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Wikimedia Cloud Services team/EnhancementProposals/Decision record T322756 WMCS Kanban board

From Wikitech

Origin task: phab:T322756

Date of the decision: 2023-01-17

People in the decision meeting (alphabetical order):

Decision taken

Option 1.


We decided to proceed with Option 1, as that was the solution preferred by User:FNegri who created this decision request, and there were no strong objections.

User:Arturo_Borrero_Gonzalez was worried it will require a substantial effort with (so far) unclear benefits, but he agreed to proceed with the caveat that User:FNegri will be doing the required work of creating boards/updating tags for this quarter, and we will discuss the pros/cons in the next quarter before deciding to continue with this approach.

User:Nskaggs was not convinced by any of the options listed in this task, but agreed we need to iterate on the current boards and processes to find the best solution.


The cloud-services team Kanban board is currently listing 67 tasks in the "Doing" column and 48 tasks in the "Soon" column. This doesn't reflect the tasks actively being worked on ("Doing") or the ones that have been prioritized ("Soon"). This can be a source of confusion for both people in the team, members of other teams and external volunteers.

The underlying assumption of this decision request is that a Phabricator board that is more accurately reflecting the team work and priorities can lead the team to work more effectively, reduce the cognitive load for team members, and provide more clarity and transparency to people external to the team. Constraints and risks

  • Different attempts have been done in the past (see this board that was created for Q3 2021/2022), and they were abandoned. We need to gather more information about why they didn't work out.
  • This decision request concentrates only on the "Soon" and "Doing" columns and does not consider the other columns of the board (Blocked, Epics, etc.). A more comprehensive approach might bring additional advantages.


Option 1

Create a Phabricator "Milestone" for every quarter.

This is similar to what other teams are doing, e.g. Observability. The milestones appear in the main team board and each milestone has its own board organized in Kanban style.

It's also similar to what the WMCS team is already using for the Toolforge Build Service project, although in that one the "milestones" are only 2 weeks long.


  • provides a separate "zoomed-in" view for the current quarter, visualizing the team priorities for the quarter that are currently in a Google Doc
  • reduces the chance of tasks being forgotten for too long, as a new board is created every quarter and old tasks must be manually added to it


  • some extra work to create a new Milestone every quarter
  • only one milestone can be assigned to a given task, so the same task can not be at the same time tagged with a "WMCS-Qx" milestone, and a "Toolforge Build Service Iteration 0x" milestone. (update: this is not true, more details in the Phabricator comments)

Option 2

Create a Phabricator "Subproject" for every quarter.


  • the same of Option 1
  • can coexist more easily with the milestones used in the "Build Service" phabricator board (update: this is not true, more details in the Phabricator comments)


  • the same of Option 1
  • subprojects cannot be automatically displayed as columns in the parent board

Option 3

Keep using the current board, but update the "Doing" and "Soon" column to reflect the current team work and priorities.


  • easier maintenance (no need to create new boards every quarter and archive old ones)


  • requires more attention to prevent build-up of tasks
  • does not provide a visual representation of the priorities for each quarter