LoCoTeamBuilding

Ubuntu Open Week - Getting People Involved in your LoCo/Team - Jono Bacon - Tue, Nov 3, 2009

  • utc

(12:00:17 PM) jcastro: Ok next up we have Jono Bacon with "Getting People involved in your LoCo/Team"
(12:00:36 PM) jono: I am going to give it a few mins for late stragglers
(12:04:06 PM) jono: alrighty
(12:04:11 PM) jono: I think we can get started
(12:04:26 PM) jono: firstly, thanks everyone for joining me in my session today
(12:04:40 PM) jono: and thanks to everyone for joining in the wider open week schedule
(12:04:48 PM) jono: we have an awesome set of sessions throughout the week
(12:05:15 PM) jono: the goal of this session is to discuss methods in which you can help spread the word about your team and have people get involved
(12:05:34 PM) jono: this session is squarely focused on outreach, and the resource that you need in place to make outreach succesful
(12:06:01 PM) jono: the plan is that I am going to cover some key topics and then throw the session open to Q+A where you can ask your team-related questions
(12:06:15 PM) jono: ok, lets get started...
(12:06:36 PM) jono: one of the reasons why I love the Ubuntu community is its diverse and abundant set of teams
(12:06:59 PM) jono: we have teams covering development, advocacy, documentation, translations, testing and more
(12:07:32 PM) jono: each of these teams helps gather people together to focus on common problems, and to help move Ubuntu forward in quality and features
(12:08:08 PM) jono: teams are fairly common in communities, and even tiny communities will often break down different skills into different teams
(12:08:50 PM) jono: teams help facilitate more effective communication (you can have team-specific mailing lists, IRC channels etc), and a sense of localized morale can build in a team
(12:09:07 PM) jono: but teams offer two specific benefits which we will capitalize on when attracting people to them
(12:09:11 PM) jono: the first is Scope
(12:09:33 PM) jono: if we look at the global Ubuntu community we can literally tens of thousands of people passionate about the community
(12:09:53 PM) jono: these people are spread across forums, mailing lists, IRC channels, physical meeting, social media sites and more
(12:10:15 PM) jono: if we were to put all of these people into one huge room (such as a football stadium), we would be overwhelmed
(12:10:26 PM) jono: we would feel like a raindrop in the sea
(12:10:39 PM) jono: this would in turn make it difficult for us to build social connections and feel a sense of scope
(12:10:53 PM) jono: scope is critical for us to feel like we understand the full extent of the team
(12:11:13 PM) jono: if we join at a team that has 10 people in it, we feel like we fully understand the extent of the team when we know those 10 people
(12:11:50 PM) jono: if the team has 20,000 people in it, we will always feel somewhat insecure about where we fit in, due to the raindrop issue
(12:12:41 PM) jono: LoCo teams are great solutions for scope - they provide a safe place in which other people of similar cultural backgrounds (French, German, Spanish, Estonian etc) can get together in a team that is typically small enough that we can all feel the scope of the team
(12:13:27 PM) jono: the way we capitalize scope is to really secure 1-on-1 relationships between the members, this will in turn make the team feel all warm and fuzzy
(12:13:34 PM) jono: the second element of teams is Belonging
(12:13:50 PM) jono: the reason why people stick around in communities is to feel a sense of belonging
(12:14:01 PM) jono: this is how it typically works:
(12:14:23 PM) jono: Sarah discovers Ubuntu
(12:14:38 PM) jono: she likes it, starts learning more about it, and is keen to meet others who like it
(12:15:01 PM) jono: she learns about the community and decided to join a team, such as her local team Ubuntu-UK
(12:15:30 PM) jono: she joins the team and meets a warm reception, and discovers events that are happening, team projects, meetings and other activities to keep her occupied
(12:15:55 PM) jono: she contributes some wiki pages, draws some icons, attends some meetings and some other things for the team
(12:16:03 PM) jono: people enjoy he contributions and thank her for it
(12:16:13 PM) jono: she likes this, and this drives her enthusiasm to contribute more
(12:16:25 PM) jono: she makes more contributions and more people appreciate it
(12:17:09 PM) jono: before long everyone in the team knows Sarah and they respect her work, and she feels a tremendous sense of achievement and belonging
(12:17:24 PM) jono: the other folks in Ubuntu-UK are no longer names on the Internet, but instead friends
(12:18:08 PM) jono: this drives a sense of belonging, a sense that Ubuntu-UK is a safe and inspiring place for her online, and a little bit like the TV show Cheers where "everybody knows your name"
(12:18:25 PM) jono: (I hope the Cheers theme music is now going to pester your brains all day, folks) :-)
(12:18:44 PM) jono: so in a nutshell, with our teams we want to communicate these two key attributes:
(12:19:40 PM) jono:  1. Scope - make the team feel small, loose and close: make sure that everyone feels they have an opportunity to know what is going on and who is involved.
