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I got some projects at home, and I want to get them done already.
I was wondering, is it common to use project management for this?
Even though it would only be for me, do you use some kind of project management
for personal projects?

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8  
Yes. I even had to fire myself during my previous project. –  Pavel Shved Apr 10 '11 at 19:38
    
I was considering giving myself a raise –  Asaf Apr 10 '11 at 20:50
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3 Answers 3

If this is a project you finish in an evening, there is no need for a project management.

If, on the other hand, you are dealing with medium or large scale project, project management is strongly recommended for both commercial and personal projects. Unless you do those personal projects just to write code, with no intent to finish them one day.

If you don't use project management for a personal project, how do you:

  • track what was done and what you must do (and it is not unusual to not having too much time for personal projects for months, so when you rediscover your projects four months later, chances are you don't remember anything about it),

  • track bugs (if you care about bugs),

  • collect requirements (because there are few chances to succeed if you start writing code without thinking about what will be the final result),

  • etc.?

This being said, you don't have to use every feature of project management.

For example, usually, I never deal with time management on my personal projects. If the project is finished in two months, well, I'm happy. If instead I work on it for three years because meanwhile, there were a lot of requests for commercial products by our customers, I don't really care, since I don't have a deadline and don't lose any money if I finish the project a few years later.

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I think what I'm also looking for is sort of a project management with a Goal management, most of the time I've been working with project management systems, I wasn't the manager... so I'm not really familiarize with the entire structure of those things. –  Asaf Apr 10 '11 at 20:51
    
@Asaf: it's a good reason to learn how to use one, in a context where you don't have the stress of a commercial project and where you can have every possible right over the project management system. Again, you don't have to use/learn every feature of project management. Start with what you already know, then discover new things over time. –  MainMa Apr 11 '11 at 13:17
    
Any ideas for a specific one in mind (probably there's a post about it...?) –  Asaf Apr 11 '11 at 16:23
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Well some project management is essential for non-trivial projects even if you are doing it alone esp. because you will generally take some breaks from coding and loose the chain of thought regularly. Some amount of project management will help you come back up to running speed faster.

I would recommend:
1. Setting up a code repository (Git, svn)
2. Do a one pager spec listing the major goals and non-goals of the projects (this keeps you honest)
3. Basic UI wireframes if you are building a UI
4. Break the project into work items and use a bug tracking tool like Fogbugz (free personal edition) to track your work items and bugs.

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For myself I do use project management tools

  • Revision control
  • Issue Tracking
  • Wiki for user and developer documentation

I also have sometimes a timeline of what needs to happen, although I've found that since their personal projects the timeline really gets screwed up as I don't focus on them.

These really help organize the project for myself and for any future developer. And if I have users, they can also get help

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