2019 Deputy Program Goals

Community Deputies are a team of people all over the world who review WordCamp and Meetup applications, interview lead organizers, and generally keep things moving at WordCamp Central. We make sure that new and returning organizers are not overworking themselves, still are following the code of conduct, and generally are making positive contributions to the open source project.

Community Deputy Handbook

The Deputy Program and all of our committed deputies continue to be a valuable part of our team by keeping the wheels turning and making sure that we are up to date with processing applications, assisting community organisers, and generally making sure we don’t fall behind in our work.

In order to further the work of the Deputy Program and to ensure that it remains sustainable as time goes on, it would be helpful to put together a few goals and implement a few new ideas. These are designed to keep the program fresh, encourage deputy retention, increase deputy skills, and grow our deputy team.

So, first off, here are a few new program ideas that we can implement:

Deputy Mentors

Each deputy mentor would have a group of deputies assigned to them personally and it would be up to the mentor to assist and check-in with their mentees regularly. This would involve helping the deputies with the work they are doing, finding out how they’re enjoying it, making sure they are aware of the latest updates, and training them in additional deputy tasks.

Improved Deputy Documentation

The deputy handbook is great, but some of the most basic information is quite well hidden. This is partly a shortcoming of the handbook structure all across the Make network, but we can definitely improve things to give more high-level summaries of significant areas.

Improved Training Processes

Our current training process takes the form of an online course – this works well for disseminating information and making sure that new deputies have all the information they need. The issue is that it takes a long time to go through the answers submitted by each new deputy to make sure they understood everything correctly. It feels like the best way to improve the deputy training course is to edit all the quizzes to be multiple choice questions (so that they can be graded automatically and a 100% pass is required to move on to the next one), but then have a single quiz at the end that includes a number of long-form questions that require longer answers. This means that grading the course would only require manually doing it for a single quiz for each deputy – this would drastically cut down the time it would take to check these answers.

Editing the quizzes to achieve this will be a bit of work here, but it will be worthwhile in the long run. At the end of the training, deputies will be assigned to a mentor who will have their final orientation call and help them remain connected to the program.

Active Deputy Recruitment

This would involve actively approaching people to become deputies (WordCamp lead organisers being a good starting point of course). We can do this on Slack and this P2, but also in person at WordCamps and meetup events.


If we follow through on these items effectively, we will have more deputies, retain individual deputies for longer, and provide everyone with increasing responsibility to work on more impactful tasks. All of which will work towards the goal of giving deputies a greater sense of belonging within the Community Team.

In addition to those items, here are four measurable goals that we can work towards for the end of Q2 2019. These will all be made possible by working on the four items outlined above:

  • 35 active deputies (we currently have 21)
  • 10 deputy mentors
  • 50% of deputies actively running meetup orientations
  • 25% of deputies actively working with WordCamps (including vetting and orientations)

So what do you think? Do you like the ideas outlined above? Have any others worth adding? Do the stated goals seem realistic and attainable?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

#deputies

Call for WordCamp Mentors!

Last year 127 WordCamps took place all around the world! Thanks in large part to a rapidly growing WordPress meetup program we’re on track for even more WordCamps in 2018.

As the program continues to grow we need to find new ways to give WordCamp organizers the support they need to make these events great. With that in mind we’re hoping to grow the number of community members supporting WordCamps by scaling up our WordCamp Mentorship program.

Are you an experienced WordCamp lead organizer or former lead organizer? Are you looking for a way to continue or further your support of folks in the WordPress community and help improve the WordCamp experience for organizers and attendees? Do you have 2-3 hours a month to share with WordCamp organizers?

If so we sure could use your help as a WordCamp mentor!

Requirements to be a mentor:

  • You’ve been the lead organizer of a WordCamp from application through completion of the event in the last 5 years.
  • You have 2-3 hours available per month per event you’re actively mentoring

Requirements of a mentor:

  • Meet bi-weekly with your assigned organizer to advise them, remind them about things organizers frequently forget, and to keep them on track in planning.
  • Be the organizing team’s connection to WordCamp Central.
  • Post about your mentorship check-ins on weekly Make/Community updates post.

If this all sounds like something you’re ready, willing, and able to take on then let’s get you started in three easy steps:

  1. Complete the mentor self-training (should take 30-60 minutes): https://community-self-training.mystagingwebsite.com/course/wordcamp-mentor-training/
  2. Fill out the Mentor Application contact form at the bottom of the WordCamp Mentorship handbook page: https://make.wordpress.org/community/handbook/community-deputy/wordcamp-program-basics/mentoring-wordcamps/
  3. We’ll reach out to you to let you know when the next mentor orientation calls are being held so you can sign up for the time that works best for you!

If you know someone who’d be a great WordCamp mentor please send them our way! Have any questions, please let us know in the comments.

