- 1 Nominees
- 2 Questions
- 2.1 Many are accusing our Swag and Budget procedures for bureaucracy. What is your take? What can we change?
- 2.2 Reporting monthly on reps.mozilla.org consume to much time and no one actually read these reports. Is it really needed?
- 2.3 Different Reps seem to have very different types of contributions. Should we make adjustments on the program based on this fact?
- 2.4 In your own words, how would you describe the Reps program, who should be Reps?
- 2.5 How do you define an "active" Rep?
- 2.6 There are Reps that aren't active, neither organizing events or doing something significant. What is your plan to take on this situation?
- 2.7 The composition of council is hybrid (employees and volunteers). Should we revisit this? Is it working?
- 2.8 What is your planned schedule for attending to your council duties?
- 2.9 Firefox OS launch. Is there is a plan for Reps to talk to companies and enforce it's marketing?
- 2.10 A Rep without basic information about some of our projects (even misspell names). What are your plans to improve this kind of situations?
Based on our etherpad we have 5 Mozilla Reps Mentors running for 4 council positions:
- Nikos Roussos - https://reps.mozilla.org/u/comzeradd/
- Sayak Sarkar - https://reps.mozilla.org/u/sayak_bugsmith/
- Majda Nafissa Rahal - https://reps.mozilla.org/u/majda/
- Gauthamraj Elango - https://reps.mozilla.org/u/gautha91/
- Guillermo Movia - https://reps.mozilla.org/u/deimidis/
During the questions period we gathered top 10 questions for our nominees. Original questions and votes can be found here: Here are the questions and the answers:
Many are accusing our Swag and Budget procedures for bureaucracy. What is your take? What can we change?
The first one is a tough :) Participating in other Open Source projects/communities I can certainly claim that our current budget/swag process is very streamlined and well documented. But we got big, so did our needs for faster budget/swag procedure. Trying to avoid overcomplex rules and unnecessary bureaucracy we should implement a clear 3-tier policy about budget depending on the amount of money requested, where the approval should be done by the mentor alone, a council member, or after a council vote depending on the amount requested. This way the small budget requests would be processed more quickly. But we should also educate mentors to judge a request depending on Rep's credibility. When we're dealing with a Rep who has repeatedly done great events and always been very typical with receipts and logistics we should approve faster.
The current budget /swag request procedures are based on reviews at multiple levels. Once a rep files a request, it has to be cleared by the Rep's mentor before it can be put up before the council for consideration. This procedure is quite effective at most times, as it helps smoothen the request review process by adding a filtering layer to ensure that the reviewing body is utilizing its resources efficiently behind legitimate requests.However, having said that I also do feel that we can further improve the current procedure by making a few changes and adding a few basic criteria to the current process.
The reason from what I see is that some people may think that the procedures are bureacratic is maybe because they aren't quite sure about how exactly the council has reviewd their requests. What needs to be done is the implementation of further procedures to make the review process more transparent to the reps. A possible way to approach this issue might be to improve the current budget / swag SOPs to include more detailed information about what are the specific points that are looked into for each request. There were a couple of awesome blogposts in the recent past about how best to go about making these requests, however it may help to put these guidelines in a more formalized and structured document as a part of the current SOPs and make them more accessible.
A second possible way of tackling this situation may be to introduce an intermediate layer of review for quicker and more transparent approvals. A possible situation might be where a rep makes a request, if the amount requested is within a certain limit, his/her mentor can check the request metrics and based on the viability of the request, approve / disapprove of the request. If its between a higher range, the mentor can have a direct dialogue with the requesting rep, and based on the credibility / feasibility and viability of the request, approve the request or forward it to the council for consideration. Thus, the requesting rep is more involved in the review process and the whole process becomes more transparent.
Another thing that can be kept in mind while while appoving / dissaproving a request, is the credibility of the requesting rep. How has the performance of the rep been so far? How has he/she utilized the resources from previous requests (if applicable), etc.
One last thing that can also be done here is having elected representatives join the budget / swag task force to facilitate the processing of new requests. This would ease the pressure on the reviewers by allowing faster reviews for multiple request. Also it would again promote the transaperancy while dealing with these requests.
