Actively Manage your Open Source Project Health with LFX Insights
The Linux Foundation | 18 October 2022
As a project leader, you're constantly looking for ways to monitor the health of your community and nurture its growth. Our latest version of LFX insights will provide you with powerful new tools, dashboards, and metrics to understand your project's performance and your community's engagement at a glance.
The new and improved LFX insights will allow you to look at detailed technical contribution data, code velocity, and repository information. Dive into the numbers and see who is contributing, how much is being contributed, and how those metrics are changing from day to day. The updated Project Analytics and Observation dashboards will give community managers detailed access to their project communities, further enabling them to make recommendations on where the technical teams need to refocus or prioritize.
Keeping track of contributor strength, consistency and growth are a fundamental part of maintaining a healthy, growing project community. Here are three ways LFX Insights will help you do just that:
Understand your Contributor Strength
LFX contributor strength metrics will show you the amount of project contributions, the amount of individual contributions, how individual contributors compare against each other, and who is contributing less–or more–than usual.
To understand your contributor strength, you need to know how many contributions are being made over time. You need to know the number of individual contributors, and how that is changing. You should also be looking at your top contributors to see how their contributions ebb and flow over time. If all of these metrics show consistent growth, then you have a healthy contributor strength. If your metrics for any of the above are stagnant or declining, then it's time to take action.
As a Community Manager, you will want to determine if any contributors are struggling or drifting away. If so, it could be a sign that you need to attract new contributors or take an effort to re-engage your community.
Is your project overly reliant on a small number of contributors in a way that could
put your project at risk? It's time to take action to expand your pool of contributors.
Project Diversity and Community Health
The most successful projects take pride in cultivating a diverse community. The Contribution Affiliation metrics monitor contributors at the organizational level, providing powerful insight into how contributions from organizations–and their employees–compare.
Organization Leaderboards tell us who are the most active member organizations and the contribution mix of new and existing organizations.
Learn how many of your contributors are engaged in multiple projects, and how much influence they have across the open source ecosystem.
Is the project trending in the right direction?
The bread and butter of managing project performance is monitoring code velocity. This means looking at pull request efficiency, commits by repository, cycle times, documentation, and sign-offs. A consistent and growing code velocity means your project is on the right track.
In this example, an average of 84 PRs were merged in the last year, the total number of PRs submitted declined by 22% in the past year, and 24.54% of total changes were merged without any approval during the past year.
Pull Request pipeline and resolution
The total code changes submitted were 1.302, with 861 of those reviewed and 808 accepted. The PR cycle time averaged five days of waiting in review, seven days in the review cycle, and approval in 4 days. From this information, we can gauge the quality of the contributions and assess if the project goals are kept on target.
The PR cycle time can help project leaders detect if the approved committers assigned to a specific component are enough to keep the reviews rolling. Ideally, a project wants a quick turnaround of reviews and feedback to drive feature development and issue resolution to completion on an optimal timeline.
These metrics demonstrate a project that is highly engaged and well-balanced. The number of issues resolved decreased by 42.24%, and the number of issues submitted decreased by 19.27% during the past year.
If you see new contributors jumping into the fray, that's great news. New contributors playing a role in issue creation and resolution can reflect on the level of interest in the project and how the open source community perceives it. Project managers can see the impact of their releases from the perspective of new users and have a fresh take on how the project impacts the community.
Overall, the latest edition of LFX Insights will provide you with a rich set of tools, metrics, and dashboards to monitor the health of your project community. As you familiarize yourself with Insights, we’d like to hear what you want next. This tool, after all, was specifically made for project leaders like you.
Check out the latest Insights features at https://insights.lfx.dev/
Read more about the new features and ask questions in the LFX Community Forum at https://community.lfx.dev/.
Would you like to contribute to a project via LFX? Create an account at https://openprofile.dev/
LFX is available exclusively to Linux Foundation projects. Learn how to host your project at the Linux Foundation by visiting https://www.linuxfoundation.org/projects/hosting.
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