Jonathan Gray - May 23, 2011 in Uncategorized
Rufus and I met in Budapest last week and did some planning and had some useful discussions about strategy. Some notes are posted below.
The OKF has (and will continue to have!) a very broad portfolio of projects, activities, working groups, etc. There is lots of interesting stuff going on, and core OKF team is working extremely hard to keep lots of different things going in parallel.
We agreed to focus on three key areas for the next 6-12 months (to be revisited) – two of the OKF’s flagship projects CKAN and Open Spending, and the OKF as a project in itself:
- CKAN – Have a very good core team now, and the system is getting better and better! We want to continue to make the system robust, develop useful new features and plugins, and to support the growth of the community of users around the world. Want to make sure we collaborate with others who are starting to work on systems and services for working with open data.
- Open Spending – Only started a few months ago – but there seems to be a lot of demand for this. Continue to develop technology, and work in partnership with users, other organisations, NGOs, journalists and others.
- The OKF – Want to devote more time and attention to the OKF as a project in itself. Making sure information from across the OKF is being effectively communicated internally (e.g. at Monday meetings) and externally. All projects and activities fit into broader vision of OKF as a network based organisation. Sustainability. If OKF is a garden making sure all different parts are being supported and tended to! Systematically review of everything we are doing. Quarterly audit.
We should focus on these three things for now. If we start or take on other projects, start new groups, etc, we should think of these as falling under (3), or the OKF as a project.
Going forward the OKF’s activities will form a triangle. A narrow top of projects with a high level of activity (e.g. CKAN, Open Spending) going down towards a broad base – with lots of projects and activities with a lower level of activity.
Who is doing what?
We should do an audit of all the OKF’s activities and then make sure that there is someone responsible for each bit. We should make sure all projects and groups have a contact person in the core team. Contact person can check we are supporting the group/project and pass on any updates to others.
Should more explicitly define tasks/area of responsibility for all core OKF people. E.g.
- Operations manager (Jason): Responsible for everything to do with money, contracts, HR, oversees projects, etc.
- Community Coordinators: Responsible for proactively making contact with key people/organisations on behalf of different projects and groups. Engaging and coordinating network members. Internal and external communication.
- Project leads: Overseeing projects. Making sure they liaise regularly with core team and others at OKF. Responsible for making sure news and updates are added to a project blog – and key items are passed on to blog.okfn.org.
- Working group leads: Coordinating activities of working groups. Making sure they liaise regularly with core.
For these different roles we should better document key tasks and areas of responsibility that can be regularly reviewed. E.g. Community Coordinators should go back through mailing list archives to check that there are no outstanding threads/enquiries, should keep track and regularly catch up with people who want to set up/look after an instance of a project (e.g. CKAN or Open Spending).
Need to make sure people have a manageable and realistic list of things to do – so that they are able to focus on doing this well!
Community Documentation – “The OKF: A User’s Guide”
Some bits and pieces for the OKF Handbook – which will be main source of documentation about everything to do with the OKF:
- Many core/community action items should be decoupled into (i) contacting someone and then (ii) tracking and proactively following this up.
- Section on email etiquette. E.g. about who to write to, about why to contact mailing lists in the first instance, about keeping emails as brief and focused as possible, about attachments, putting text inline, etc.
- Monday meetings. Very important. Should make sure we have a list of updates from people. Will be core part of getting a rhythm across the OKF’s activities.
- Blog posts on blog.okfn.org. How to do it. E.g. always put a strapline at the top. Process for reviewing/submitting. Making sure major project updates, interesting writeups, etc are featured.
- Contacts management. Making a note of key contacts. Going back through mailing list archives.
- Pads should be temporary! Raw/live notes on pads, migrated to wikis, blogs or elsewhere for a more permanent home
- Making sure everyone at the OKF has a ‘go to’ person. For all core projects, making sure there is a day to day review, and ultimately all activities are overseen by the executive group and to the board.
- Making sure all activities are directed towards quarterly milestones – at the end of March, June (OKCon), September, December.
We should do a series of blog posts that aim to communicate what kind of organisation we want the OKF to be:
- Vision. Series of posts on blog.okfn.org giving broader vision for what kind of organisation we want the OKF to be and on different aspects of this vision. E.g. Apache Foundation, Working Groups, vision for community, Foundation/Network, etc.
- Rufus and Jonathan to draft posts together: (i) Managing Expectations, (ii) Clean Room Open Data, (iii), Open Tools, Open Data.
- Launching OKF small projects grant – perhaps in time to be announced at OKCon? Roughly around €5k?
- Setting up Economics Challenge.
Expanding and consolidating the network
- We should contact Geonames re: partnership and becoming a member of the OKF network.
- We should contact Simple Geo for a guest blog post.
- In medium term may wish to set up Open Data Alliance.
- Talk to Melissa Hagemann at OSI re: their open science activities to explore synergies with Open Science Working Group.
Other bits and pieces
- Set up firstname.lastname@example.org alias.
- Videos about the OKF and about various bits and pieces.
- Update the ‘working with us’ section: Monday meetings, posting on notebook.okfn.org