Why do we want to see a change?
The leadership summit which occurred prior to J and Beyond 2014 brought about a number of incredible improvements. The theme for this year’s event “Investing in our Future” and the focus of the event - “Make it Happen” were both brought to reality by the entire event and specifically the leadership team.
The Joomla project has a great community already. But the leadership would like to empower more volunteers to effectively contribute by increasing the transparency, communication and trust. The majority of the leadership felt that our current organizational structure and methodology is not optimal for the processes in our community moving forward.
Some background on leadership structure changes
In a 2011 blog about leadership structure changes, feedback from the community on the topic was requested. At that time, JPeople (a Joomla Project social network that no longer exists), was the place where discussion and feedback took place. Following that process, a working group of community members and leadership team members started to work on a proposal for a presentation at J and Beyond 2012.
From the ongoing work of the Governance Working Group, a detailed document was produced and discussed by the entire leadership at the summit in Bad Nauheim, Germany. One of the reasons for discussing a change was the intention to dissolve the Community Oversight Committee (COC). Communication between the three leadership teams was identified as another main issue needing improvement. The COC was dissolved in February, 2013.
Over the years since the first blog post, the Governance Working Group continued to explore this topic, and cross-team communication has certainly improved. However, at the leadership summit this past May at J and Beyond, a majority of the leadership still felt that our current structure is not optimal for the processes in our community. These discussions rekindled the topic of a structural change.
This idea started on the very first day and grew in intensity throughout the event. The leadership team recognized the need for change. Not just in the code but in the very fiber of the structure of the entire organization. In a unified vote it was agreed that a focus group be formed and entrusted with the weighty task of presenting a new organizational structure. This group formed quickly from each of the three leadership teams. A series of meetings were held with this team and discussions and work carried late into the night.
This procedure was indeed a very serious matter with many implications for the future of the Joomla. Fortunately, the work of many, many leadership members before had prepared the way through a series of extremely well-formed and well-thought-out documents which demonstrated both foresight and vision by previous leadership members. We wish to extend the greatest possible heartfelt thank you for this guidance.
During the discussion it quickly became apparent that a common theme could be found throughout the team members and echoed the sentiments that have often been brought up by members of the community as well. A short list of goals was uncovered based on determining the reason behind the Joomla organization and structure.
These goals focused on the following points:
- Empowering more people to be involved
- Distributing decision making effectively
- Encouraging active volunteers to continue contributing
- Increase transparency and communication between teams
- Placing trust in individuals and teams
- Defining a more understandable structure with defined positions and workflows
These goals provided a groundwork which could be used for creating a new organizational structure and methodology. After some discussions the leadership teams decided to continue to work to refine the proposal, both to define the organizational changes in more detail, as well as to document the processes that support the changes, and to work on a plan to implement the changes.
How are we going to accomplish this?
At the end of August, we had a kick-start meeting with the structural team.
This team has three representatives of each leadership team.
Representatives from OSM: Sarah Watz, Ronni K. Gothard Christiansen, Marijke Stuivenberg
Representatives from PLT: David Hurley, Javier Gómez, Chris Davenport
Representatives from CLT: Sander Potjer, Alice Grevet, Peter Bui
We decided to work intensively on this task of moving forward. We plan to involve our community in the process. To get the best process we have decided to start by involving the leadership teams. Then we will involve all active team and working group members. Finally, we will involve all of the community to include feedback and input from all.
Our hope is that by involving more and more people in each step we can enhance and fine-tune the final structure proposal before it is voted on at Joomla World Conference 2014.
Roadmap / timeline
These are our target dates:
Phase 1: September
- Work on defining the new structure and processes
- Communication and feedback from the Leadership Teams
Phase 2: October
- Communication and feedback from the Working Group leaders, team leaders and team members
- Each team will craft the team definition together
- Communication and feedback from the community
Phase 3: November
- The three current leadership teams, OSM, PLT and CLT, will vote on the structure change.
- If the final proposal is approved by the Leadership Teams, the process will continue into the implementation phase. This phase will start at the Leadership Summit before the Joomla World Conference. If the proposal is not approved, the leadership teams will consider other options to better lead the community into the future.
You can share your thoughts and comments about this announcement in this public forum thread: https://forum.joomla.org/viewtopic.php?f=704&t=859805