#deputies, #mentorship, #wordcamp

Proposal to Simplify Training for WordCamp Mentors

We currently have 27 folks listed internally as “active” WordCamp mentors. At this time, 11 of the people on the mentor list are not mentoring any events. Earlier this week, I sent an email to all those listed on our mentor roster to determine their availability. Several folks have already asked to be pulled from the active list, and I anticipate several more will either ask to be removed or not respond. That will leave us with about 20 active mentors.

We currently have 109 WordCamps in various stages of planning, ranging from “Needs Orientation” to “Scheduled” that need or will need a mentor. Only 34 of those events have a mentor now. We need more mentors!

As WordCamp mentors, folks are asked to advise organizers, remind them about things organizers frequently forget, keep them on track in planning, and be the team’s connection to WordCamp Central. We also ask that they make regular updates about their mentor sessions on this site.

At this time all mentors are deputies, but not all deputies are mentors — while the work they do is related, it’s different. Our current deputy training process is for people who might triage our shared email, vet applications for both WordCamps and meetups, orient organizers for both WordCamps and meetups, and review WordCamp budgets. Because of all these different tasks deputies might handle, training is time consuming for would-be deputies (and for the trainers). Including all this additional content and time commitment may be making it harder to recruit and train new mentors.

I propose a change in the training for mentors to be more in line with the work we’re asking of them. Instead of asking that they undergo the entire deputy training process we would instead follow these steps:

  • Potential mentor submits an application to be a WordCamp Mentor.
  • A deputy reviews their application to ensure they meet WordCamp mentor requirements.
  • Mentor completes the WordCamp Organizer self training to ensure they’re up to date on expectations and guidelines.
  • Mentor has a call with a deputy to talk them through the mentoring process.
  • Mentor is assigned a WordCamp to work with in their preferred region.

I also propose that, for transparency, we have a Mentors page similar to our Deputies page or that we add a separate tab for mentors to show which mentors are active and what events they are currently mentoring.

In line with these suggestions it would make sense that mentors no longer be considered deputies. While being a mentor would not prevent a community member from being a deputy or vice versa, I don’t think we should consider them the same position — or provide deputy-level access to central.wordcamp.org and Help Scout for all WordCamp mentors.

If it seems like this will work, the next steps would be:

  • Create a WordCamp mentor application
  • Post a call for new mentors
  • Create a Mentors page or update the deputies page with a mentors tab.
  • Implement new mentor process as detailed above.

If you have any concerns, ideas, or thoughts, please share them in a comment below. Let’s try to conclude our discussion by March 12, so we can begin a mentor recruitment drive on March 16, 2018.

#mentors #deputies #community-management

Weekly Deputy Report: 16 – 22 February 2018

The stats for this report are taken from the weekly Help Scout reports and, as such, only reflect the activity inside Help Scout. While this covers the majority of our community work and interaction, it excludes a few things: most WordCamp mentorship discussions, all WordCamp application processing, and any interactions in Slack (Office Hours, general chatter, answering questions, etc.) – those are all handled on other platforms.

Here are the stats for this past week (16 – 22 February 2018):

This week we sent 135 emails and helped 86 individuals. Of those, 58 of the tickets were successfully resolved.

The deputies who handled those tickets in Help Scout this week are:

@camikaos
@courtneypk
@_dorsvenabili
@psykro
@hlashbrooke
@remediosgraphic
@andreamiddleton
@00sleepy
@yaycheryl
@chanthaboune
@iandunn

A huge thank you to all of these individuals for their hard work in supporting the WordPress community this week!

#deputies #report

Handling secure access for inactive deputies

We’ve been checking in with most of our deputies over the past month or so and, while many of you are able to continue donating your time to the Community Team, there are some deputies who are not able to do so anymore. This is entirely understandable of course, as we’re all volunteers here, but it leaves us with the question of how to handle inactive deputies.

Right now, deputies have access to our central Help Scout instance where all community support is handled and most deputies also have author or editor access to this P2. To that end, we have a few options for how we can handle this kind of access for individuals that are not actively involved for the moment:

  1. Leave everyone in their current state with full access to Help Scout and whatever user role they have on this P2.
  2. Remove inactive deputies from the “WordPress Community Team” inbox in Help Scout, and demote them on this P2. This will mean they are still a user on Help Scout, but they can’t access anything, which makes it easy to reactivate them in the future with very little friction – it should also preserve their interaction history in Help Scout.
  3. Completely delete inactive deputies from Help Scout, and demote them on this P2. This will mean reactivating them on Help Scout in the future would be like starting all over again and we will most likely lose their interaction history in Help Scout.

Option #2 seems like the best bet to me, for security and accountability purposes, but a case could be made for either of the other options. Please comment here with what you think would be the best way to manage things going forward – if you have any different ideas, please share those as well.

This discussion will remain open for 1 week – until Friday, 2 March at 12:00 UTC – then we will wrap it up and go forward with the best option.

