Proposed Community Convention: Decision Making "Playbook"

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned in last week’s post Community Roles and Decision Making, we’ll be working through proposals for community conventions over the next several weeks.

The first convention takes the form of a “Decision Making Playbook,” which includes a series of decision making guidelines or “plays” that individuals, small groups or teams, and the community at large can follow.

Click on the link to read and comment on the full Proposed Community Convention: Decision Making Playbook.

A few things to keep in mind:

  • This is not complete. I know there are gaps. You’ll find that there are places where I still have questions. I’m pretty sure that some of you will have good answers or at least suggestions. :slight_smile:
  • Anyone can offer suggestions, ask questions, propose changes, make comments, add examples in this thread, directly in the Google document, or in the #strategy-and-operations Slack channel.
  • We’ll set aside time during our August 1 Strategy call for a live discussion.
  • Once everyone has had a chance to review and comment, I’ll integrate feedback into the proposal
  • We’ll give everyone a few more days to take a look and make final comments, then make a decision on whether it’s “good enough” to try it out for the next several months. We can revisit towards the end of the year. I’ll be looking specifically to those who offer to be more actively involved for their input, particularly at this decision point.

@paul, @burke, @jdick, @c.antwi, @janflowers, @wanyee @terry @dkayiwa @akanter @cromwel @gschmidt @hamish

This looks very interesting. @jennifer let me know when this playbook will be finished, and I’ll try to prepare an infographic out of this.

See my comment to the original post Community Roles and Decision Making I think there is a broader discussion here than just the overarching topic of decision-making. Hope we can capture those ideas somewhere too… Thanks!

As I mentioned in the Community Roles and Decision Making thread, the Decision Making Playbook is only one component of the broader discussion on how decisions are made throughout the community. We’ve discussed the playbook during a Strategy meeting or two and I’m going back to our notes to capture key points.

Here are some of the key points specific to decision making and the playbook:

  • These plays are meant to be guidelines for the community
  • They are more explicit about how we behave as a community - and some may be aspirational
  • For those who are already engaging in these behaviors, this may be no big deal. For those new to working within the community, this can provide the guidance they seek in order to contribute more quickly and effectively.
  • The playbook is a living document - we’ll need to assess and adjust over time
  • Some may want an abbreviated, shorter version, others may want to dive in deep. We’ll need to work on a format that responds to both needs.
  • Plays #1-#4 are good.
    • Play #1: Encourage open exchange and participation
    • Play #2: Make decisions transparently
    • Play #3: Share early, often, and widely to expand adoption
    • Play #4: Use community-centric channels
  • Play #5, Reward commitment with decision making authority, needs more discussion.
  • The plays seem more like general community conventions. Suggestion: Instead of a decision making playbook, this becomes a “Community Plabook.”
  • In the past, we’ve had specific community roles that people in the community can take on (i.e.: Release Manager).

"Decisions are made all the time in the community."

Putting this into practice means coupling the playbook guidelines with some structure. We can start to look at that structure from the high-level perspective of individuals and teams/groups, specifically in terms of Play #5:

In general, what do we expect of individual contributors?

  • All contributors are encouraged to review and actively apply the plays described in the OpenMRS Decision Making Playbook.
  • Individual contributors have the authority to make individual level decisions as they see fit.
  • When decisions span areas that fall within the scope of other community members or groups, the individual can seek/consult with/refer the decision to the relevant person or group.

In general, what do we expect of teams/squads?

  • Teams or squads have the authority to make decisions about their project as they see fit.
  • Teams or squads reward commitment to the team’s project by giving decision-making authority to those who contribute to the team consistently and significantly.
  • Teams or squads that are working on projects that can be widely adopted by OpenMRS implementations are encouraged to actively seek input from different perspectives internal and external to the community.
  • When decisions span areas that fall within the scope of other community members or groups, the team will seek input from/consult with/refer the decision to the relevant person or group.

What does everybody think? What changes would you like to see?

This is an open and ongoing discussion, so please feel free to add your comments and suggestions to this thread or click on the links above for more details and/or comment directly in the Google doc.

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