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I'm working on a "for fun" project together with some online friends. We do not intend to make money on it or become famous or anything. We're just doing it because we're like-minded individuals and we believe that together we can create something cool and improve our skills in the process.

We all have many other things going on in our lives, such as school, work, parenting, and so on. Because of that the progress slows down from time to time. Since it's a free project that's not meant to be too serious, I don't think it's right for me to get angry about occasional periods of inactivity.

But still, I feel like certain members of the team could use some discipline. I know that they are indeed quite busy dealing with other responsibilities, but I'm certain that if they tried a little harder they would be able to do more without it seriously affecting their everyday lives.

How can I bring up this matter in a tactful manner (either by making a statement for everyone to see or discussing the issue with my teammates individually)?

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  • Do you have regular meetings as a group every X weeks where you could bring something like this up? – scohe001 Sep 26 '18 at 21:31
  • @scohe001 We have an online chat that's at least a little bit active on most days. – kuchitsu Sep 26 '18 at 21:53
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You can't force them to do anything

Or at least not without alienating them. You're talking about taking something that for them is a fun hobby to do in their free time and making it a chore. Not only will it ruin the fun for them, but you'll probably lose them as contributors altogether. As such, I suggest allowing for the opportunity of them saying no.

I would find a time when they're all free and have a call in meeting where you can draw out your vision for the project. Show how there are things that could use more work and try to set deadlines. Suggest parts of the project that certain members may enjoy working on and work out a deadline with them. If they say no, then that's all you can do.

At the end of the day, how much work they do is up to them. There's no contractual agreement and no money changing hands. You guys are all in it for the fun of it.

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