Decision making process discussion summary and proposal

This post summarizes the discussion about the decision making process of the Community team, and proposes an “alpha version” of a possible structure we could set out to build for our team.

Summary

@psykro, @chanthaboune, @courtneypk, @andreamiddleton, @yaycheryl, @adityakane, @kcristiano commented on the post that had 4 discussion items in it.

  1. Media: in particular when it comes to the P2 we can implement some quick strategies to move things forward. @courtneypk suggested we add a deadline to the posts that need a decision, follow up with a summary/proposal for changes. We now have a handy new feature on the blog to highlight summary comments. If it’s a complex issue, that’s when a leadership team comes in. @kcristiano says the P2 has to be the place where we debate on issues and decisions are made.
  2. Who. Most of the commenters weighed in on this issue:
    • @psykro suggested we look at big changes in the Community team as releases and proposed to have two different levels of leadership: decision leads and decision deputies and build a team of three.
    • @andreamiddleton also identified two levels of involvement: leadership of *new* projects/programs (features) and leadership of *maintenance* work.
    • @kcristiano suggests that we should have a team of three (odd number) that distills the discussions and announces the decision.
    • The commenters agreed on the fact that we need a leadership team, but Andrea worries that we don’t have enough people with time availability to get the deep and broad knowledge needed to make wise decisions for the *global* community. @francina suggests we have a bigger team than the three people mentioned by Kevin and Jonathan so we can share the workload amongst more people.
    • We are also all in agreement that we need a diverse group of people in the leadership team so we avoid the feeling that only sponsored volunteers can and do make a difference. As @adityakane pointed out, when a decision is unpopular people tend to blame it on one, two people that are usually sponsored volunteers. Behaving in a gracious and humble way is important.
    • Andrea and Kevin touched on the fact that sometimes the end result will not satisfy all but a decision is better than none. Andrea mentioned that this is how the Core team leadership functions: having a a large-ish group of people with the experience and breadth of knowledge is needed to make decisions that serve and protect the majority of the people who use WordPress.
  3. How and Tracking: we didn’t touch much on this, it will be probably easier to work on this after we know who is working on what.

Roles and people involved currently

These are the people who are involved in some capacity at the moment. Please if I didn’t include you in this list let me know, I used the data that I could find/remember but I might have missed someone.

Team Reps

Francesca Marano @francina and Hugh Lashbrooke @hlashbrooke

Super Admins

Jenny Wong @miss_jwo, Brandon Dove @brandondove, Kevin Cristiano @kcristiano

Full time sponsored volunteers

Andrea Middleton @andreamiddleton, Cami Kaos @camikaos, Courtney Patubo Kranzke @courtneypk, Hugh Lashbrooke @hlashbrooke, Josepha Haden @chanthaboune, Rocìo Valdivia @_dorsvenabili, Ian Dunn (meta) @iandunn, Corey McKrill (meta) @coreymckrill.

I am only aware of Automatticians, are there any other volunteers who are sponsored full time?

Mentors of WordCamp mentors

Brandon Dove @brandondove, Mayuko Moriyama @mayukojpn

Deputies

So many that we now have a handy document 😍

Proposal

Leadership in a global program like this requires patience, empathy, and resolve… but also a willingness to accept (sometimes ill-informed) criticism with grace and humility, without losing the courage to take more risks. It’s work.
Andrea

With Andrea’s words in mind, I propose the following:

  1. Create a leadership group, our “Lead Developers”. These are the people that have knowledge and understanding of the project as a whole and of the community team. When we need a final say on something, these are the go-to people. They could be the team reps plus one more person or three completely different people.
  2. Create a team of “Committers” or “Feature leads” or any other awesome name we find for ourselves. Audit all the ongoing projects and appoint at least one person for each of those. This will help us move things along and also have a point of reference for new contributors. Meetups and WordCamps are big projects, for these we could have more than one person. Here is a list of ongoing projects that come to mind:
    • Meetups (high-level decisions that apply to the global program)
    • WordCamps (high-level decisions that apply to the global program, examples: discussions about Regional WordCamps, paying for ads, ecc…)
    • swag management
    • help scout supervision
    • deputy training
    • mentors training and allocation
    • micro-grant program
    • handbooks
    • welcome pack
    • meta
    • code of conduct
    • the decision making process itself 🙂
    • etc…

    For some of these projects we already have leads, ideally we should document this clearly in the Projects page.

  3. Team Reps. We currently have two and they mostly have administrative and communication tasks (post about meetings, recaps of meetings in our P2 and the Updates P2, etc…). They could be integrated in the first group or not. There is a lot of recruitment to do for this new structure, so I am not sure at this stage we have enough people to fill all the roles: it might be a good idea for 2017 to have them part of leadership group, while in 2018 they could be different roles.
  4. Once we have a picture of all the projects and people attached to them, decided on the how and the tools.

I also propose to form a temporary committee of experienced contributors, from around the world, to evalute the proposals and the nominations. We used this method for the Community Summit and it worked really well. Some of them (if they think they have the availability) might end up taking a more permanent role, but for now we only need a board to evalute the board (inception!).
I nominate the same people we had last time:

  • myself
  • Hugh
  • Rocìo
  • Mayuko
  • Kevin
  • Brandon
  • Jenny

Feel free to say no if you don’t have the capacity to take on this task! Or to object or to propose other names, etc…

Please, leave your proposals, nominations, self-nominations for the different roles/teams so we can come up with a process together.

I feel we need a longish deadline for this one, let’s say September 21, in time for our second chat of September.

Thank you all!