Establishing the Committee
The Mindshare Committee is officially established.
The Fedora Mindshare Committee represents the outreach leadership in Fedora. Mindshare aims to help outreach teams to work together better by providing them with a way to unify around Fedora’s messaging and work together to achieve goals.
We had a FAD where we we met to discuss how the committee is going to work and to discuss the initial issues we had on our hands. We did a little recap of good things and challenges:
- Events: Ambassadors organizing minor events and presenting at main events
- Budget process: Mostly working in part to a dedicated role in Fedora
- Design & Web: Two teams collaborating together and offering a good user experience and a model for collaboration
- Marketing: Fedora Magazine and generating talking points
- Docs: We have Docs, but at Flock when this was originally presented, the team was small; Docs FAD was last week and may impact this
- Communication: Missing effective communication between teams
- Best practices: Not shared between teams, some teams have efficient processes that could be used by others
- Reporting: The events we attend are not informing the project and helping us set direction
- Marketing: Disconnected from other teams and its messages need to drive outreach teams again
- Local communities: Strong interest from local communities but support is not in place to help engage and include them in the project
Having this list in our hands, we started a discussion, about the topics, our challenges and taking advantage of our good points. The first thing we did was create a list of objectives:
- Improving communication between teams
- Better collaboration and sharing of best practices between teams
- Supporting management of budget for impact
- More informed event planning with inputs from several groups
Working on the objectives
We discussed a lot of things, summarizing we have the following conclusions
Approving budget has become very challenging for some groups as they don’t often have sufficient attendance at meetings or they have lots of processes that are not helping generate better use of money. The goal is to have the process be easy by getting a group of people who want to do the mechanical work able to do it and reducing approvals to what is really required. We want this to be easy to maintain commitment and to increase impact.
Our great community is split into 4 great groups:
- Diversity & Inclusion
But beyond that the description become fuzzy. As you can see in this chart, there are a lot of areas where people can be involved and working:
The problem when a project becomes this big is that roles start to be lost over time and then titles start to be held by a hierarchy instead of being held in collaboration. The idea now is return to having people able to ‘do’ without requiring a title. To accomplish this, we developed a set of suggestions and requests for the Mindshare Reps to take back to the teams. The hope is that these requests will be able to be adopted and adapted by those teams to move towards our larger goals.
Design & Web
The amazing job that is done by these teams is getting lost because they don’t receive any feedback. They are focusing, in large part, on the per release material that does not necessarily reflect the full set of needs of the project. In the course of just our group’s conversation, we figured out that some teams and people were using outdated design material or using their own designs. Other teams also don’t have a clear idea how to ask for new designs.
This conversation led to the following steps/ideas to improve processes:
- It’s not clear to many people how to get stuff from the Design team. Design will be asked to make sure there is a single, clear, accurate, and easily findable process.
- A repository of generic up-to-date Fedora materials needs to be available. This repository may require agreeing to not modify the designs in order to have access.
- Why can’t an ambassador just go create whatever they want? We need a clear explanation about why this is a problem so people can understand it.
This team is also facing some internal issues, the main problem being not having a clear definition of what tasks they are supposed to do. They found two really great efforts from this team:
These two tasks are really well executed and have a huge positive impact on the community, allowing people to be more connected with different parts of the project. We defined some specific goals/ideas to talk to CommOps about:
- Messages and focus: CommOps will be the responsible for internal communications in the project, focusing on the contributors.
- CommOps will mostly continue forward with the work they are already doing now, but, will not take on the responsibility of driving strategic planning
We will also borrow heavily from the CommOps wiki page rewrite to describe the strategic goal of Mindshare. As we settled things out we discovered they had written some great stuff that applies more to Mindshare than to CommOps.
This team has struggled to keep active contributors and is down to very few (often one) active contributor. Practically, the team is only able to collect talking points, make screenshots for each release, and do the release announcements. The Committee decided to help focus the marketing team on “marketing execution” and remove the strategic overhead, where appropriate:
- Execution is the means of getting the messaging through our channels
- Be the face to the outside world
- Social Networks
- Public streaming:
Going forward, the Mindshare Committee will be responsible for defining the message and the Marketing team will figure it out how to share and spread this message to the world.
Often referred to as “docs,” this team has very few contributors presently, but after the recent Docs FAD they are getting on track.
They are facing issues with their publishing toolchain that are being solved, but for now, nothing more is being requested from them.
This is a challenging topic and took up most of the time at the FAD. This group is supposed to be “The Face of Fedora” and in the past it was great. Now they are facing tons of problems, and numerous groups (including the Council!) have been unable to resolve these issues.
We have decided that because Mindshare is the end-result of the multi-year effort by the Ambassadors to work on organization we will focus specifically here. We will be starting a larger discussion about ambassadors with the ambassadors through a blog post and an email to the Ambasasdors’ mail list in the next couple of weeks. We have some ideas and can’t wait to get feedback and improvements.
During the FAD we realized that we needed to define the messaging. This allows the teams to be tactical (do things) without also having to be strategic (define overall goals). The message was defined as focusing on the editions and objectives.
- Fedora CI
- Internet Of Things
- Desktop Edition
- Server Edition
- Atomic Edition
These six areas will have 3 strategies to apply:
- Use resources wisely as we have have limited volunteer attention, time, and money
- Increase adoption of Fedora in areas related to all of the areas
- Improve communication to facilitate these messages throughout the project and subprojects.
Conclusions and Thinking Ahead
The committee is off to a great start. We are very grateful to all of the hard work everyone put in during the FAD and all of the groundwork that was laid prior to the FAD by so many people.
We are going to meet from 12:30 – 13:30 UTC on Mondays in #fedora-meeting and encourage you to join us.
The committee will have the following recurring tasks:
- Every meeting check the outreach/mindshare calendars for meeting goals/deadlines
- Every month publish an outbound report (rotating by person by month) built from bullet points generated in the meetings
- Ticket triage
Our first goals are to:
- Ask the Representatives to take the messaging and suggestions back to the other teams (design, docs, marketing, CommOps)
- Ask the Council to allocate regional budgets directly to Mindshare for FY19 so they can be worked on with the ambassadors program efforts and not siloed.
- Mindshare, as the successor to FAmSCo and FOSCo, will be working on getting the Ambassadors program back to where it needs to be. This effort kicks off with our next blog post.
The Mindshare Comittee still has a lot of work to do, but this was a great start for us. We encourage all contributors to come and asks their questions!