- Majda: First of all, I agree this is an important and valid concern. It was rightfully one of the most debated topics during Remo camp. Altough it is impossible to expect us to completely eliminate bureaucracy, there are definitely ways we can improve the current procedures, some suggestions would be:
- return to mentor-only review for small budgets. Adding yet another layer (a council member) only slows the procedure, and isn't needed in most cases, in my opinion. We should trust our mentors and their best judgment here, especially that the stakes aren't so high
- maybe have more than one person to take care of the budget requests. I mean, Konstantina is doing a incredible and wonderful job, I just have the feeling our process is too centralized on one individual. Having a second person would take off some steam and avoid overload
- encourage mentors to be as reactive as possible to budget/swag request, and encourage cooperation from the rep's side
The current procedure isn’t much bureaucracy considering the smoother flow of the program and the number of Swag and Budget request approved everyday.Also , we definitely need a governing body ( council elected by reps ) since when these requests were misused it will be a sensitive issue and can affect the reputation of the community. However , to make it less bureaucracy, it is better to have a group of people ( selected by their own community members / Mozilla Employees but not just the reps should involve Mozillians as well ) for every community ( or a region ) who can review the request as an initial review ( In many regions Council/ Mentor members aren’t aware about the cost for different services ) and provide priority and urgency levels accordingly . This helps the mentor to make sure that other community members are informed about the event and ease up his/her review. If both of the above reviews has a certain level of good values , council member SHOULD approve the request as he/she has most of the expected info’s , if any issues , he/she needs to communicate with the initial review team and with mentor and sort it out within 48 hours ( decision must be made ) . In this way , we have the involvement of those people who aren’t managing anyone in the initial review and everyone in the community are informed about the event. Also , this procedure may not be applied to all request ,but for request that submitted less than 3 weeks .
We could improve the system for swag if we untied swag and budget request in those events that we could make it. If swag is needed independently of Mozilla reps presence, we could send it before budget approval (at least that was one of the problems here in Latin America). Then we could make a system for ask for swag independently of events, just to have a stock to urgent situations.
Reporting monthly on reps.mozilla.org consume to much time and no one actually read these reports. Is it really needed?
- Nikos: First of all I'm not sure that no one read these reports. Mentors do, or at least they should :) We need a way of determining if a Rep is active or not on a regular basis. I agree though that the report system at its current form served its purpose well but it's time to move to something more efficient. Monthly reports indeed consume much time to fill and in several cases a Rep may not remember activities she/he did in the beginning of a month. What we need ia a continuous report workflow. We are already used of publishing small status updates in other aspects of our lives, about things we do. We need to implement a way that every Rep can report her/his activities even the day after the event, weather this is a link to blog post, a tweet, a gallery (or auto-fetch all these from the event's hashtag ;)), or just a quick post or event report right on reps portal.
- Sayak: I would say Yes, they are needed! Monthly reports are the tools by which the mentors keep track of their mentees monthly activities and also guide them whenever they find areas where the mentees can improve. Hence, the mentors ideally have to read through them. Having said that, I believe that the best thing to do going forward isn't removing the reporting mechanism, but rather to improve it. I would rather say that its a enhancement request for the reporting tools itself. The reason why most reps complain about the reporting tools is beacuse, well they have to manually type about a lot of stuff that they have done during a particular month. At times, by the end of the month, they may have forgotten what they did throughout the month, whereas in other cases, there may be months where they might not have been able to achieve as much as they may have wanted to. I guess a way of resolving this issue would be to implement smarter capabilities wthin the tool itself, so that it can automatically aggregate activity contents from various places, and remind the reps about their past activities, as well as provide more concise options to the reps to select, instad of having to write about each and every single thing that they might have done. The ideal process should be such that the reps are able to file reports within as little time as possible, maybe even less than five minutes a month. This reduction in reporting time should ideally address this issue, and also as far as I know such an enhancement is already in the roadmap for the reps reporting tool. ;-)
- Majda: Short answer: yes, reporting is needed! Monthly reports are the best way for mentors to keep track of what their mentees (you!) are up to. In my opinion, the solution isn't to get rid of reports, but rather to:
- make it near-effortless to fill a report i.e. automate wherever possible. This is in constant improvement thanks to the web-dev efforts in the reps portal. For example: currently when a rep creates an event, or marks himself as an attendee, it is automatically added to his report. We should aim for the same kind of automation for blog posts, tweets and so on, until it becomes seemless to fill your reports. Reports shoudln't feel as such a pain in the neck, they don't have to include every little detail and can litterally take 5min to fill.
