r5 - 03 Jul 2003 - 11:21:53 - KaitlinDuckSherwoodYou are here: OSAF >  Projects Web  >  CommunityHome > RolesAndResponsibilities
Differing Roles in the Chandler Project Version 0.1

For now, it is sufficient to identify three types of participants: Staff Participants, Self-Directed Participants and Project Participants. Each category of participants may be involved in the “hub” or the “spokes” of the project. None of these names is perfect, and I don't expect anyone to refer to themselves as a "self-directed" or "project" participant. I’d be thrilled if anyone can suggest a better set of terms.

A. "Staff Participants."

Currently, a staff participant is one who meets a set of criteria very close to that of an employee. Many staff developers are employees, but this is not a requirement and we have several non-employee staff developers. The general criteria for a staff participant is described below. We recognize that the criteria are very similar to those often used in making hiring decisions. And we recognize that many important contributors will not be interested in this type of participation. The category is not included as an ideal towards which we want to move the world; we expect this category to remain rather small. This category may remain a description primarily of those employed by OSAF, with a few additional members. Neverthelss, it is a crictial role in the project and so is described below.

The criteria for a staff participant includes such things as:

  • Existing OSAF staff has a consensus as to the person�s
    • expertise,
    • application of that expertise to chandler,
    • ability to work well with existing staff members,
    • value of including that person�s input in a broad range of Chandler related issues
  • Existing OSAF staff's comfort level in relying on the person to make key decisions, to develop an implementation plan for those decisions and to execute the implementation plan
  • the person�s commitment to Chandler, including the amount of time the person can devote to Chandler on a regular, sustained basis
  • the person's willingness to live within a management structure and respond to requests from OSAF management. OSAF strives for a lightweight management structure, focused on developing consensus among relevant experts and assisting developers to be productive. But there will be times when a particular task is neither fun nor even focused along the lines an individual believes to be the best approach, and OSAF staff members are expected to remain focused even in this setting. (Of course, we hope such settings will be rare and short-lived.)

In exchange for this commitment to work with the OSAF organization even when there is unhappiness with some of the tasks, staff participants receive a level of involvement in decision-making that is broader in scope than the particular tasks on which they are working. In other words, staff participants are committed to the unknown, and so have a broader invitation to the table when decisions are being considered.

The final decision as to whether or not someone is a staff participant rests with Mitch Kapor.

B. "Self-Directed Participants."

A self-directed participant is someone who does what he or she finds fulfilling, on his or her own time and in his or her own way. This type of volunteer may make enormous contributions to the Chandler project; many great thinkers work in exactly this way. (OSAF doesn't claim that good management sovles all problems; we only state that we haven't yet figured out a way to work without management smile )

It will be hard for OSAF to include potential contributions from a self-directed participatant in our product and project planning. By definition, a self-directed participant will do things when he or she is interested and able to do them. The challange for OSAF will be to retain enough flexibility to encourage and integrate contributions from this group in the midst of our planning processes.

C. "Project Participants."

A project participant is someone who is highly committed to,and on whom others rely, with respect to one or more elements of chandler. Project Participants are critical to fulfilling the long term vision for Chandler.

The criteria for a project participant includes such things as:

  • the participant wants his or her work to integrate with that of other participants, as well as a level of responsibity and participation in decision-making with regard to those elements.

  • the participant makes a commitment that others can rely on. The commitment level and degree of reliance on a project participant will need to be worked out. Either on an individual basis, or within generally understood parameters (which we don't have yet).

  • the participant can work with product and project management, as least with regard to the elements with which he or she is involved;

  • other participants have a consensus as to the person�s
    • expertise,
    • application of that expertise to chandler,
    • ability to work well with existing participants,

We expect project participants to develop organically, by working with staff participants, developing relationships and becoming known as clueful and interested. If we need additional process we'll develop it.

D. "Hub" Involvement.

"Hub" involvement means involvement with the releases that OSAF ships. Initially we can think of this as Chandler 1.0. Currently, all staff participants are focused on the hub, although OSAF could hire people in the future of whom this would not be true. Self-directed and project participants may be involved in the hub.

E. "Spoke" Involvement.

�Spoke� involvement means involvement with those things built on top of what OSAF ships -- (parcels, products and potentially businesses. For those familiar with the Mozilla project, hub developers would be those working in the source tree maintained by mozilla.org, spoke developers would include such things as mozdev and its projects, XUL planet, and the broad range of other community activities that are not directed by mozilla.org staff. Staff, self-directed and project participants may all involved in spoke development.

F. Developer Support.

Developer support is the provision of things needed for people to use Chandler technology, either to participate in the hub (creating chandler itself) or in the spokes (products built on chandler). Developer support is a subset of community building.

G. Community Building.

Community building is the set of activities that make Chandler and Chandler-based products an attractive choice to use, deploy and develop on. Community �building includes developer support, but also evangelism, promoting general understanding, supporting deployment efforts,developing feedback mechanism about the project, and support whatever other effectives activities people develop.

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