Facilitating weekly meetings

Docs team meets once a week in WordPress #docs 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/. channel. These meetings are used for short updates on current projects’ updates and discussions on current issues/problems/suggestions. 

Meetings require: 

  • Meeting agenda – published on Docs team’s blog prior to the meeting.
  • Facilitator – person who facilitates meetings.
  • Notes – published on Docs team’s blog after the meeting.

What are the responsibilities of a meeting facilitator?

Facilitating the meeting is, just as any other contribution, absolutely voluntary choice of the member performing it.

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Writing agenda

Facilitator is responsible for writing the agenda and publishing it on Docs team’s blog. Take a look at examples of some previous agendas. Every agenda has: 

  • Info about date and time when the meeting is scheduled. This is done with shortcodeShortcode A shortcode is a placeholder used within a WordPress post, page, or widget to insert a form or function generated by a plugin in a specific location on your site. [ time]Monday, MM DD, YYYY, 15:00 UTC[ /time] – (MM – full month name, DD two digit day, YYYY – 4 digit year).
  • Info about where the meeting will take a place. It’s #docs Slack channel.
  • “Attendance” item.
  • “Notetaker & Facilitator selection” item.
  • “Project Updates” item.
  • “Open Floor” item.

The rest of the items change every meeting. Usually that part of the agenda can be extracted from the previous meeting but if you are not sure what to put there, just pingPing The act of sending a very small amount of data to an end point. Ping is used in computer science to illicit a response from a target server to test it’s connection. Ping is also a term used by Slack users to @ someone or send them a direct message (DM). Users might say something along the lines of “Ping me when the meeting starts.” @kenshino, @atachibana or @milana_cap (@zzap on slack) for assistance. If you don’t have access to our blog ask in Slack channel and someone will add you.

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Facilitating meeting

In the Docs team we encourage new members to facilitate meetings because that is one of the easier ways to get involved in the team and get to know other members. Facilitator doesn’t need to know how the team works or which are current projects or even what the agenda item is about.

Facilitator’s tasks during the meeting: 

  • Announce the beginning of the meeting,
  • Announce the next agenda item, 
  • Ask if anyone has anything to add to the discussion before moving on to the next item,
  • Ask any questions you might have regarding the subject of discussion,
  • Keep an eye on time and try to keep the meeting under one hour long (this will most likely never happen, don’t worry about it),
  • Announce the end of the meeting.

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Notetaker & Facilitator selection

This agenda item is specific in a way that this is the moment when the facilitator is asking for a volunteer to write notes for the current meeting and another volunteer to facilitate the next meeting. Of course, this can be the same person if desired.

If no volunteer applies for writing notes, it is the facilitator’s responsibility to write it. If no volunteer applies to facilitate the next meeting, @kenshino, @atachibana or @milana_cap (@zzap on slack) will do it.  

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Checking in with more experienced team members

It is NOT necessary to check in with other members before the meeting.  However, if you have any questions or concerns about facilitating the meeting, you can, at any given moment, ask any of more experienced members in private messages or #docs channel for guidance.

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