To drive a team working on a release or other project, we use the concept of Release Coordinator or Project Coordinator.

This role is different from a management role, such as project manager. It is typically one of the engineers working in the project. The role does not include any responsibility to make administrative decisions (like resource allocation or deciding on deadline). The main function is to communicate actively with all team members and external parties, to always be aware of status and progress of the project and to make sure there is progress and no tasks are forgotten.

Tasks of a Release Coordinator

  • For MariaDB releases, maintain a TODO page for the release:
  • The TODO page should clearly state the release coordinator! An important part of the role is to be the contact point, people should know who you are.
  • Make sure is updated and that active worklogs are also linked to the TODO page.
  • Work with QA team to tag incoming bugs appropriately and see that they are worked on Example for 5.1

Note: The Coordinator is not a secretary! It is not his job to write all the worklogs, it is he's job to make sure the other engineers do it.

Release Coordinator FAQ

Q: When a Project Coordinator is needed?

A: It's desirable for any project that is planned to be accomplished within a fixed time frame by several engineers (at least by 2) that have to work in parallel.

Q: Can we do without any Project Coordinator?

A: Theoretically yes. However it means that every member of the project team has to coordinate his work with all others. For two people it's not hard, for 4 people it's problematic, for 7 people it's practically impossible.

Q. What's the difference between Project Coordinator and Project Manager?

A: Project Coordinator is a function, not a person. This function can be assigned to any person. If you see that the person is not able to perform this function, you choose another person. You don't have to fire the failing person and to hire another one. Besides you can afford yourself to use different project coordinators for different projects in such a way that each project has its own coordinator. It gives each project more chances to succeed as its coordinator will not be distracted by other tasks.

Q: What is the major challenge of a Project Coordinator?

A: To deliver the project in time or to stop it as early as possible if the project turns out to be a failure.

Q: Should a Project Coordinator be a mentor for the other members of the project? Should he/she monitor their activity?

A: He/she can act as a mentor if it helps. Yet, the monitoring should be accomplished indirectly through a tight involvement into the project development. The project coordinator must be either a code reviewer, a developer or a QA engineer working on some subtasks of the projects.

Q: Should a Project Coordinator be the technical lead of the project?

A: It's desirable, but it's not necessary.

Q: Acting as a Project Coordinator, is it a hard work?

A: It's pretty easy for the project with two participants. To coordinate the project with 4 people is pretty hard. To be a coordinator for the project with 7 participants is an absolutely exhausting activity that requires a good rest after the project terminates.

Q: What exactly a Project Coordinator should do?

A: Well, in general it depends on the project and the participants. The chances are low that for a more or less complicated project the coordinator can succeed without a detailed plan and regular meetings (not just weekly, but at some periods daily) with the members of the project team. He/she also has to resolve somehow conflict situations due to technical or communicative problems that are likely to arise.

Q: What should be the relationship between the Project Coordinator a the Management of the company

A: The Project Coordinator should serve as a liaison between project and the Management of the company (as well as with other employees).


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