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What's the difference between a Forum and a Project?

Forums are open discussion boards that are available to all TM Forum Members. Check to see if your company is a member.  Any member can view discussions in the forum, start a new discussion, reply to an existing debate or subscribe to the forum.

Projects are collaborative projects that are also available to all TM Forum Members.  Instead of general discussion and debate, the projects are closed spaces where members collaborate on updates and extensions to TM Forum's Frameworx suite of best practices and standards.  The outputs and deliverables of collaborative projects become part of Frameworx.

In contrast to a forum, you must join a project before viewing discussions and contributing to the project deliverables.  Joining a project is a FREE member benefit, but requires that you accept the terms of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) mode that the project is operating under. 

What's the difference between a Catalyst project and development project?

Development projects are collaborative projects leading to the enhancement of the Frameworx best practices and standards.  These projects

Catalyst projects are a special subset of projects that focus on demonstrating the application of Frameworx.  The work of a Catalyst is then presented at one of TM Forum's flagship events. These projects follow the same intellectual property and collaborative project policies, but in practice, these projects operate a little differently from development projects as there is usually high demand to participate in Catalysts.  For example, these projects have a special proposal process, require additional resources to demonstrate the work of the Catalyst at events and require a nominal fee to cover demonstration booth build.  Learn more about Catalyst projects and how to get involved.

How do a I join a Project?

First, find the project that you'd like to join in the Project listing. If you want to learn more about the project before joining, click on the project's title. From there, you can view the list of companies participating in the project, see the IPR mode that the project is operating under and read the project charter which outlines the planned scope and deliverables of the project.

After reading these materials, you can join the project by clicking the JOIN button.  After agreeing to the IPR mode that the project is operating under, the request to join the project is sent to your organization's Intellectual Property contact.  If your IP contact has set your organization to "Approve All Requests" you will receive access to the project immediately.  If your IP contact has opted to evaluate approvals on a case-by-case basis, the fastest way to gain access is to contact this individual directly.  You can find your organization's IP contact in the confirmation email that you receive after requesting access to a project.

In order to maximize the value of participating in a project, we recommend that you also attend TM Forum Action Week, where teams meet face-to-face to kick off and advance deliverables.  While many tools have made remote collaboration possible, nothing beats face-to-face!

How do I leave a project?

The ability to resign from a project is available.  Simply click to the project home and click the RESIGN button to leave the project.  You will no longer have access to the project and will no longer receive automated emails regarding the project. 

What is the commitment when I join a project?

The commitment when you join a project depends on the role you will play.  Several types of participation role exist and are outlined below:

Project Team Lead (For more on Team Leaders, see: Team/Project Leader Role):

  • Ensure project is developed in line with TM Forum IPR policy
  • Encourage all participants to take an active role in the project
  • Ensure participants have a clear understanding of what they need to complete and when
  • Drive the project team for on time delivery
  • Lead the design, planning and execution validation activities
  • Identify key companies required to position for industry adoption

Mentor:

  • Aid the team to maintain focus on delivery
  • Act as a source of expertise for the team
  • Join project calls to assist with blockages
  • Seek out expert resource to help as required
  • Be a guide and link to the wider Program

Sponsor:

  • Articulate the Industry User Story
  • Act as a Champion for the team
  • Review progress at six weekly intervals to ensure relevance
  • Champion final deliverables at Nice/San Jose
  • Drive Adoption in own organization by championing deliverables as beta versions of solutions to be developed

Participant:

  • Develop collaborative solutions as in accordance with the developed charter and inline with Collaboration process
  • Participate actively in team working meetings / sessions
  • Complete tasks as agreed with the team or workstream leader

Observer:

  • Choose to observe and monitor the progress of a project team
  • Use the insights gained to share observed advancements within your organization
  • Ensure planned deliveries are aligned with product roadmap in your organization to gain maximum R&D acceleration value
  • Align training and education within your organization to gain maximum value of cost & risk reduction and future proofing your organization

Reviewer:

  • All activities of observer plus…
  • Review all outputs from team and provide quality timely feedback ensuring output aligns with business and technology requirements of your organization
  • Participate in validation activities, these may be online or face to face.
  • Monitor Collaboration Events & Activities page for all latest review activities

Subject Matter Expert:

  • Provide support and guidance to a project team in your particular area of expertise

Workstream Lead:

  • For your agreed workstream;
  • Ensure project is developed in line with TM Forum IPR policy
  • Encourage all participants to take an active role in the project
  • Ensure participants have a clear understanding of what they need to complete and when
  • Drive the project team for on time delivery
  • Lead the design, planning and execution validation activities
  • Identify key companies required to position for industry adoption

Can I start a new project?

Absolutely, any TM Forum member can suggest a project or propose an idea for a project. The best way to do that is to find the related forum, the one most likely to include people who would be interested in your idea and that community’s leader or post your idea as a new discussion. You will need at minimum, one service provider and three participating companies (vendors, software companies, etc...) to join and when you have gathered support for the new project, develop and submit a Project Charter for approval.

How can I become a team leader of collaborative project?

Thank you for your interest in taking a leadership position and committing to further the collaborative work of TM Forum members.

To get started with leadership positions within a collaborative project, we recommend that you begin by taking on the role of Workstream lead.  In this role, you will drive a workstream of a project, encouraging active participation as well as leading the design and execution of validation activities for the workstream.  This helps you build experience in leading part of a collaborative project and is a good way to meet and work with the other project participants.

For more on Team Leaders, see: Team/Project Leader Role

Where can I find TM Forum templates for deliverables?

Templates for standard types of deliverables are available right in Confluence!  Once you are in the Confluence space for your project, click the orange CREATE button.  From there, you can choose the appropriate template and begin work.

How does a project select the IPR mode that it will operate under?

The IPR mode for the project is selected during the development of the Project Charter.  (Unknown User (jobrien) is there a specific procedure for this discussion?)

What do I do when a project team cannot agree on the IPR mode for a project?

Joann O'Brien can tackle this one! (smile)

I have a question that wasn't answered in this FAQ?

Please post your question as a comment below.  TM Forum Collaboration staff will receive your question and reply promptly.  In addition, you'll be helping to build a more robust set of answers as we'll add your question to this FAQ. 

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4 Comments

  1. How can I link in a page to a particular calendar event.

    I can insert a calendar in the page, but I would like to link in the landing page of a regular meeting to the recurring calendar event corresponding to the meeting. (an example page where I would like to be able to do so can be seen at ZOOM - Information Model related work stream Landing Page section "Weekly Call Conference"

    1. The best implementation would be to embed the zoom calendar on the page with a "list" view.  I did an example here Copy of ZOOM - Information Model related work stream Landing Page.   To do so, right click on the 3 dots on the Zoom Calendar and select "Share or Embed" to get the link.

  2. How do I raise a new document number, e.g. IGxxxx, please? Is this defined somewhere - what document options are available (IG, TR, etc.) and where the register is so we know what documents exist and whether we need to create a new one or update an existing one. Many thanks, D.

    1. That's being maintained by Collaboration Coordinator - Alicja, and she manages the numbering and inventory as part of the release. Staff put a request to her to get a new number.