May Project Health Hangouts Summary

Summary of Discussions, Ideas, and Feedback

Hangouts happened on May 28, 29, and 30, 2024. Created using Claude and ChatGPT with help from @peiraisotta and @courane01.

Table of Contents

Topics Discussed

  • Comprehensive Dashboards: The need for dashboards to track contributions across WordPress teams and projects, representing various types of contributions beyond code commits.
  • Sponsorship and Funding: Strategies for making a case for company sponsorships focusing on translating, support, documentation, and other non-code efforts.
  • Data and Metrics: The importance of having accurate data from teams to understand priorities and workstreams, and the challenges of relying on self-reported metrics.

Key Ideas

  • Equitable Representation: Ensuring that all types of contributions, including non-code efforts, are fairly represented in the tracking systems.
  • Data Integration: Utilizing tools like Python to extract data from WordPress APIs and process unstructured data sources for standardized reporting. (Proposal to use Google Data Studio)
  • Team vs. Individual Dashboards: Separating the goals of individual contributor dashboards from team/project dashboards, focusing on project roadblocks and resource gaps for teams.

Feedback

  • Activity Tracking: While tracking individual activities can provide valuable insights for roles focused on analysis, code review, and releases, there is a risk of inaccuracies in self-reported metrics.
  • Team/Project Focus: The initial focus should be creating dashboards showcasing team/project roadmaps and highlighting areas needing additional resources. This transparency can better inform companies’ sponsorship efforts.
  • Privacy and Data Access: Concerns about privacy and appropriate access to data were discussed, emphasizing the need for anonymized public data and carefully crafting the stories told with the data.
  • Outreach and Ecosystem Needs: Engaging with enterprise agencies and the broader ecosystem is crucial to understanding their needs for assessing project health and deciding sponsorship targets. An open, customized data integration solution drawing from WordPress’s diverse data sources was proposed as the ideal approach.

Additional Points

  • Sustainability Pillars: The sustainability team focuses on increasing diversity and well-being, reducing environmental impact, and finding ways to support contributions economically.
  • Manual Data Collection: Some contributors manually tally their work to back up sponsorship contracts, indicating a need for automated solutions.
  • Community Health Analytics: Leveraging insights from other open-source projects and tools, like those provided by the CHAOSS Community and Linux Foundation, to inform WordPress’s approach to metrics and dashboards.

Data Needs and Tools

  • Need for more granular data beyond current Five for the Future listings and release stats.
  • Importance of additional data to increase contributions to the WordPress project.
  • Overview of Bitergia: An open-source analytics platform connected to the WordPress GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. https://github.com/ organization.
  • Capabilities: Integrates data points from GitHub, mailing lists, IRC, Docker, 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 Twitter.
  • Tools like Bitergia and GrimoireLab for data collection.
  • CHAOSS Group’s tools and methodologies as potential resources.
  • Detailed quotes for tools like Bitergia.
  • Potential internal solutions to avoid external dependencies.
  • Evaluating tools based on cost, data access, and integration.
  • Challenges in tracking contributions not synced to GitHub.
  • Learning from the CHAOSS community’s metrics.
  • Evaluating tools for integration and longevity.
  • Challenges in tracking knowledge workers’ contributions.
  • Issues with inactive volunteers affect metrics.
  • Using CHAOSS Community’s definitions.

Contribution Tracking and Metrics

  • Need for track data: Track activity, contributions, mergers, and comments.
  • Event data importance: Event data across platforms.
  • Impact of contributions: Companies want to see the impact of their contributions.
  • Project health measurement: Identify struggling teams.
  • Challenges in tracking hours and activities accurately.
  • A balanced approach to data collection.
  • Different goals for the team and individual dashboards.
  • Individual and organizations contributing via Five for the Future could access their respective data when managing their listing.
  • Dashboards as tools for accountability and resource allocation.
  • Accurate data for stakeholders like project leadership and sponsors.
  • Adhering to GDPR standards.
  • Automating data collection and customization.
  • Different ways to display various contributions. See Drupal Contribution Credit as an option for knowledge workers with few metrics to show.
  • Ensuring quality data for pluginPlugin A plugin is a piece of software containing a group of functions that can be added to a WordPress website. They can extend functionality or add new features to your WordPress websites. WordPress plugins are written in the PHP programming language and integrate seamlessly with WordPress. These can be free in the WordPress.org Plugin Directory https://wordpress.org/plugins/ or can be cost-based plugin from a third-party statistics, specifically when contributors submit contributions to plugins in the WP plugin repo.
  • Updating hours to reflect reality.
  • Organizations seek information such as “what can businesses show for it?” from their contributions. Easily identifiable outcomes are more explicit at persuading stakeholders than discussions about The Free Rider Problem or Tragedy of the Commons.
  • Is it time to define what active and inactive contributions mean in WordPress?