- encourage mentors to comment on their mentees reports to acknowledge that they've read them or to congratulate the rep on their efforts. I totally get your concern, and already had mentees of mine ask me the exact same question about the usefulness of the reports and if somone actually reads them. Introducing this change helped a lot. As mentors, we DO read your reports, and we DO care.
- remember that reports are also what you showcase to the world (and are for everyone to see). Otherwise, how is anyone going to learn about all your awesome efforts?
- Gauthamraj: Yes , it is really needed. To start with , what if someone says you aren’t not an active rep even though you are doing a great job ? Yes , you can share your blog post reports about your various activities as a Rep but what will happen if our blog got corrupted / deleted ( this personally happened to me ) ? How can I prove , I am active ? To be on the safer side , file the months reports in the portal very shortly not as huge essays ( like my answers here ) .So , we need to be a role model for other mozillians / student ambassadors / etc.. Rep should be the one who lead and show the path for others and doesn't EXPECT much ( it’s fine if none see our reports) but Mozilla will make sure you get what you deserve ! Anyways , more automations are one the way for reports such as you can fill up your reports using twitter :D Finally , in the selection of ROM these reports plays a crucial role.
We need a way to show what we are doing, not only for our mentor, because rest of Mozilla. What we could do is change the way the form is made it (and now is a lot better than the beginning), to let reps write freely.
Different Reps seem to have very different types of contributions. Should we make adjustments on the program based on this fact?
- Nikos: First we need to identify this diversity. Currently we have functional areas, where every Rep can state contribution areas where she/he is more interested at. We should take this one step further and make it more visible. If I want to know which other Reps contribute to Webmaker initiative I should be able to find out and communicate with them in an easy way. Different type of contributions often need different kind of approach.
- Sayak: I think ReMo has already incorporated the mechanism to identify different contribution areas and allow growth witthin them via SIGs. However, one should also keep in mind that the primary definition for Mozilla Reps states that a Mozilla Reps are the volunteers who can be the official representatives of Mozilla in their region/locale and be able to support their local communities better. So no matter what their primary domain of contribution is they should always be able to take that one step ahead into promoting the Mozilla mission wherever necessary. Keeping this in mind we can think about ways in which we can improve the SIGs to beeter incorporate vaarious contribution areas and allow reps to mature better in their respective domain of contributions. A few good examples of SIGs which are really doing well are the Evangelism Reps, Comms Reps and Reps Web Dev. We need to follow the model set by these, improvise and improve on them and take the idea forward with new SIGs to allow better identification and visibility of individual contribution areas.
- Majda: I truely believe that the reps program currently welcomes a broad scope of contributions. Being a rep isn't restricted to events or any other specific activity for that matter. This diversity is already part of the program and should be supported. That said, I would love to hear suggestions on how we can best tailor the program to suit different types of contributions, and even more importantly, it would be good to know which specific areas you think we are not supporting well-enough, and discuss ways to make it better and plug-in more resources to see them flourish.
- Gauthamraj: Yes , we have different types of contributions from different reps. I don’t think we need to make any major adjustments to the program apart from a mentor change and creation of SIG’s within the reps program. Mentor change should be like , Rep should be assigned to a mentor who has also contributes in the same area and from same or nearby community . I guess we are already in the process of having SIG’s within Reps .May be we can run a survey on this to see , what our reps think about !
