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Various approaches are used to make decisions in the OpenMRS community, for different areas. Here we describe the most common decision-making approaches that our community uses:


There are times where an individual within the OpenMRS community is fully empowered to decide upon something based on their own perspectives. There is no requirement for involving others in the decision-making process, and authority is fully granted to the individual to make a given decision.


Consultative decision making creates an expectation that an individual who's responsible for a given decision will involve others with specific experiences or responsibility to vet and get input from others prior to making a given decision.

Lazy Consensus

In a decision made by lazy consensus, a community member can suggest a proposal or new decision to be made to the larger community. This will prompt a community review of the proposal and, if necessary, a discussion of the idea. Within the OpenMRS community, we expect those attempting to make a decision by lazy consensus to allow at least 72 hours before assuming that there are no objections to the proposal. This time period allows us to be inclusive as possible of all participants, regardless of their location and time commitments.

Vote-based Consensus

In a decision made by vote-based consensus, a community member can propose a change in direction within the OpenMRS community, and establish a process where people can choose from a collection of options, with the option or options chosen by the majority of the voters serving as the decision. 

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