For years, we’ve known that as you increase the size of a team, the number of communication channels increases exponentially. It’s the basis of why adding people to a late project makes it later. In my latest article for Opensource.com, I explain how program managers help combat that.
A program manager can help simplify the communication overhead by serving as a centralized channel for information. By lurking on mailing lists and chat channels, the program manager sees what’s going on in the project and communicates that broadly to the community and the public. This way, anyone who needs to know the high-level details can look at the program manager’s summary instead of paying attention to every channel themselves.
There’s nothing particularly magical about program management. Helping open source communities do program management in an intentional way is why I wrote Program Management for Open Source Projects.