We have to change reports from an Event perspective to show this different contribution types. I think this is the natural way to show the change Mozilla Reps program had since the beginning. Report and swag/budget request still came from Events era, so we should adapt it for new requirements.
In your own words, how would you describe the Reps program, who should be Reps?
- Nikos: Simply put a Rep should fulfill two important roles: a. Engage, welcome and guide new potential contributors. b. Support her/his local community. From budget/swag requests and event logistics to getting them in touch with other contributors.
- Sayak: I would say Mozilla Reps are Mozillians who are ready to take the lead and guide their fellow community members towards exellence in their individual contribution areas. They are the Mozillians who are ready to go the extra mile to support their community and also be ready to take on a few administrative duties when the need be so. Mozillians who are willing to accept these responsibilities and are ready to take on the challenge of being an official responsibility of Mozilla in their respective local regions are the ones who should be Mozilla Reps.
- Majda: I believe the reps program is a program designed to help and support passionate individuals, driven by Mozilla's mission and willing to spread it around, with the right kind of resources and mentoring to reach that goal. I see reps as "super-mozillians" if I may say. That means a rep is a mozillian that is willing to commit time and energy to make consistent -rather than just sporadic- contributions and is also willing to keep up with the somewhat "administrative" side of it (reports, regional meetings, regular meetings with mentor...). I would consider it a plus (but not a requirement) to be able to act as local community leader.
- Gauthamraj: Reps program is for those individuals who want to live , eat , sleep with Open source ,Open web, Mozilla and a bunch of amazing people from all parts of the world with a certain Mission and Vision .Also , passionate about taking his/her love with Mozilla to the deepest level and willing to help others to learn about the awesomeness of Openweb and being a Mozilla contributor. Reps program is definitely not for those who looks for popularity , fame , sponsorships and of course Swags . Reps should be the one who made some effective ( inspiring many ) contributions in the past and not just keep on doing events but follow up with recruits after every event. Reps should be the one who makes sure that credits should go to the right people and to newbie's ( even if they didn’t done much but tried something ) . He/She can be a REP if they have a clear road map/ mission for the next 3 months as rep , designed with their previous contributions.
Mozilla Reps begun like a project to bring more people to Mozilla. But it's evolve to a better way for Mozilla to interact with the volunteers. It hasn't to be the default way to interact with community, but in a lot of cases, is a good and easy way to do it. THat's another reason way we should change some aspects of the program that were developed in other Mozilla Reps era.
How do you define an "active" Rep?
- Nikos: The previous question pretty much describes what a Rep should do when active. There is always the question of how many things a Rep should do or how often, but let's keep in mind that as on everything else, Reps is mostly about quality rather than quantity. I wouldn't try to define fixed quantities for defining an active Rep. Most mentors have the experience to determine that for their mentees. As a mentor myself I like to biweekly check my mentees activity, keeping in mind that most of them are volunteers contributing in their free time.
- Sayak: There isn't any hard and fast criteria about classifying Reps or active or passive, however the basic points to keep in mind while determining how active a rep is can be listed as under:-
- A rep who has been consistent with his/her activities on the long run,
- Has been filing his/her monthly reports regularly [with meaningful content ofcourse!] or if for some reason, not been able to do so, been in touch with his/ her mentor to keep them updated about their activities.
- Is helpful and willing to guide / help community members whenever they are in doubt,
- Is someone who always finds areas to improve themselves and not afraid to experiment with new ideas.
- Majda: I'm not sure there is a global concensus on what being an "active" rep means, but I would describe it in those few lines:
- a rep who does at least one meaningful/quality contribution -of any kind- on a consistent basis
- a rep who fills his/her monthly reports (even very short ones, or empty ones with an explanation)
- a rep who, if busy with work or personal matters (which is totally understandable), informs his mentor and formally takes a break for a period of time, as he/she sees suitable for him/her
- a rep who tries his/her best to keeps up-to-date with what is going on at Mozilla, and the reps program specifically
- Gauthamraj: Active Rep is the one who makes other Reps / Community members to talk about his/her contribution and get inspired by the same. He/She will be the role model for at least few of the people in the mozilla community if not atleast in his/her regional community. Active rep is the one who always does an post event analysis and understand where thing went wrong and tries to improve the same next time.He/She will equally concentrate on both online and offline stuff’s. He/She will keep them updated about the latest happenings in their field of contribution.
