Sufficient communication among Ops members

An issue for all-hands, arising from urgent strategy discussion to sustain the coop. Other issues may appear in parallel threads.

This past three weeks, a set of Ops members @osb @andia @Graham @wouter @mikemh has been grappling with urgent issues of sustainability in the coop. @benhylau pitched in too. All-hands next Thursday we propose to focus entirely on this, since we believe things are critical and there’s a real lack of clarity about our means, and maybe even our intentions. Core reliability and focus is become an issue for our User and Ops members alike.

One emerging issue is sufficient communications in several directions (especially between Circles) and a question of whether we have sufficient affordances for holding the shape of something as complex as our platform service, to meet users’ direct operational needs. Behind this is the question of how many work hours we really have available to us. On that, depends business development planning, development funding, the way Circles use nextCloud Deck and the git issue tracker, mission&vision framing for the Board’s contributions, and issues of compensation and revenue (= marketing work) for Ops members.

Here’s a picture:
sufficient communication & ops traffic

Grey lines = Ops channels, Green = User channels, pink = broken (?) channels.
Yellow square = a Venue space (aka live interaction including video meetings); Blue square = a Media space (some async documentation, short- or long-term durability - chats/threads./repos). Red square = a Platform space (aka an app or tool).

To discuss - Questions this picture aims to highlight include:

  • Adopting and boosting Discourse as the common space for text-based interaction (chats/threads)
  • Haphazard use of the Forum by Users - including unclear channels for issues and contact@-type matters
  • Only partial participation by Circles in strategy threads in the Discourse media space. Fall-back option of 60min per month in a Venue space (All hands) is way too thin?
  • Haphazard use of the NextCloud Deck
  • Adopting git issue list for ALL issues, with input by ALL circles
  • Connection between contact@ and Tech circle.
  • Tech circle using a separate matrix channel (not tuning particularly to Discourse?)

Lurking behind these (towards the left-hand side):

  • How many active ops members do we have, contributing hours each week? Pardon me if I’ve missed somebody - ping me.
  • Are some of us better understood as ‘Collaborator members’ (smaller or intermittent availability of time right now for things in the Ops week-to-week timeframe)?
  • Do Circles have conveners, how should they work together to make things join up, what kind of compensation should they be able to rely on? Should Circle connections rely on them them, is this emergent hierarchy, can it be sociocratic?
  • With the hours that we have, how much should we be planning to commit to, in our platform service? Includes hours of communicating with each other - mostly async thro media spaces - and actively watching the traffic in threads in the same media spaces. How much use to make of @mentions?
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