[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

Training Team Goals and Strategy Call

On Tuesday, June 28, 2022 19:00UTC (AMER) and Wednesday, June 29, 2022 05:00UTC (APAC), the Training Team Reps and Faculty Program Members held two calls to discuss the progress of the training team goals and our strategy for meeting them.

Outlined below are the notes taken from these two calls.

Attendees

AMER call: @pbrocks @ndiego @piyopiyofox @arasae @courtneypk @azhiyadev @annezazu

APAC call: @webtechpooja @bsanevans @psykro @wes

Notes

  • We discussed the current state of the Training team goals – https://make.wordpress.org/training/2022/01/18/training-team-goals-for-2022/
    • When this goals post was created, it had been a year since Learn had been launched when the first meeting around the goals occurred.
    • What still needs to be done from Q1?
      • Brainstorm and discovery for the creation of a Needs Analysis.
      • Learner Survey.
      • Plan promotions with the Marketing Team (Currently in the Training Team repTeam Rep A Team Rep is a person who represents the Make WordPress team to the rest of the project, make sure issues are raised and addressed as needed, and coordinates cross-team efforts.’s hands).
      • Create Instructor/Facilitator resources portion on LearnWP.
        • There is a Learning Path document that @courane01 put together. It breaks things down so that a meeting organizer can use this. 
      • Look into automation for the content creation/review process.
    • What needs to be tackled in Q2
      • Training Needs Analysis.
      • Release roadmap of new content (that isn’t tied to WP releases/features).
      • Overhaul the “Submit an Idea” form. Build in conditional logic for workshop, lesson plan, and course.
    • It was noted that we’d like for SME’s to set the priorities for the content we seek to create and telling us when it should be created.
    • We learned that folks tend to have a pretty solid idea before the BetaBeta A pre-release of software that is given out to a large group of users to trial under real conditions. Beta versions have gone through alpha testing in-house and are generally fairly close in look, feel and function to the final product; however, design changes often occur as part of the process. period of what features are going to make it into the release, so we can use this knowledge for timing content releases.
  • Faculty Program Structure & Vision
    • Feedback:
      • Knowing when SME’s need to chime in would be great– can we have an alert world? It can be tough to know when to engage.
      • Having a buddy system / mentor program would be great.
  • Open Discussion
    • SLSes
      • Nick has found them to be a very interesting way to engage with the community, and would love to see it grow into a more important part of Learn.
      • Tying SLSes to topical things can make SLSes a vehicle for learning WordPress more intuitively.
      • Let’s put effort into spreading SLS sessions into APAC and other timezones
        • Folks in APAC may need to continue hosting these even with minimal attendance to grow the attendance, and then the contributors will come.
        • Let’s run SLSs about running SLSs.
    • Contributing to the technical needs of Learn WordPress
      • The way Learn WordPress is currently set up requires developers to cross a few hurdles before they can actually contribute to the issues we’ve listed.
        • It would be great if we can find a way to set developers up with the necessary tools, so that they can more easily contribute to those technical issues
    • Can we streamline https://make.wordpress.org/training/ so that it isn’t as intimidating for new folk?
      • We already have some conversations going on about what we can do about this.
      • Reality is, we are limited somewhat by the structure of Make itself. 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 is working on that.
      • What we could do is collect feedback, and send that to Meta to help with their work.

Action items

Listed below are action items created from our discussion and their assignments

  • Create a spreadsheet with release tab organization for this board https://github.com/WordPress/Learn/projects/2 for SMEs to go through and help prioritize / @piyopiyofox
  • Check if our current lesson plan / workshop creation handbook includes a step to include a “timestamp + WordPress version”.
  • Create template slides for SLSes / @piyopiyofox
  • Create alert words for SMEs, Content Creators, Editors, Administrators, and then the full faculty / @courtneypk
  • Provide information about critical features that require content for 6.1 / @annezazu
  • Draft a proposal for creating a Faculty Program Mentor/Mentee program / @arasae
  • Set up time for next monthly call / @piyopiyofox

#faculty-program