[Discussion] Reimagining the Training Team contributor roles

In this post, I have taken suggestions raised in recent team meetings regarding team onboarding, and present a new idea regarding the Training Team’s contributor roles. The model I propose reimagines the current “roles” of the team as “tasks”, and positions the Faculty members as mentors in 4 areas of expertise (administrator, subject matter expert, content creator, editor) within the team. 

Let’s discuss and see if this model can address the friction our new contributors are experiencing during onboarding.

The Goal

In recent sprint retrospectives (June & July Sprint, August Sprint), the Training Team identified a couple of needs related to our team roles. Here are some points of improvement raised in these retrospectives:

  • Better team role implementation, so new contributors will also have a clear picture of their assigned task(s).
  • Easing the onboarding process for newcomers and beginners.
  • Having a few folks who can focus on sorting 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/ issues consistently would be beneficial.
  • Increasing membership in the copy editor, reviewer, and auditor roles.
  • Assign a point of contact for new contributors to reach out to in each role.
  • It would be excellent to have onboarding videos/lesson plans for each role.
  • Continue building the handbook so contributors have more precise guidance.
  • Clear guidelines for new joiners, especially for basic and Intermediate-level contributors.

From these points, and other conversations the team has been having, I can see a few common goals we are aiming for:

  1. Improved clarity regarding team tasks
  2. Improved onboarding processes for team roles
  3. A point of contact for each role
  4. Better distribution of contributors throughout roles

An Idea

My idea is to view the 4 areas of Faculty responsibility as areas of expertise in the Training Team. This idea reframes what we’re calling “team roles” right now as “tasks” folks can do within each of those areas.

Four circles with the words administrator, content creator, subject matter expert, and editor in them. Each circle also lists some tasks that would fall into those areas of expertise. The words "Team Reps" connect them all in the middle.
Reimagining the Training Team roles as four areas of expertise

Onboarding pathways (for example courses and/or tutorials) would guide new contributors into each of these areas of expertise. How-to guides in the handbook would be the go-to resource for anyone wanting to complete a task. Contributors wouldn’t have to carry a role specifically. But there would be clear guidance for them to accomplish tasks and contribute to the team’s mission.

Faculty members would be contributors with experience in a specific area of expertise. They’d function as the point of contact for anyone needing help in that area of expertise. They’d also be mentors to other contributors wanting to grow in that area of expertise.

Your Feedback

  • What are your thoughts about this new team role model?
  • Do you see it responding to the areas of improvement raised in the team’s recent retrospective?
  • Are there any points of concern that should be addressed?

Please share your thoughts below. Based on the conversations we have in the comments, I’ll draft some next-steps for the team to consider at the end of the month.

#faculty-program, #roles, #training-team