

Don’t you think that’s a bit bold to state here? I encourage people to attend interactive meetings. That’s why I also setup #jitsi so that we can go from text to speech/video on the forum in a second, if needed. But to state that projects on this forum don’t count because it wasn’t announced on Discord seems like a counterproductive requirement. Activity is already low in TZM, to require people to spend a portion of that activism time to be in meetings is a bit mehhh. But that’s my opinion. At work we also aim to have the minimum amount of meetings. Don’t forget that chapters already have their own meetings :slight_smile:

I for example can’t attend these Discord meetings most of the time. One reason is because it’s in the middle of the night on a Wednesday, that doesn’t work with my job. The other one is much better, which is on a Saturday morning. However, the past few months I’ve been busy with personal stuff that have priority. I can barely find enough time to attend the TZM NL meetings, which are more important for me to attend to keep my local chapter active.

I’ll be having this busy routine until Januari/Februari. So if I understand you correctly, the Discord community will then not recognize anything done by me? :nerd_face: Activism is a luxury, I’m quite active, but only because the forum allows asynchronous activities.

So what about we meet in the middle? How about you schedule a 10 minute slot in those meetings to share your screen and visit the forum. Where you then use the popularity filter and select activity of the past month. This is a relative overview and provides a quick recap. If needed, you can also zoom in on just #activism:reports and #activism:projects and apply the popularity filter there as well and select activity of the past month. That way you can include activity of people that are active, but just can’t attend these meetings. Below is a list of what I just described. Just to highlight, this doesn’t give an overview of all activity, just the most popular ones based on clicks, likes, comments and shares. By simply sharing your screen and checking topic titles, briefly scroll through some interesting ones and leave your comments would be enough to let people know there is more going on than just Discord channel talk.

Otherwise your view of TZM is just the Discord bubble. The forum aims to bridge all these islands/bubbles we created over the past 10 years. I explained a few times how the forum does this, so I guess I won’t have to repeat that setup :slight_smile:

I hope you find this suggestion useful. And don’t forget that the forum and Jitsi run on #open-source software and use renewable energy. So this forum also aligns more with our principles we promote. Discord is the opposite.

But of course I’ll drop in a meeting from time to time, when life allows it.

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No, we need to keep people together. We are using the TZM Comm Method to do that. Please support us. We can’t just let anyone claim any project is TZM without having any communication with the community. Communication with the community is presently done with the Comm Method. If you can’t any meeting ever then you can’t really be directly part of the movement but can still support the movement by collaborating with initiatives or by finding someone who can attend the meetings to speak for you.

I will be clear, If you refuse to support us we will stop supporting you

That’s exactly what I’m proposing here Mark :wink:

Actually, this is what I’ve been proposing for almost a year now and also promote solutions to keep activities together. Your comm method doesn’t work for me. In general it’s not efficient. It doesn’t provide an overview. It uses different platforms, none of which allow categorization and central search.

It depends on manual labor to duplicate things. It doesn’t build up a momentum. It’s a deep web solution where information goes into a black hole by using cryptpads, board.net, Discord chats and Nextcloud docs. All of which are not indexable, they depend on someone making an extra effort to provide an overview on tzm.community. We can really do and should do better, and you’re looking at it right now, it’s this forum :nerd_face:

In my previous comment I made it clear that I cannot attend those meetings and I offer a nice solution which allows asynchronous communication. Which is great for people that cannot attend in the moment, I’m sure I’m not the only one. I can give you a list of personal stuff I need(ed) to manage the couple of months in a private conversation one day.

Bottom line is that it’s really not doable to make time for Discord meetings. That shouldn’t be a problem at all. If it is, then the list of people that are “not part of the movement” is even longer. How many of these people join the Discord meetings?

Have you read the book TZM Defined? This is not how the movement works. The movement is not the dozen people or so that meet on Discord. Also, no one has the power you gave yourself right now. It once again reminds me of the complaints about the GCA…

What does that actually mean? And who is “we” and what will exactly change? And with “you”, you mean me as a person? Or the forum? In both instances it’s a bit scary you think you’ve build up this power somehow.

Where is this outburst of complaints and demands coming from anyway? I haven’t pitched the forum on Discord in a while already. Or complained about Discord. Why the sudden hostility?

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