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From Ulrich Stärk <>
Subject Re: What's the plan? What are we here for?
Date Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:23:44 GMT
Hi Rich

On 05.12.16 18:54, Rich Bowen wrote:
> As has been discussed elsewhere, we don't have a clear idea of what
> we're here for. I believe we need to fix that.


> Why This Matters
> 1) So that we know how to ask for help
> This matters because people *flock* to us saying "I want to help", and
> in pretty much every case our response is "Great! Help! We love you!"
> This is great, but utterly unhelpful.
> Once we have a clear idea of what goals we are working towards, we will
> have a better idea of how to tell people to help us.
> When people come to volunteer to help, we need to know what to tell them
> that they can do, and those things need to come out of an understanding
> of what we're trying to accomplish.
> At the moment, we're doing a number of things. Most of them, we have no
> idea whether they help. I assert that this is primarily because "help"
> is undefined. Help with *what*?
> 2) So that we know whether we're doing it
> Once we define what it is that we are trying to accomplish, we will be
> better able to measure the things that we are doing, to determine in
> some objective way whether they are moving us towards those goals.

As stated before I am no fan of measuring. Let's create transparency first and see where we
before jumping on an arbitrary metric.

> I realize that "community development" is an endless road. But we should
> at least know which direction we're walking on that road.
> 3) Because we owe the board a report every quarter
> We're supposed to report to the board every quarter telling them how we
> are doing on achieving the goals that they created us to pursue. Except
> that we don't know what those goals are.

The goals as stated in the ComDev resolution [1] are indeed pretty fuzzy ("responsible for
people become involved with Apache projects") and I believe deliberately so. ComDev in the
past saw
itself as a loose group of people doing "community building stuff" in one way or the other.

> So, we engage in various efforts which may or may not do anything. Some,
> like GSoC, are noble, and clearly benefit one audience (the students
> that participate), and *might* benefit projects. Sounds like it does,
> based on the most recent responses on $otherthread. Awesome. But do they
> advance "community development". Hard to say before we define that.

Agreed. If we want to pursue a more active role we first need to decide what community development
even means in the context of the ASF.

> So, What's The Plan
> As a full-time community manager, I have a definition of community
> development that appears on my annual performance review. I think it's
> fine for us, as a PMC in the most important open source organization on
> the planet, to have a similar level of rigor.
> Here's some of the things that fall under this header, and which I
> believe should be part of our definition as the ComDev PMC - things that
> we should work towards, and measure every effort against.
> * Increase community diversity. Identify projects that are monocultures
> (or near to them) and help them actively pursue broader community diversity.
> * Develop tools (documentation, training materials, and software tools)
> that projects can use to promote themselves and attract new
> participants. (Participants is a very broad term here, and does not
> refer only to code jockeys.)
> * Educate projects on the Apache Way, so that they can more richly
> experience the organization that they have attached themselves to.
> Identify projects that appear to be operating outside of the Apache Way,
> and gently, kindly, lead them back to the light.
> * Strengthen the bonds between projects and the larger Foundation.
> Defining this is a whole other thread, but means several things to me.
> Identify projects that are satellites and build ties back to the
> "family", in terms of participating in events, participating in
> governance discussions, having adequate membership representation on the
> PMC, and so on.
> * It's not about marketing, but we should be working very closely with
> marketing (press@) to promote what our projects are doing, and promote
> the idea of the ASF as a place where innovation happens, thus drawing in
> an engaged and excited participant community.
> * Internal promotion and cheerleading. Marketing is outward facing.
> Community development is somewhat inward facing. Many of our projects
> have no idea what other projects are doing, and don't care. Doing a
> degree of internal cheerleading, along with the education, is critical
> for building exprit de corps.

All excellent points. I like Alex' categorization into goals, strategies and plans and would
like us
to focus on goals first. Given Bertrands input should we start writing this up in a charter




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