[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

Recap of June 23, 2015 Meeting

Slack log (Requires 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/. login to view. Set one up if you don’t have a Slack account)

  1. Hello and recap of last meeting
  2. Lesson plans status and questions
    • Team reports work in progress
  3. Testing status and questions
    • Seeking suggestions for finding venues
      • Library
      • Chamber of Commerce
      • Cowork spaces
      • Colleges
  4. Questions on new team roles
    • Welcome Wagon DM script
    • @courtneyengle Create a script for WordCampWordCamp WordCamps are casual, locally-organized conferences covering everything related to WordPress. They're one of the places where the WordPress community comes together to teach one another what they’ve learned throughout the year and share the joy. Learn more. Point of Contacts
  5. Slides – @courtneyengle will migrate Training Slides PSDs to Google Slides templates and report back next week

#procedures, #roles, #slides, #testing

Recap of June 16, 2015

Slack Log

#procedures, #roles, #slides

Agenda for June 2, 2015

Slack Log

#procedures, #roles

Recap of May 26th Meeting

Slack Log

  • Lesson Plan Updates
  • Reviewed List of Roles
    • @liljimmi wants to continue answering Support Flow tix and setting up new Authors
    • @bethsoderberg would like to keep handling the style guide, but start sharing copy editing duties
  • Slides
    • initial discussion and review of the designs requesting a slide plugin from the Meta team to integrate with the http://make.wordpress.org site and the Handbook
  • Volunteer for role(s) extended

#roles, #slides

Recap of May 19, 2015

Slack Log

Overview of last week

Lesson Plan (LP) review

Evolving team priorities and needs

  • Roles we have or need (current person)
  • Priorities of the team in order
    • Fully test all of the finished LPs
      • slides
      • standardizing length/ease of use
      • make edits across all LPs as testing results come in
      • tightening feedback loopLoop The Loop is PHP code used by WordPress to display posts. Using The Loop, WordPress processes each post to be displayed on the current page, and formats it according to how it matches specified criteria within The Loop tags. Any HTML or PHP code in the Loop will be processed on each post. https://codex.wordpress.org/The_Loop.
    • Make new LPs

Planned actions + timeline

  • Next Meeting
    • Slides (review history + progress next meeting)
    • Page discussing teaching challenges (Yay/Nay? next meeting)
    • Come up with ideas to make testing possible (discuss next week)
  • Immediate 
    • Volunteer for role(s) (via blog all week)
      • Add time it took to the testing questionnaire (not a role, but need volunteer)
    • DM Tracy/Courtney about Lead (via 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/. all week)
    • Decide on time to discuss Nigeria and WC
      • Probably Monday 1700UTC (alternate suggestions in Slack please)
      • Talk to outreach about this on Thursday (need volunteer)

#procedures, #roles

Agenda for May 19, 2015

Continuing thread about team priorities/issues. Below is a possible way to tackle the topics still on the table:

  1. Hello + recap of last meeting
  2. Quick review of in progress Lesson Plans and Testing
  3. Evolving team priorities and needs
    1. What roles do we currently have? Who fills them?
    2. What are the team needs to progress? Prioritize.
    3. Do these new needs need people assigned to them?
  4. Actionable items divided by time
    1. By next week?
    2. By next month?
    3. TBD?