An active Rep is a Rep that participate in Mozilla and help Mozilla's mission :) We define an active Rep like the person that made something every month to help Mozilla's mission and could show it. And it's ok to doesn't participate one or two month, but definetly he couldn't be considered active if he doesn't make anything for three months. But activities doesn't mean an event every month, Mozilla Reps made more than just events, like participate in SIG or help in Firefox OS launchs.
There are Reps that aren't active, neither organizing events or doing something significant. What is your plan to take on this situation?
- Nikos: Considering that we're talking about people that evidently are inactive (see previous answer), there should be a clear path (eg. an SOP) for a mentor to initiate a process for removing a Rep. In any case a removal process should not be initiated before trying to communicate with the Rep in question.
- Sayak: I would advocate a two tier process ot handle such reps:-
- If a rep has been inactive[see previous question for hints about an active rep] for some time, the mentor should try to reach out to them to try and understand where the blocker is, or why they are inactive.
- If the reason is genuine like they have exams in their universities / travelling for work purposes / too much work pressure / etc. which are for short time periods and are sure to return to being active once the period is over, suggest them to announce that they are on a sabbatical and would be back in a while .
- If the reason is because they are demotivated due to some reason or are simply exhausted, the mentor can try and take steps to again motivate them in a way that they feel would again make them active and yet prevent a burnout.
- If however, the rep is not responsive / non co-operative / and overall not fit for reps any more, the mentor should initiate the removal process for the rep.
- If a rep has been inactive[see previous question for hints about an active rep] for some time, the mentor should try to reach out to them to try and understand where the blocker is, or why they are inactive.
- Majda: In my opinion, the best way to tackle the issue of inactive reps is in short: encourage rather than enforce. I see it as a multiple steps process:
- have the rep's mentor to contact him/her suggesting a quick chat. It doesn't have to emphasize the rep's inactivity but rather to give him incentive to get back on track. A chat about what's new in Mozilla or what the rep have missed due to being away can often suffice to arouse enough curiosity and renewed excitement
- if the rep is reactive to his mentor's endeavor, the mentor can further suggest activities of any type for the rep to fulfill
- on the other hand, if the rep is totally unresponsive and non-cooperative, I see two alternatives:
- suggest the rep takes a leave of absence (a few months break), if this is a temporary situation (work/personal commitments or so)
- if the situation is permanent, remove the rep from his duties as rep and re-orient him/her to more suitable areas of contribution within Mozilla
- Gauthamraj: Organizing events doesn’t make a Rep active if he/she doesn’t meet the least level of expected metrics , it is even bad if it is a Mozilla Sponsored event . First reach out to the inactive reps personally with another community member from the same region , who is active and knows the inactive rep ( we might not get the true reason if it goes through the mentor directly ) . Get the reasons for the inactivity and provide choices like Mentor change , expert contact in the interested project , etc.. We can give the rep 1 month probation period , even then no activity then the mentor can directly contact the rep and tries to help in getting started , another 1 month of time. Even then no activity , we have to think about his/her presence in the program.
We should communicate with them and try to figure out why they are not active anymore, and then we could mark them like inactive until new situation change. It shouldn't have to be a problem be outside mozilla rep program if you are inactive. You could re-activate yourself when you have more time, if you want it.
The composition of council is hybrid (employees and volunteers). Should we revisit this? Is it working?
- Nikos: Quick answer: Yes. Probably one day we'll have a more balanced mix of employees/volunteers Reps, so having all council members be elected would be better. But for now it's a good balance to keep in touch with areas inside the Mozilla project where an employee has a better view or access.
- Sayak: For now, I think the balance is quite good, and is obviously working out favourably [the growth stats of ReMo in the past two years has been a good indicator of that] . Also, even the "employees" are frankly as motivated as the rest of the volunteers [they contribute even beyond office hours!]. Also, the employees at the moment are quite good at interfacing between the volunteers and the organization. So, I think that the current composition is just perfect!
