Community Deputy check-in results and sum-up

In recent weeks, all Community Team Deputies were contacted personally through SlackSlack Slack is a Collaborative Group Chat Platform https://slack.com/. The WordPress community has its own Slack Channel at https://make.wordpress.org/chat/., and asked to provide feedback on contributions to the Community Team in 2020. Deputies were also asked about their plans for contribution in 2021, and how team reps and fellow deputies could provide better support.

The check-in was done with three things in mind: to know how many active Community deputies will continue in 2021, if and where there is need for more training, and to get feedback on how to improve the deputy experience. The number side of results is also meant for tracking deputy engagement long term, as the Community Team expressed interest in regular check-ins.

In this post, I’ll be sharing a summary of results and general conclusions.

Response rate and deputy balance

All 35 active deputies were contacted, and 25 (71%) of them answered in a given time (one week). From those 25 deputies, 24% (6) are fully sponsored, 32% (8) are partially sponsored and 44% (11) are contributing on a  voluntary basis.

Time contributed

It’s worth noticing that deputies are very active contributors on the wider WordPress project. From all who responded, 60% (15) answered that they contribute to other teams. Over half of deputies contributing to other teams also contribute to more than one team outside of Community.

The year 2020

Deputies estimated that during the year 2020 they have contributed a total of 1051 hours monthly to the Community Team.

Number of deputiesTotal hours estimatedOn average per deputy
Fully sponsored6650108
Partially sponsored816421
Fully volunteer1123722
All25105142

The year 2021

Deputies were also asked to estimate how much time they plan on contributing to the Community Team per month in 2021.

They estimated that they would contribute 906 hours per month in total, around 36 hours on average per deputy. The estimates predict an approximately 14% decrease in contributed time when compared to this year. 

Total hoursOn average per deputyDifference in hours from 2020(% change)
Fully sponsored600100-50 (-7%)
Partially sponsored164210 (+/-0%)
Fully volunteer14213-95 (-40%)
All90636-145 (-14%)

Ways to contribute

Deputies were asked to tell how they have contributed to the Community team during 2020 and in which way they would like to contribute during next year. Deputies had a pre-formed list of options to choose from and a free field to list other ways that were missing from the list. Options were the same for both years and deputies were allowed to select as many options as they liked.

20202021
MeetupMeetup All local/regional gatherings that are officially a part of the WordPress world but are not WordCamps are organized through https://www.meetup.com/. A meetup is typically a chance for local WordPress users to get together and share new ideas and seek help from one another. Searching for ‘WordPress’ on meetup.com will help you find options in your area. application vetting1816
WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. application vetting1318
WordCamp mentoring1218
Local community mentoring1619
Financial aspects (Sponsorship wrangling, WPCSWordPress Coding Standards A collection of PHP_CodeSniffer rules (sniffs) to validate code developed for WordPress. It ensures code quality and adherence to coding conventions, especially the official standards for WordPress Core., payments)913
Triaging HelpScout1013
Developing Community Team (Writing proposals or comments on the P2P2 P2 or O2 is the term people use to refer to the Make WordPress blog. It can be found at https://make.wordpress.org/., etc)1614
Participation on a working group1013

The following observations were made from the answers:

  • 56% of deputies wish to contribute in more ways than they had this year
  • 16% of deputies want to contribute in fewer ways than they have this year
  • Routine, administrative tasks, like triaging HelpScout, are not popular ways to contribute amongst fully volunteer deputies. Instead, they prefer to contribute to local communities.
  • More deputies wish to work with local communities and events during 2021
  • Partially volunteered deputies expressed interest in routine, administrative tasks during 2021

Estimates on tools

Deputies were asked to estimate when they last participated in a discussion or used tools that are specific to deputy work. This part of the results is for historical analysis, rather than measuring how the team or individuals did in 2020.

This monthLast monthIn the last 3 monthsIn the last 6 monthsThis yearNot this year
Attended a Community Team bi-weekly meeting1432123
Posted or commented on the Community Team blog1432312
Logged in to HelpScout1350232
Logged in to WordCamp CentralWordCamp Central Website for all WordCamp activities globally. https://central.wordcamp.org includes a list of upcoming and past camp with links to each.1712320

Observations from open questions

Deputies were asked to answer a few open questions: where they feel their contribution is most impactful, what team reps could do to better support deputy work, and if there are any blockers in contributions to the team.

Some observations can be made from responses to these questions:

  • Almost all of the deputies feel that their contribution is most impactful when mentoring event organisers and local communities.
  • Only a handful and mostly experienced deputies mentioned things related to Community Team management (proposals, team development, mentoring others, documentation etc.) as contributions that they feel are impactful.
  • Nearly half of the deputies felt that they had received enough support from team reps and fellow deputies.
  • Some deputies felt that the Community Team should do more outreach, frequent updates on what the team is doing, and highlight project-wide updates with the team more often.
  • Some things in the team are moving too fast or too much information is put out in a short period, making it challenging to follow with everything happening, especially for fully volunteer deputies.
  • There were suggestions for how tools and work procedures could be improved. For example, having shifts could help deputies maintain a regular cadence for routine tasks.
  • Deputies that found writing proposals most impactful wished for more active engagement from other deputies on Community Team blog posts, and help in getting more voices heard from the wider community.
  • Almost all full volunteer deputies have had time allocation challenges, because of COVID-19 implications or other things happening in their personal life.

Any follow up thoughts?

Did these results raise some questions, thoughts, additional observations or interpretations? Was there anything that came up in these results that you think we need to discuss in greater detail? Please share your mind freely on the comments! Please share your thoughts before 2021-01-07.

Big thanks to @angelasjin and @courtneypk who did the deputy check-ins with me and helped with this post!

I’d also like to use this opportunity to thank a few fellow deputies that are going to take a break from deputy duties. @francina and @bph have been long-term deputies developing the team, a great inspiration to others and really valued members of the team. Thank you for all your contributions! Luckily we still get to collaborate on other aspects of the Community Team and wider WordPress project.

#deputies, #community-deputies, #community-team, #deputy-check-in