We need a better way to work together
This is a dense topic, and this post is very long. So, let me provide a short summary here before you all tl;dr me, which would be deserved. The long and short of it is that Association staff and other community members have to figure out a better way of working together. This post is meant to start a discussion that will lead to clear definitions we can use to better understand each other and our collaborative work. I will certainly explain more below, but you can skip to the bottom if you want to get to the logistics. Now - for those who love detail…
A bit more about the problem
I’ve been at the Association for a little over a year now and I’ve heard a lot and learned a lot during this time. On the whole, the feedback I’ve heard has been incredibly positive about the future of Drupal and the role of the Drupal Association in supporting that future. I’ve also heard criticism of the Association.
I welcome constructive criticism because I firmly believe it leads to reflection and improvement. That’s what we’ve been striving for at the Association - improving the services and support we provide to the community, with the community. To that end, we have had wide ranging conversations with many of you about everything from how to staff the tech team to improve Drupal.org to how session selection should work for DrupalCon. In all those conversations, covering so many disparate topics, there seem to be a couple of constants:
- A lack of clarity about the mission of the Drupal Association
- A lack of clarity about the role of Association staff alongside community volunteers
In other words, we lack a clear vision and mission framework that articulates our role within the community and how we work alongside volunteers.
Here’s the way I summarize this conundrum. I’ll use Drupal.org as the example because that is where we are focused in 2014. We have recent examples that highlight the kind of tensions and problems that can occur without this clarity. However, I think we could use these same types of diagrams to explain DrupalCons and other programs, beyond our work on Drupal.org.
We have to start somewhere, so I am going to start with a gross oversimplification. Essentially, there are three kinds of work to be done on Drupal.org. (I know, there are more, but I am starting with a gross oversimplification!).
From: Assoc.drupal.org. Click to see the full content.