Project Management/Initiative FAQ

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What is the goal of this initiative?

The short-term goal is to bring visibility to projects that require assistance from teams like IT, Infrasec, Release Engineering, and QA to complete those tasks. These service-oriented teams are often asked to do more projects than what is possible with the resources they have available. The goal of this form is to allow the service-oriented teams to provide your project with the highest level of service.

How much time will it take me to complete the form?

The form is very simple and should take about five minutes to complete for each of your projects.

Who should fill out the project intake form?

Any director or leader responsible for a team's project should complete the form.

Which projects do I need to include?

You should include any project that will utilize resources from any of Mozilla's services-related teams. Examples include Webdev, IT & Network Ops, Services Ops and Release Engineering.

Including projects that require work from these teams allows us to form a more complete picture of all major project deployment dates, priorities and dependencies.

What defines a project?

For purposes of this initiative, we're interested in projects that need people from multiple teams to be successful.

There's no need to submit projects and tasks that are to be done entirely within your team, or within routine bug-level processes (e.g. PM defines feature, dev writes patch, other dev reviews, someone checks in, QA verifies, etc.).

Will this affect how my team uses Bugzilla or other task management software?

No, the goal of this initiative is to capture major projects and a few high-level pieces of information to help with quarterly planning.

I thought this was a Webdev project, why do you want my projects?

This originally started out as a Webdev project due to their team's diverse projects, but soon turned into a Mozilla-wide initiative with the formation of a cross-functional team.

My team has a bunch of internal projects that are not external facing. Do I still have to enter these projects?

Yes, but only if your internal project require substantial effort and requires more than your team to complete. For example, if you are developing something that IT or release engineering needs to deploy, then it should be entered in the intake form.

Why is this initiative asking about goals?

For the past few quarters, organization-wide goals are how we plan and ensure that Mozilla is healthy and relevant. Aggregated metrics on goals for submitted projects will help ensure that we have adequate resources to ensure your project is successful.

What if my projects don't align to the goals stated on the intake form

Not all projects will give high support to Mozilla's top-level goals. However, there should be some correlation to at least one or two of them. If that isn't the case, submit your project anyway so can work with your team to identify how it fits within Mozilla's strategic goals.

What happens if I don't submit my projects?

Not submitting could hinder your projects' chances for success and put others at risk. When the larger group doesn't know what your team is working on there's less potential for collaboration and dependencies can go unidentified. We can do this!

Why can't teams prioritize their projects now without having to implement a new process?

Every team is actively prioritizing their own projects. However, there is a very high probability that these projects require the assistance of at least one other team to accomplish them. IT, QA, Security, Webdev, Operations, etc., are commonly requested to complete a project. These teams need to prioritize all the requests from across Mozilla and typically everyone's project is a P1. This is a way to prioritize at a higher level.

Who will manage the data captured on the project intake form?

The project management initiative team will be initially reviewing, cleaning up, and communicating to the entire organization on the submitted projects. Prioritization and next steps will be determined by the same Directors and team leads who submitted the projects along with guidance from the steering committee. The main goal during this first phase of the initiative is just to bring visibility to all of our projects, but not directly affect how they are managed.

What is the outcome of "announcing final priorities"?

During this first phase of the initiative, little will change in terms of priorities and the projects themselves. This short-term solution is only to bring visibility and to allow specific teams to have a better view of what is going to be requested of their teams for short-term planning. The Directors, executive management, and the steering committee already do quarterly planning, which directs the types of projects we are all working on now. This short-term solution will only be used to augment high level planning and to assist the organization with being able to meet the needs of requested projects.

Does this integrate with any of our existing tools or platforms?

The project intake form is a short-term solution--it is not technically a tool and is not intended to integrate with or replace existing tools. In the future, we are investing in a simple overview tool that would allow this type of planning, but requirements have yet to be formalized.

Why can't we pilot this intake form with only the teams experiencing resource constraints?

While it's true teams with the most cross-functional dependencies and resource constraints will benefit the most from this initiative, having a comprehensive list is crucial to the success of all projects. Not submitting can lead to confusion and incorrect planning when those projects are eventually requested of the intended teams. Think of Mozilla as one big team, and while not every initiative will help every team directly, it will make us stronger as a whole.

Will this information be published anywhere?

After the data is sanitized and cleaned up, the team post the results on the Intranet. A link will be sent out to the company on where to find it in early January.

Where can I read more about this initiative? Who is on the team?

Read more about this initiative on the 2011 Q4 page.