Project management tools

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Current situation[edit]

Bugzilla

Migrated to Phabricator in November 2014

http://bugzilla.wikimedia.org | Technical information | Workflow information

RT

Mostly migrated to Phabricator in December 2014; two queues migrated in 2015

http://rt.wikimedia.org | Technical and workflow information

Gerrit

http://gerrit.wikimedia.org

Mingle and Trello are proprietary project management tools. Some teams at the Foundation use them in addition to the open source Bugzilla tool.

A third proprietary project management tool, Asana, is used by The Grantmaking Learning & Evaluation team to manage collaborative research projects. It supports lightweight task assignment, easy email and Google Calendar integration. It also makes it easy for other Grantmaking staff to propose tasks and monitor the status of a given task.

Mingle[edit]

The purpose of Mingle was to plan your work and keep track of who did what along the way. The Foundation was using Mingle as part of a push toward adoption of an Agile approach to software development, for which Mingle was specifically built. Mingle is made by ThoughtWorks, and ThoughtWorks has done a few training sessions at the Foundation about adopting Agile processes in general. Mingle somewhat duplicates functionality present in Bugzilla, but can be integrated with both that and some version control systems.

WMF engineers have developed tools to integrate Mingle with Bugzilla, see wikitech:Bingle

Wikimedia Foundation installation[edit]

In 2013 projects were on a server managed by WMF Office IT technical team, https://mingle.corp.wikimedia.org/ , before migrating to the host above.

Teams migrated from Mingle[edit]

Also see phab:T434, phab:T825.

Trello[edit]

Trello is a lighter-weight project management tool, lacking Mingle's story points, velocity, story hierarchy, etc. Several Wikimedia Foundation projects, including Wikipedia Zero, Mobile Apps, Collaboration, design, notifications, research/data analysis, and Growth, are using Trello boards, which collectively paid for with a "Business Class" license [1]. Though it is closed source, non-members of Trello boards can view and comment on cards, and all data is exportable in open formats if we decide Trello is not for us.

You can see all WMF boards at trello.com/wikimediafoundation

How much does Trello cost per year?[edit]

  • Trello Business Class costs $25/month ($200 a year) for the WMF collectively

What alternatives were considered to Mingle and Trello?[edit]

The following are very popular alternatives in the context of Mingle's approach, which is roughly similar to other scrum task boards or Kanban boards. They may not necessarily be viable alternatives, but since we're already using a closed source tool, this list should probably include them.

In somewhat hazy order of popularity and suitability for use by wiki-familiar developers:

  1. Pivotal Tracker. Closed source, but wildly popular in the Agile crowd. Provides free licenses to public projects and/or non-profits.
  2. Fulcrum, an open source Pivotal Tracker clone
  3. various extensions and dashboards for Bugzilla, mostly developed by Mozilla. Wikimedia Deutschland experiments with Scrumbugz.
  4. GreenHopper + JIRA. Popular but closed source and often a bear. Not particularly attractive for our needs.
  5. Trac. Open source. More project management than Agile development. Apache Bloodhound is built on top of Trac.
  6. Redmine. Open source. More project management than Agile development
  7. iceScrum. Open source, made for agile (cards, automatic graphics). Code integration only in the separate commercial version.
  8. github + a Kanban layer on top of it. Closed source. Examples include like huBoard or gitban.
  9. Phabricator, an open source tool that integrates a number of project management tools, including code review. (Wikimedia Labs instance)
  10. Storyboard of OpenStack, which might replace their Launchpad use.
  11. Online Kanban board of Kanban Tool. Closed source. Provides some extensions and integration possiblities. Tries to remain in line with the Kanban method. Offers time tracking and time reports.
  12. Kanbanize – intuitive online Kanban board. Kanbanize offers unlimited numbers of boards, cards, user privileges, roles, dropbox and email integration and more

Ultimately Phabricator was chosen. See Project management tools/Review.

Is MediaWiki itself a viable project management tool?[edit]

People often use non-specialized tools for project management. MediaWiki certainly can and has been extended for this purpose. Notable examples (please add more) include:

Neither extension is being actively maintained for the Semantic Bundle or current versions of mediawiki.

Some weaknesses that inhibit the use of mediawiki for task management include:

  • lack of facilities to automatically create obvious pages when linked, e.g. names of modules or persons or concepts already existing in large public wikis such as Wikipedia - laborious creation of manual redirects
  • poor integration with GitHub, SourceForge, or any software IDE - updating documentation in a mediawiki is not going to automatically update documentation in those, nor vice versa
  • poor consciousness of dates and times, e.g. no automatic sequencing of pages unless named alphabetically with a standard naming convention
  • poor consciousness of dependencies, e.g. when one page must be modified just because another has been, including making it quite difficult to embed pages from say a development wiki into a documentation wiki en masse.
  • lack of import/export facilities to heavily used project management data formats, other than generic XML export which requires extensive configuration to allow a project management tool to later import the data.

If you are aware of any extensions which address these issues or generate task lists with dependencies, or automatically embed or import or generate pages when a new link indicates they are important to a project, please list here. Also you are or were a developer of Teamspace or SPM or know of any attempt to revive these.

The Legal Services National Technology Assistance Project offers recommendations when to use specialized project management tools and when to use wiki software.

Current mediawiki planning and task management extensions and tools[edit]

Extension:EzPlan is a task scheduling and management extension allowing for collaborative project management.

See also[edit]