(12:20:14 PM) jono:  2. Belonging - build a positive atmosphere, focused on doing productive and fun things, and ensure that contributions are welcomed and celebrated.
(12:20:36 PM) jono: so, how do we build these things? well lets get started
(12:20:44 PM) jono: the first thing you need is a firm web presence
(12:20:57 PM) jono: now, so so so many team make the same mistake when they form
(12:21:01 PM) jono: it works a little like this:
(12:21:17 PM) jono: 1. Start a team
(12:21:29 PM) jono: 2. Create a communication channel - typically a mailing list
(12:21:41 PM) jono: 3. Get close friends involved - the team is now about 5 people strong
(12:21:52 PM) jono: 4. Promote a little - a few blog entries, Twitter posts
(12:21:59 PM) jono: 5. Decide a web presence is needed.
(12:22:10 PM) jono: 6. Spend the next two months bickering about which CMS to use
(12:22:43 PM) jono: the first few months of any team are like the first few months of a babies life - it is about making a social connection
(12:22:52 PM) jono: and not arguing about what color their clothes should be
(12:23:18 PM) jono: the first few months should be about building a team - starting to develop these social connections
(12:23:40 PM) jono: it is about ensuring that people can meet each other, get to know other people in the team, learning what skills everyone can bring to the team etc
(12:23:57 PM) jono: the arguing about CMSs issue always detracts from setting up a team
(12:24:21 PM) jono: as such I always recommend: create some wiki pages on wiki.ubuntu.com and just use that for now as a means to store information, the CMS can come later
(12:24:52 PM) jono: the content on your web presence should be focused on these social connections
(12:24:54 PM) jono: some ideas:
(12:25:12 PM) jono:  * Members page - have a page in which your members can put their picture, short bios and links to their website
(12:25:53 PM) jono:  * Meetings - you should schedule regular IRC meetings with an open agenda - make sure your team knows when the meeting is and how they can get involved - I will talk meetings more in a bit
(12:27:07 PM) jono:  * Knowledge Base - you should start documenting common information that your members need to know - if you are a LoCo team, specify the kind of work you plan on doing, where you meet etc - if you are a translation team, document common word dictionaries, step-by-step guide to making translations suggestions in Rosetta etc
(12:27:25 PM) jono: the goal of our web presence is to answer the common questions your team has when it forms
(12:27:31 PM) jono: we want to make sure the barrier to entry is low
(12:27:43 PM) jono: as I said earlier, a key thing here is Communication
(12:28:08 PM) jono: two communication resources are needed:
(12:28:48 PM) jono:  1. Channels - you want to provide an effective means for the team to talk at any time - most teams have (1) a mailing list and (2) an IRC channel - mailing lists are great for longer discussions and IRC channels are perfect for building social connections
(12:30:10 PM) jono: 2. Scheduled Team Time - it important that you come together as a team regularly to discuss topics - the problem with mailing lists and IRC is that people will dip in at random times - when you schedule some team time, you provide an opportunity for everyone to get together at once - this is typically in the form of IRC meetings
(12:30:24 PM) jono: these meetings are the first critical method getting people involved
(12:30:37 PM) jono: when scheduling meetings you should do the following:
(12:31:49 PM) jono:  1. Document the details - have a wiki page that outlines where you meet (which IRC channel and which network), what time (most use the UTC timezone although for LoCo teams it is usually fine to use your local timezone), and what dates (they are often recurring (e.g. the first Tuesday of every month)
(12:32:29 PM) jono: 2. Ensure key attendance - the founders and leaders of the team absolutely need to attend meetings - it is these people that will drive discussion forward, keep people motivated and ensure everone gets a chance to speak
(12:32:54 PM) jono: 3. Public Agenda - have a wiki page in which everyone can add an item to the agenda to discuss - this is soooooo important - it makes the team feel open and accessible
(12:32:58 PM) jono: and then.....