Recognition and Visibility

  • Current recognition methods are subjective and limited, with props and badges as the main focus. Props emphasize CoreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress. contributions over other teams, while Badges can encourage churn in contributors.
  • Importance of recognizing hobbyist contributors who are not sponsored.
  • Core code contributions have the highest impact, but other contributions are undervalued.
  • Lack of guidance on acknowledging non-public work, especially for DEIB and security.
  • Acknowledging paid and non-paid contributors equally.
  • Contextual badges for contributions.
  • Dashboards to surface contributions and portray impact.
  • Honorary titles for contributors that have held positions such as Core Leads, but are no longer active.

Collaboration and Support

  • Representation of teams like sustainability that may not benefit from number-based systems.
  • Different teams use various tools (e.g., Figma, Learn’s website).
  • Coordinating content and support in multiple languages.
  • Accurate and timely support bots.
  • Community feedback loops.
  • Continuous improvement processes.
  • External collaborations and partnerships.
  • Shared goals and resource pooling.

Privacy and Data Management

  • Custom integrations to surface invisible contributions.
  • Managing privacy and data opt-out options.
  • Ensuring personal data is always opt-in, especially in Europe.
  • Balancing demographic data with privacy concerns.
  • Privacy and security best practices.
  • Legal requirements and compliance.
  • Addressing declining contributions and anonymizing public data.
  • Managing sensitive data visibility.
  • Extending GrimoireLab APIs.
  • Avoiding data overload and focusing on impact.

Funding and Sponsorship

  • More explicit and easier funding mechanisms in other projects like OpenJS Foundation (JavaScriptJavaScript JavaScript or JS is an object-oriented computer programming language commonly used to create interactive effects within web browsers. WordPress makes extensive use of JS for a better user experience. While PHP is executed on the server, JS executes within a user’s browser. https://www.javascript.com/.).
  • Justifying funding for contributors.
  • Equal treatment for sponsored and non-sponsored contributors.
  • Sponsorship history as a valuable asset.
  • Need for public data to show the impact of sponsored contributors.

Project Management

  • Authority for individuals with extensive project experience.
  • Designated lead developers for new features.
  • Providing useful data to facilitate changes.

Areas of Concern

  • Plugin directory active growth statistics sourced from WordPress MetaMeta Meta is a term that refers to the inside workings of a group. For us, this is the team that works on internal WordPress sites like WordCamp Central and Make WordPress. team were later omitted without public announcement because the data was misleading or false. We must ensure data gathering systems remain accurate and proactively communicate decisions.
  • Google Looker would be cumbersome to build out to do all that we want.
  • Adding WordPress revisionsRevisions The WordPress revisions system stores a record of each saved draft or published update. The revision system allows you to see what changes were made in each revision by dragging a slider (or using the Next/Previous buttons). The display indicates what has changed in each revision. to account for GatherPress, GlotPress & Rosetta and modifying sites within the WordPress.orgWordPress.org The community site where WordPress code is created and shared by the users. This is where you can download the source code for WordPress core, plugins and themes as well as the central location for community conversations and organization. https://wordpress.org/ network would require Bitergia to develop them for us at a cost, or we could contribute them. The same is true for TracTrac Trac is the place where contributors create issues for bugs or feature requests much like GitHub.https://core.trac.wordpress.org/., HelpScout, and Figma, which are essential for automating contribution metrics. If we, WordPress, contribute those resources, we will need to organize contributors to work on this.

Next Actions

  • Consult with data science and privacy experts on public data and opt-in/opt-out mechanisms.
  • Implement multiple kinds of data reporting for better recognition.
  • Create a pros-cons list of tools and gather feedback from the community
  • Create a list of questions for evaluating software tools.
  • Work on the Five for the Future initiative and learn from other open-source projects.
  • Organize teams for proper tracking and define the scope.
  • Contact inactive volunteers and clean up the list.
  • Scope the timeline for selecting appropriate tools and form a working group within Sustainability.

#project-health