Project Management

Project management is the process that guides a team’s work to accomplish all project goals within certain parameters. The goal of project management is producing a complete project that meets objectives. 


No matter the type of Open Source project, whether it is publishing a research paper openly or creating a new library for a programming language, you will have to work with others. Managing those interactions will help it be on time with what you envisioned.

Project Phases

The phases of project management refer to the different stages that a project goes through from its inception to its completion. These phases typically include:

  1. Initiation: In this phase, the project is defined and the goals, objectives, and scope of the project are established. A project plan is also developed to outline the key tasks, milestones, and deadlines for the project.

  2. Planning: In this phase, the project team develops a detailed plan that outlines how the project will be executed. This includes identifying the resources that will be needed, estimating the costs and timelines, and defining the roles and responsibilities of team members.

  3. Execution: In this phase, the project team carries out the tasks and activities outlined in the project plan. This may involve coordinating with other teams, managing budgets and timelines, and communicating with stakeholders.

  4. Closure: In this phase, the project team completes the final tasks and activities, and closes out the project. This may involve conducting a final review and assessment of the project, and documenting the lessons learned.

Building a Team that Talks to Each Other

It’s important to identify how the team will communicate and collaborate with one another. Setting the stage for how, when and where people can connects will reduce anxiety and ensure the important things are not missed. It also can ensure that there is equity for everyone in the team:


This can include:

  • Planned/ regular meetings
  • How formal they will be
  • Whether meetings will be held in-person, virtually, or both
  • How the team will share and collaborate on documents
  • Where documents will be stored and how they will be version controlled
  • Workflow for decisions and approval

User-Centered Design (UCD)

User-centered design (UCD) is a design approach that focuses on the needs, wants, and capabilities of the end user. In the context of open source projects, UCD is the process of designing software or other products with the end user in mind, and involving users in the design process to ensure that the final product meets their needs and expectations.


UCD is often implemented in open source projects through a process called user testing. This involves recruiting users to try out prototypes or early versions of the product, and using their feedback to make improvements and refinements. This can help to ensure that the final product is user-friendly, intuitive, and meets the needs of the target audience.


UCD is an important approach in open source projects because it helps to ensure that the products are designed with the end user in mind. By involving users in the design process, open source projects can create products that are more effective and useful for their intended audience.



At a high-level, the UCD process includes the following steps: 

  1. Planning
  2. Collecting and analyzing data
  3. Writing content
  4. Designing and developing prototypes of the system
  5. Testing

Best Practices

Here are a few best practices for project management in open source projects:


  1. Define clear goals and objectives: Before starting a project, make sure to define clear goals and objectives. This will help to ensure that everyone is working towards the same target, and will make it easier to measure the success of the project.

  2. Identify roles and responsibilities: Make sure to identify the different roles and responsibilities within the project, and make sure that everyone knows what is expected of them. This can help to ensure that the project runs smoothly and that everyone knows what they need to do.

  3. Create a project plan: Develop a project plan that outlines the key tasks, milestones, and deadlines for the project. This will help to keep the project on track and ensure that everyone is working towards the same timeline.

  4. Communicate regularly: Regular communication is essential for the success of any project. Make sure to keep everyone informed about the progress of the project, and encourage open and transparent communication among team members.

  5. Monitor and review progress: Regularly monitor and review the progress of the project to identify any issues or obstacles that need to be addressed. This can help to keep the project on track and ensure that it is successful.


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