(12:33:03 PM) jono:  4. Promote!
(12:33:13 PM) jono: you should spread the word about your meeting everywhere
(12:33:20 PM) jono: good places include:
(12:33:32 PM) jono:  * Member blogs - particularly if on Planet Ubuntu
(12:33:56 PM) jono:  * Twitter / identi.ca - announce the meeting and also announce an hour before it kicks off that it is taking place - this will be a good reminder
(12:34:13 PM) jono:  * Facebook - consider creating a Facebook page for your team and announce meetings there
(12:35:20 PM) jono:  * Mailing List / IRC Channel / Team Resources - be sure to announce the meeting to your team, they are the key participants - post to your mailing list, but it in your IRC channel's topic and ensure it is on your team wiki pages
(12:35:41 PM) jono: now, there is one big misconception about promotion
(12:35:52 PM) jono: that is that the only people responsible for it are leaders
(12:36:02 PM) jono: you need encourage *everyone* in your team to promote your meetings
(12:37:04 PM) jono: a good way of doing this is documenting a firm commitment for people to blog or promote it on give days - as an example, for the Ubuntu Global Jam, we had a meeting once and of the 15 or so primary participants, we asked each to commit to a blog entry about the event on a different day
(12:37:17 PM) jono: this ensured a consistent spread of messaging on Planet Ubuntu
(12:38:08 PM) jono: I can't emphasize enough how important meetings are
(12:39:00 PM) jono: *every* team should have them, and if you feel like you have nothing discuss, you have a problem: the point of a team is to *do things*, and if you have no content for your meeting, you are not sufficiently running your team
(12:39:37 PM) jono: so, the first step are these meetings - they are the easiest to organize, cost nothing to run, and easy for people to participate
(12:39:55 PM) jono: with these meetings you should discussing projects that you want your team to work on
(12:40:08 PM) jono: I strongly recommend you take the same approach I take with my team at Canonical with this regard
(12:40:23 PM) jono: for the horsemen I flesh out a plan for each cycle about what we will focus on
(12:40:54 PM) jono: so as an example, for the 10.04 cycle I have asked each of the guys to document what they want to work on, and we decide together how much we can achieve
(12:41:15 PM) jono: we then document these projects in blueprints on Launchpad and this gives us a good sense of what we are focusing our efforts on
(12:41:42 PM) jono: as such, I would recommend that you consider discussing plans on a per cycle basis for your team
(12:41:48 PM) jono: lets look at an example of a loco team
(12:41:57 PM) jono: a 10.04 plan for a LoCo team could involve:
(12:42:05 PM) jono:  * organizing an Ubuntu Global Jam event
(12:42:13 PM) jono:  * organizing a release party
(12:42:21 PM) jono:  * working together on a given translations
(12:42:25 PM) jono: translation
(12:42:48 PM) jono:  * creating some resources for the team, such as flyers, stickers etc
(12:43:10 PM) jono:  * planning on running a booth at a given conference or shoiw
(12:43:11 PM) jono: show
(12:43:36 PM) jono: each of these different ideas can be registered as a blueprint where you can decide what action items need to be developed to achieve the project and who will volunteer for it
(12:44:20 PM) jono: this kind of project management approach to teams may seem a little tedious at first, but what it does is it firmly states some projects that team members can contribute to
(12:44:46 PM) jono: it provides focus and direction for the team, and meetings are a great opportunity to discuss these team projects
(12:45:43 PM) jono: part of the reason I am promoting the idea of building a plan for each cycle is that each project you agree on will be a carrot and stick to attract new members to your team
(12:46:14 PM) jono: just going out there and saying "woo! come and join our LoCo, it is awesome!" is typically not enough, and if people do join, they will get bored if there is nothing to work on
(12:47:02 PM) jono: but instead going out and saying "woo! our team is working on this cool event, and we are looking for people to help, go and check out this blueprint which outlines the project and join this meeting to come and discuss it" - this provides some real meat on the bones
(12:47:43 PM) jono: this is the key in getting people involved - provide great communication opportunities and an interesting set of projects to work on
(12:48:18 PM) jono: the *vast majority* of teams that struggle in getting off the ground are teams that have failed to set a sense of direction - we look to leaders to do this, and this project planning approach that I am recommending wil solve this
(12:48:39 PM) jono: when you have your project plan in place, you can then go and shout from the rooftops to get people interested and involved
(12:48:51 PM) jono: ok, I am going to grab a glass of water and then I will take some questions
(12:51:19 PM) jono: <rrnwexec> QUESTION: Can you give an example of what a team that "fails to get off the ground" looks like?