#deputies

Closing Deprecated WPCS Bank Account

In May of 2017 WordPress Community Support, PBC opened a new bank account to receive sponsorship payments via international wire and US direct deposit. The change was made to address some fraudulent issues with the WPCS bank account in use at that time.

By June of 2017 we had updated the WordCamp handbook page that addresses sponsorship payments and also updated payment instructions on all outgoing invoices. Initially we committed to keeping the old account open until September of 2017 to allow for invoices with the deprecated account information to be paid. But time marched on, the account remained open, and a few sponsors continued to send sponsor payments to the old account as the information had been saved in their system.

As of March 15, 2018 we will be closing the old account. We will reach out to all existing sponsors who have continued to use that account to make them aware that their payment information must be updated and ensure they have up to date payment instructions.

If you have any questions please comment below.

#deputies
#finances

Weekly Deputy Report: 2 – 8 February 2018

The stats for this report are taken from the weekly Help Scout reports and, as such, only reflect the activity inside Help Scout. While this covers the majority of our community work and interaction, it excludes a few things: most WordCamp mentorship discussions, all WordCamp application processing, and any interactions in Slack (Office Hours, general chatter, answering questions, etc.) – those are all handled on other platforms.

Here are the stats for this past week (2 – 8 February 2018):

This week we sent 112 emails and helped 67 individuals. Of those, 50 of the tickets were successfully resolved.

The deputies who handled those tickets in Help Scout this week are:

@camikaos
@courtneypk
@_dorsvenabili
@remediosgraphic
@chanthaboune
@hlashbrooke
@andreamiddleton
@yaycheryl
@iandunn
@sheriebeth
@kdrewien

A huge thank you to all of these individuals for their hard work in supporting the WordPress community this week!

#deputies #report

Weekly Deputy Report: 12 – 18 January 2018

Hey folks!

We’re back with the weekly deputy reports in 2018 now – looking forward to reporting on all the great work that our deputies do on a regular basis.

The stats for this report are taken from the weekly Help Scout reports and, as such, only reflect the activity inside Help Scout. While this covers the majority of our community work and interaction, it excludes a few things: most WordCamp mentorship discussions, all WordCamp application processing, and any interactions in Slack (Office Hours, general chatter, answering questions, etc.) – those are all handled on other platforms.

Here are the stats for this past week (12 – 18 January 2018):

This week we sent 146 emails and helped 98 individuals. Of those, 70 of the tickets were successfully resolved.

The deputies who handled those tickets in Help Scout this week are:

@courtneypk
@camikaos
@_dorsvenabili
@hlashbrooke
@bph
@kcristiano
@chanthaboune
@coreymckrill
@andreamiddleton
@iandunn

A huge thank you to all of these individuals for their hard work in supporting the WordPress community this week!

#deputies #report

Global Community Team Limited Availability Next Week

Hi folks! Please note that the following people on the global community team will have limited availability from January 21 through January 26:
@dorsvenabili
@andreamiddleton
@camikaos
@chanthaboune
@coreymckrill
@courtneypk
@iandunn

Payments and income attribution will continue at their normal schedule but response times in email and slack may be delayed.

Remember that many of the global community team deputies will still be hanging around in #community-events on Slack so if you need help, that will be the best place to ask any questions.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to make a call for deputies to volunteer to cover the following Office Hours shifts in #community-events:

  • Monday January 22 at 22:00 UTC
  • Tuesday January 23 at 9:00 UTC
  • Wednesday January at 24 22:00 UTC
  • ThursdayJanuary 25 at 9:00 UTC

If you can cover one of those shifts please let us know in comments.

We’ll be back to our normal schedule on Monday, January 29!

 

#deputies, #afk

WordCamp 2018 Global Sponsor Updates

It’s a new year, and with that comes the need to check WordCamp sites created last year with last year’s Global Sponsors to ensure they’ve been updated for 2018. An email with updated sponsor information has gone out to all 2018 camps, but the next step is a site audit to ensure sponsors are being properly recognized on each site.

We need a few existing deputies who have access to WordCamp’s Help Scout to volunteer to check each 2018 WordCamp site, let us know if the sponsor areas are accurate and reach out to the team to remind them to update if it isn’t. Ideally this project will be completed by Monday, January 15, 2018.

We’ve created a spreadsheet listing each event, the event’s region, email address, and a column for you to leave any notes. If you’re interested in checking a few sites please dive right in, just sign off on the completed items by putting your name in the “checked by” column. You can find the spreadsheet here.

The 2018 Global Sponsors by region and level are as follows:

Western Region (The Americas):
Gold: Jetpack, WooCommerce, Bluehost
Silver: Dreamhost, GoDaddy
Bronze: Boldgrid

Eastern Region (Europe, Africa, and Asia Pacific):
Gold: Jetpack, WooCommerce
Silver: GoDaddy
Bronze: Bluehost

For more details read through the Global Sponsors page in the handbook. 

If you have any questions let us know below!

#deputies, #global-sponsors, #wordcamps