- Majda: I don't see why this needs to change. The ratio of volunteers to employees is 7 to 2, which is well-balanced I think. Plus, the two employees currently council members (namely Pierros and William) are not any kind of employees, they are the project leads and very community-oriented. I believe it is important to still have them as part of the council. Beyond that, it has always been one of the primary goals of the reps program to provide reps with entry points to Mozilla "management" (who to contact if you need help on X project, which teams are working on what...) but also eventually, for reps to participate more directly in the decision making within Mozilla. My concern is that having a council of volunteers-only (homogeneous) would somehow isolate the reps program (losing the connexion with "higher up"), and seriously jeopardize this goal.
- Gauthamraj: YES , in my opinion this composition is working well. Because , the tools and resources available for Reps might lead to big issues if misused by at least one and possibly affect the growth and future of this amazing program. We need people who are more responsible and dedicated than volunteers for the smooth progress of the program. I will say , 7 +2 is just more than Perfect !
Our last definition of this is electable and non-electable. Now that I'm a contractor, I couldn't be part of the council if we maintain employees, not-employees distinction. So, a better option is maintain ratio between electable and non-electable members. Still until we could find a mature organization in the program.
What is your planned schedule for attending to your council duties?
- Nikos: Being a mentor needs all the time you can spend for being a good Rep plus time to support and guide your mentees, communicate with other mentors or the council, etc. Being a council member needs all the time you can spend for being a good mentor plus time to dedicate on making the ReMo project more efficient in collaboration with other council member and Reps. I decided applying for council only after I assessed my time and concluded that I can help, even if that means that I should deticate fewer hours for several months on other areas of Mozilla project that I'm currently contributing. Helping the ReMo project totally worths it.
- Sayak: I'm a self-employed web developer, so my work schedule is pretty flexible to my needs. So it should be quite easy for me to incorporate a few more hours a week to tend to the duties of the council. I'm quite confident about my abilities as a mentor [my mentees seem to be pretty haapy with me! ;-)] and also am confident about the amount of free hours that I can chime in. So I should be quite accessible for council duties!
- Majda: I'm a university student, so I have a week packed with courses. Nevertheless, I plan on addressing urgent tasks (bugs that require attention...) on a daily basis, and devote more hours on the weekend to council tasks. On a side note, the main reason I didn't not run for coucil the first time in March was because I knew I wouldn't have enough time for it. If I'm running this time, I'm confident that I'm able and willing to put in the hours necessary!
- Gauthamraj: I will be free for most of the time for atleast next 6 months , so can be a full time Mozilla Contributor . Most of the time , I am focusing on helping my mentees and answering people with their questions online. So , I can definitely give minimum 4 hours everyday for council activities.
- Guillermo: I plan to spend five hours weekly, and more time on weekends, because used to be the best time to meet. At the same time, the idea is that council begin to work in long time view, rather than day-by-day work, and that work will be for mentors.
Firefox OS launch. Is there is a plan for Reps to talk to companies and enforce it's marketing?
- Nikos: This has to paths and we are currently pursuing them both with the local launch teams on the countries where Firefox OS is about to ship. First of all we try to build a good relationship with the local Carriers, get them to meet the community and know they can count on it for events and marketing activities. Additionally we get in touch with local companies, whose popular website is not yet ready for the mobile world, either because they are not realizing the opportunity or because they depend on native mobile apps. And of cource we always have the "App Day in a Box" SOP.
- Sayak: The primary thing to talk about here is the fact that Mozilla has always been an organization that puts its users and contributors at first. This is the same rule that applies on reps as well. As a Mozilla Rep, a volunteer already has the supporting framework to be confident and to talk to potential partners and companies to help with the launch efforts. Marketing is something that Reps are ideally quite good at. The best example of this would be rep oreganized events. However, having said that, a rep should also keep in mind the fact that the launch countries have been decided upon based upon the availability of device manufacters and telecom operators. If a rep is able to talk to potential partners and convince them about coming onboard, then the rep needs to make sure that he/she is in touch with the Mozilla Corporation team managing the launch efforts. I think this is an area which hasn't been explored much at the moment but ideally we should be looking at having a proper SOP created for this purpose.
