Somebody told me the open source projects go ahead without project managers and it was interesting for me to know is this really true? If so, how does it happen?

2 Answers 2


Open-source projects are often associated with agile methodologies, but you shouldn't confuse the 2 concepts.

The agile manifesto calls upon self-organising teams - in that sense, there is no project manager in the traditional sense.

There are 3 roles in scrum

  1. the product owner - essentially the stakeholder's advocate
  2. the scrum master: providing methodology and structure, but not deciding on the contents. The scrum master can also act as a moderator, facilator and coach.
  3. the team members: there is no leader, the team is supposed to be self-organising.

Open-Source projects [most of the time] always have a leader! The leader manages all code submissions and decides which ones to add to the software!

I would like to bring to your attention LINUX which was a revolution at the time. But it was Linus Torvalds who managed everything! The leader is the guy in charge of a project, but has zero hiring and firing authority.

For an open-source project to work out, you should have a set of rules to stick by. For example:

  • Do whatever it takes to make people feel welcome so that they continue working with you.
  • Code of Conduct - provides an interesting point you can refer to as soon as you need to.
  • Vision is necessary - No vision, no future!
  • Be Thankful - recognize contributions.
  • Ship, Ship, Ship - don't try to build the perfect infrastructure!

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