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. These tasks then show up in the team overview and your personal overview. 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.

1 Like

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.