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Toward a Cohesive Approach to Open Source Project/Program Management
Transcript of Toward a Cohesive Approach to Open Source Project/Program Management
“Mozilla has a lot of amazing projects that aren't visible to the wider group. With each team tracking and managing projects differently, we don't get a big-picture view of where we can share resources, collaborate more and avoid duplicating efforts. Most projects rely on inter-team communication and coordination and that has proven to be difficult. We need a better way to track and prioritize projects across the entire organization so that projects can run more smoothly.” (Mozilla, 2012a)
"In Q4 of 2011 the project management initiative team was kicked off to evaluate how Mozilla internally plans and prioritizes projects to ensure high project success rates. It was determined that a majority of our projects require multiple teams to complete those projects and the Mozilla was growing at such a rapid rate that transparency and clear priorities were required to be able to achieve our goals. A short-term solution was put in place to collect all requested projects in a single spreadsheet, but it was in no way a system that could be sustainable or scalable." (Mozilla, 2011)
"The project management initiative team has discussed that the long-term solution will have to be a mix of tools, process, and a slight cultural shift. Everyone agrees that the intention is not add additional work to everyone's already-full plate, but instead augment their current tool set with something that includes the following features..." - Mozilla, 2012b
Even though eighty percent of the respondents feel they know what they need to do to grow the organization, half say they don't have enough information to determine what are priorities. This disconnect could lead to groups working on projects they feel will help the organization, but may not coincide with priorities.
Scope creep and accurately estimating effort to complete a project is a problem for many groups in the organization and this could be a contributing factor in groups not achieving their goals.
Groups are being asked to complete more projects and tasks then what is possible with their available resources and those groups will have have a difficult time knowing what projects they decide to work on without knowing which ones are priorities to the organization.
Since most projects in the organization require multiple groups to complete any given project, and many groups are over utilized without clear priorities, the probability of dependent tasks being blocked is highly likely.
"Based on the outcome of the project management survey, we need to develop a short term solution to gain visibility across the organization on our projects. The purpose of this proposal is to create a short-term solution to help all employees to work together as a single team to better understand how to move all of Mozilla forward.” (Mozilla, 2012b)
Proposed Project Plan
Toward a Cohesive Approach to Open Source Project/Program Management
The primary objective of the initiative is not only to increase success rates but to find “a better way to track and prioritize projects across the entire organization so that projects can run more smoothly” (Mozilla, 2011).
Evaluation & Recommendations
11 days: 7.1.14 - 7.15.14
Develop Project Charter
7 days: 7.15.14 - 7.23.14
Submit Project Charter
2 days: 7.22.14 - 7.23.14
Project Sponsor Reviews Project Charter
4 days: 7.23.14 - 7.28.14
Project Charter Signed/Approved
6 days: 7.28.14 - 8.4.14
25 days: 7.1.14 - 8.4.14
Create Preliminary Scope Statement
11 days: 8.1.14 - 8.15.14
Determine Project Team
20 days: 8.18.14 - 9.12.14
Project Team Kick-Off Meeting
1 day: 9.15.14
Develop Project Plan
25 days: 9.15.14 - 10.17.14
Deliverable: Submit Project Plan
1 day: 10.20.14
Milestone: Project Plan Approved
1 day: 10.24.14
61 days: 8.1.14 - 10.24.14
26 days: 9.8.14 - 10.13.14
16 days: 10.20.14 - 11.10.14
Install Development System
4 days: 10.10.14 - 10.15.14
142 days: 10.17.14 - 5.4.15
Milestone: Lead Developer Sign off
1 day: 10.13.14
171 days: 9.8.14 - 5.4.15
Project Kickoff Meeting
1 day: 5.4.15
Install Test System
5 days: 5.5.15 - 5.11.15
11 days: 5.11.15 - 5.25.15
Install Live System
5 days: 5.26.15 - 6.1.15
11 days: 6.1.15 - 6.15.15
1 day: 6.15.15
31 days: 5.4.15 - 6.15.15
5 days: 6.16.15 - 6.22.15
Document Lessons Learned
4 days: 6.22.15 - 6.25.15
3 days: 6.25.15 - 6.29.15
Deliverable: Gain Formal Acceptance
1 day: 6.29.15
2 days: 6.30.15 - 7.1.15
13 days: 6.15.15 - 7.1.15
2011 Survey Results
On November 7th, 2011, a survey was conducted to capture how Mozilla employees were managing their projects and tasks. The 196 respondents included management, project/program managers, product owners, system administrators, and developers.
49% felt that they did not have enough information on what needs to be completed, what their priorities were, and who is working on what for all of their tasks.
42% rated the organization as lacking or a failure in planning upcoming projects effectively.
49% expressed that their team's quarterly goals were at risk due to resource over-utilization. (team is being asked to do more than what is possible)
54% claimed that their projects change significantly in scope or get cancelled.
*6% always, 48% often
29% rated their team's effectiveness at estimating the amount of effort necessary to complete a project as poor. 7% claimed they never do estimates.
If a third of the project estimates are poor or non-existent, how can projects stay within scope and budget?
72% expressed that their team's project tasks need to be accessed by non-employees.
83% feel that they know what they need to do to help Mozilla grow positively.
Develop and consolidate project tracking tools
Increase visibility and communication across teams
Share resources, PM strategy, and standardize processes
The project is in use today and has helped to increase the visibility of resources and tasks across teams. However, a comprehensive long-term strategy has yet to be initiated.
The primary goal of the long-term strategy
is to first find a tool that can centrally track projects, resources and people, and to better align projects with organizational goals.
Cross platform and mobile-friendly
Project submission process
Links and other project meta data
Private and public views
Data visualization and dashboard tools
Integrates with existing tools (Bugzilla, Github, SVN, wikis)
Provides instant benefit for everyone involved!
In summary, the future tool must be easy-to-use and provide the minimal amount of features to provide instant benefits to the entire organization. (Mozilla, 2012b)
During this phase, another survey will be conducted combined with a solicitation of recommendations for the project tracking tool.
Conclusion/Call to Action
The need for a long-term solution to project management challenges at Mozilla has been known for years. While short-term solutions have mitigated the impact of lacking a cohesive project management tool and program, this is the year to get it done and to do it right!
Mozilla (2011). Project Management/2011 Q4. Mozilla:Wiki. Retrieved from https://wiki.mozilla.org/Project_Management/2011_Q4
Mozilla (2012a). Project Management. Mozilla:Wiki. Retrieved from https://wiki.mozilla.org/Project_Management
Mozilla (2012b). Project Management/2012 Q1. Mozilla:Wiki. Retrieved from https://wiki.mozilla.org/Project_Management/2012_Q1
Van Horn (2013). Open Source Project Management: Applying Established Project Management Principles and Practices at the Mozilla Organization.
* Mozilla, 2012b