- Majda: I think we have two cases here:
- if a rep is in a country where a FirefoxOS launch is already planned. Here, pathways of contribution are clear, I think: join the local launch team, be a mobilizer or recruit mobilizers.
- if a rep is in a country where FirefoxOS launch is not yet considered, and it's here that we still have work to do. I believe there is currently no "process" per se, for a rep to talk to companies and phone operators on behalf of Mozilla. This is something we should totally support and help make a reality, tough. It's probably the only way for us to scale, and bring FirefoxOS to many many more countries. One way to do this is by having a step by step "plan" for the rep to follow in these cases, but more importantly, to put him/her in touch with the right people at Mozilla (where the decision-making happens), to provide some guidance and mentoring. This is just a rough idea on top of my head on how we can help with reps talking to companies, but this is something critically important that we must think through and implement.
- Gauthamraj: Of course , Reps can definitely work with Mobile companies and help with marketing . May we can have , Mozilla + Mobile vendor ( ZTE ) booth during the events in places where firefoxos is already launched or talk about the various devices available in the market during the events. But , the only issue I am seeing we may need to sponsor for people from the mobile companies as well ! We need to gather more ideas on this from all our reps .
- Guillermo: Firefox OS launches are being organized by teams in each country (besides Reps or not Reps). In our talks with partners, community is presented like a main part of Mozilla, so they begun to work with partners from the beginning. Besides that, our participation in their MKT plans is not easy, so we define our strategy to help the launches.
A Rep without basic information about some of our projects (even misspell names). What are your plans to improve this kind of situations?
- Nikos: Quick answer: Training. Mozilla project is so big that it's expected for some new Reps to miss knowledge about some areas. There is alreay a Training task force and we need to empower it even more. It's not necessary for a Rep to be expert on everything, but given the fact that a Rep is a person that engages with potential contributors she/he should have an overall view of all contribution opportunities.
- Sayak: It's quite possible that a rep is an expert in one area, but is not as strong in another area. Afterall even Reps are humans! ;-) However, we can try and improve the knowledge levels of Reps to make sure that they have basic knowledge about most of the major initiatives, and they aware of people who can provide detailed information about these initiatives. I guess trainings can go a long way in this regard, however, considering the continuous, exponential growth of the program we can try initiating things much simpler, such as ReMo handbooks which have breif descriptions about the major projects and the respective spokesperson for each.
- Majda: First of all, I think a rep isn't suppose to know every single project happening inside Mozilla. Let's be honest, sometimes there are so many things happening that it's just hard to keep track of things (especially when projects change names as they evolve, which happens quite a lot at Mozilla). That said, if the said rep never heard of a major project (let's say, FirefoxOS), then I see only two ways to solve this:
- we must make our interview process for approving reps more tight. I know one question that we (as mentors) are required to ask is if the person applying has that basic knowledge about Mozilla initiatives. But maybe there should be more emphasis on that part.
- we should focus and spend more resources and energy on the training of reps to avoid these kind of situations. Training in the reps program is at its very beginning (with Rosetta Stone licences, Safari Books...), and it is my belief that this part should be emphasized and that we should be doing training & learning much more.
- Gauthamraj: This may be like , “ Be the King of one , than being the Jack of all “ . However , a Rep should have known at least few basic things about all projects in Mozilla that he/she can answer , if approached. What I can think of is , we’ll make a wiki with basic info about all the projects of Mozilla and add it to the joining Reps Program SOP and circulate the same with the existing reps as well . As a future plan , we can think about Reps Newsletter or sending important updates using ReMo bot while sending reminders for Monthly report .
- Guillermo: We have to create a newsletter or email communication that help Reps to understand and participate in all Mozilla efforts. That include understand what every Mozilla team and project is workking on. At the same time we could make some Q&A regarding Mozilla projects that could help us understand theses projects.