From The Art Of Community by O'Reilly (http://www.artofcommunityonline.org) by Jono Bacon
Processes are living, breathing organisms. They are typically based around current conditions: the current level of contribution, demand, expectations, and goals. They are the clear plastic film that wraps around the assets and members of your community. As the assets and members adjust, so should the processes.
Process reassessment has become a staple part of each Ubuntu release. The Ubuntu community has a huge range of processes, initiatives, governance structures, and more. Each of these facilities was developed to serve a specific purpose, but as the community has grown and changed, these purposes and processes have needed to change, too.
With your community, you should schedule regular process reassessments. You should schedule a time in which your community can come together to determine how to improve on these underlying structures and processes.
However you choose to organize this reassessment, you should ensure the following:
- The events should be accessible to your community members. They should preferably incur as little cost as possible, and be within reasonable reach. Organizing a reassessment in Jamaica when your community is based in Northern England is not practical.
- The events should be open to all of your community members, and you should explicitly state this when promoting them. You should clearly communicate that everyone is welcome to join in and provide feedback about how to improve how the community runs.
- Ensure a sensible level of representation. Feedback sessions with 2 or 200 people are not valuable. Sessions with 10–30 people offer real opportunity to achieve some conclusions.
- Ensure that you begin organizing these sessions with plenty of notice, particularly for physical meetings.
When advertising these sessions, you should make them as attractive and practical as possible for your members. Don’t describe it as a “governance and process review” but instead as “how to improve our community.” Make sure that your announcement welcomes everyone, and ensure it underlines how everyone can have an impact.