(12:51:21 PM) jono: sure
(12:51:25 PM) jono: typically it looks like this:
(12:51:34 PM) jono:  * team forms, puts resources in place, excitement builds
(12:52:06 PM) jono:  * ideas are generate but in an ad-hoc, random way, no real structure or planning is put in place
(12:52:45 PM) jono:  * new members are unsure of how to get involved in an idea due to this lack of structure, nothing gets done, the mailing list starts getting quiet
(12:52:57 PM) jono:  * the team then loses momentum and starts to stagnate
(12:53:14 PM) jono: <fetova> QUESTION: when do you think is the best time to do the LoCo meeting?, thinking on each ubuntu release...
(12:53:30 PM) jono: online meetings I recommend as at least one a month
(12:53:51 PM) jono: physical meetings can happen whenever but I always recommend at least one Ubuntu Global Jam event and one release party
(12:54:02 PM) jono: <jamesjedimaster> <QUESTION> what project could be a good start to gather people and get them involved?
(12:54:14 PM) jono: a great start could be one of these:
(12:54:35 PM) jono:  * Ubuntu Global Jam event (this is a physical event where people get together to work on Ubuntu)
(12:54:54 PM) jono:  * Release Party (another physical event where people get together to celebrate the release)
(12:55:25 PM) jono:  * Wiki Jam (maybe organize an online event where people get together to build out the team wiki pages)
(12:55:47 PM) jono:  * Physical Meets (maybe organize some physical meetings with presentations)
(12:56:18 PM) jono: basically any project that the team is interested in working on, be it physical or online is cool, the key is building a structure around that project
(12:56:40 PM) jono: <aim1159> QUESTION: should all of the team members be ubuntu-religious? For example: we got a couple of people who uses mac os x on the pcs but use ubuntu on servers and make a development work (sent patches and etc) for ubuntu projects. how to deal with this - the presentation is important not less than the development. how can one tell people - go and get ubuntu and on the other hand use mac os x or windows 7 for his own needs?
(12:56:56 PM) jono: I would argue that *everyone* is welcome
(12:57:08 PM) jono: we want to have an atmosphere in which people can migrate to Ubuntu
(12:57:24 PM) jono: when I formed a Linux User Group many new people used Windows and eventually transitioned to Linux
(12:57:36 PM) jono: <rrnwexec> QUESTION: A follow-up... What would you consider numeric failure, or is there such a thing?
(12:57:45 PM) jono: not sure what is numeric failture
(12:57:48 PM) jcastro has changed the topic to: Welcome to Ubuntu Open Week! https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuOpenWeek (changes made, please check regularly) || Session: Byobu by Dustin Kirkland || All questions go in #ubuntu-classroom-chat
(12:57:56 PM) jcastro: (3 minutes left) -ed
(12:57:57 PM) jono: <rrnwexec> QUESTION: What is the most important contribution a LoCo can make to the Ubuntu ecosystem? As specific as possible, if you can.
(12:58:05 PM) mode (+v kirkland ) by jcastro
(12:58:17 PM) jono: there is no single contribution that trumps others, but I think LoCo teams really excel in advocacy
(12:58:39 PM) jono: namely: going and representing Ubuntu in their local area, providing a local support network, and representing Ubuntu at events
(12:58:51 PM) jono: <mhall119|work> QUESTION: how can we encourage people with no interest in computers to be involved?
(12:59:16 PM) jono: at least some interest in computers is needed, but having a group that provides a friendly, encouraging and welcoming atmosphere is the first step
(12:59:35 PM) jono: ok folks, my time is up
(12:59:41 PM) jono: thanks everyone for joining my session!
(12:59:57 PM) jono: and I recommend you all join #ubuntu-locoteams if you are in a LoCo team
(12:59:58 PM) jono: thanks!

MeetingLogs/openweekKarmic/LoCoTeamBuilding (last edited 2009-11-03 19:30:39 by ausimage)