Reps Mobilizer Experiment

During the second quarter of 2017, and in order to understand how to better identify, recruit and support mobilizers, we decided to run a small experiment with a reduced set of existing “best in class” mobilizers and walk with them during their work supporting technical communities.

Why

Reps program is a program for core mobilizers, who create, grow, sustain and engage communities around Mozilla projects. There are still improvement areas in order to become  a state of the art mobilizer program, so we wanted to identify which are these areas and which are the changes we can implement.

Participants

Bob Chao (Taiwan) – WebVR

Long time contributors, Bob has been empowering and growing different Mozilla related communities in Taiwan, more recently Rust and WebVR.

Full Report

 

Srushtika Neelakantam (India) – WebVR

Deeply involved with the WebVR community since its formation, Srushtika has been empowering the local community in India for a few years now. She has even wrote a book about WebVR.

Full Report

 

Daniele Scasciafratte (Italy) – WebExtensions

Extremely involved contributors, Daniele has been supporting the community in Italy for many years. He has been key to develop the first Addons activity for the MozActivate campaign.

Full Report

Vigneshwer Dhinakaran (India) – Rust

He has been key for the formation and growth of the Rust community in India, he is author of a book about the technology.

Full Report

 

Process Overview

We decided to use a human centered design approach to test this hypothesis. Each project started with a research phase followed by multiple iterations of potential solutions. Each iteration involved testing, reflecting on the learnings and iterating on the approach.

Overall main learnings

  1. A certain degree of understanding of the technology is needed for the mobilizer to be truly effective and understand the communities.
  2. It’s key to devote enough time to do research and understand the local environment and the potential contributors needs
    1. After a solid research, we can start thinking on which are and implement the best channels for communications between the community (sync and async) as well as information distribution (announces, materials…)
  3. There are two important areas when working with technical communities:
    1. Getting people excited about the tech and the community
    2. Keeping people engaged after the main activities take place. The top priority should be designing for the follow-up instead of the activity.
  4. Establishing a direct conversation between mobilizers and the functional area staff is key for having a correct direction and impactful outputs.
    1. Teams that work with more closed tools (slack) presented a bigger challenge

As a result of these learnings we will evaluate a set of recommendations to improve the Reps program and we will share with some early ideas soon on the Reps discourse.

Thank you Vigneshwer, Daniele, Srushtika and Bob, your work is an inspiration to all Reps and to the rest of Mozilla, you have demostrated strong leadership and an impact-oriented strategy thinking that will help others to follow your steps.

Rep of the Month – June 2017

Please join us in congratulating Mehul Patel, our Rep of the Month for June 2017!

Mehul is an highly motivated Rep from India supporting and enabling many Mozillians in the region of Pune, Nashik and Gujrat.

He is also a campus club advisory board member helping shaping the new activities for students. His recent activities include conducting the first phase of the Rain of Rust campaign which mobilized Mozillians around Rust across various parts of India.

Mehul, keep rocking the open web!

New Council Members – Spring 2017

We are very happy to announce that our new council members are already onboarded and working on their focus areas.

We are also extremely happy with the participation we had for these elections as for the first time we had the record number of 12 nominees and 215 (75% of the body)  have voted.

 

Welcome Ankit, Daniele, Elio, Faye, and Flore, we are very excited to have you onboard.

Here are the areas that each of the new council members will work on:

  • Flore – Resources
  • Faye – Coaching
  • Ankit  -Activate
  • Elio – Communications
  • Daniele – onboarding

Of course they will also all co-work with the old council members on the program’s strategy and implementation bringing the Reps Program forward.

Also I would like to thank and send #mozlove to Adriano, Ioana, Rara and Faisal for all their hard work during their term as Reps Councils Members. Your work has been impactful and appreciated and we can’t thank you enough.

The Mozilla Reps Council is the governing body of the Mozilla Reps Program. It provides the general vision of the program and oversees day-to-day operations globally. Currently, 7 volunteers and 2 paid staff sit on the council. Find out more on the Reps wiki.

Don’t forget to congratulate the new Council members on the Discourse topic!

 

RepsNext – Status Update June 2017

In the past few months we have kept working on the implementation of our RepsNext initiative. The RepsNext initiative has started more than a year ago with the goal to bring the Mozilla Reps program to the next level. Back in January we wrote a status update. Almost half a year later, we want to provide a further update. We have also published our OKRs for the current quarter with goals to further the implementation of RepsNext.

RepsNext overview explaining what is done and what not, explained further down in text in this article.

Resources

The Resources training is finalized. It’s still a little bit text-heavy, but we want to move forward with the training and iterate based on feedback. For this, we have reached out to a few selected Reps based on the past 6 months to ask them to test the training and give initial feedback about the process and content. Once we have this feedback, we will adjust the training if needed and then open up the Resources track for applications. Applications will most probably be done in a Google Form and will include general info about the Rep as well as a free-text input field where the Rep can explain why they are fitted for the track as well as provide some links to previous, good budget requests they filed. You can learn more about the Resources Track on the Resources Wiki page.

Onboarding Process

We have simplified and streamlined the on-boarding process for new Reps. Until April we had a lot of applications that were open for more than 6 months. We are happy to report that we have started to on-board 20 new Reps between April and now. Further 10 Reps are in the administrative process of signing the agreement and creating profiles on the Portal. All of this is thanks to a new Webinar. The Webinar allows us to give Reps the very needed first information about Reps and what to expect being a Rep.

Participation Alignment

The Council is working with the Participation team in order to co-create the quarterly and yearly goals and OKRs for 2017. This happened twice already this year and we will continue to give our valuable input and feedback for the quarters to come. The program’s goals are also being created based the team’s goals and priorities. We are also attending the monthly Open Innovation Team calls. Of course this is an ongoing work that will continue. The Reps Council is also involved in strategic and operational discussions as representatives for the broader community, giving feedback on the currently ongoing strategic projects. All of this work will continue at the All Hands in San Francisco later this month.

Leadership

At the beginning of our work on RepsNext, we wanted to do a specific Leadership Track Reps can apply for as a specialization. Throughout the past months it became clear that we want all Reps to improve their leadership skills to help out other Reps as well as their communities. Therefore we created an initial list of good leadership resources for everyone to access and learn. At first this is a basic list of resources which will be improved on in the future. We want all Reps to be able to improve their leadership skills as soon as possible and later build on top of this knowledge with further resources. Please provide your feedback in the Discourse topic!

Coaching

Previously known as Regional Coaches, Community Coaches will continue to support local communities. Additionally to that we are currently creating a Coaches Training to train new Reps on coaching skills as well as existing mentors to improve their skills. These coaches will be able to coach Reps in regards to personal development. The idea is to have the Coaches Training on a self-serve basis, so everyone can take the training and complete a narrative which will be evaluated at the end to graduate from the training. This will help us to increase the quality of coaching/mentoring in the Reps program as well as in local communities. Additionally it will decrease the current bottleneck we have onboarding new Reps and we will be able to assign a coach to every Rep on a one year commitment basis with the option to switch the coach after this period. We are currently reviewing the implementation proposal so we can add the training to Teachable and publish it for all Reps.

Functional areas

We recently asked all Reps to choose their path for the future. This gives us a valuable basis to argue around functional doers in the Reps program. We will further build out the exact details about functional doers and their interest. The ongoing strategy projects will additionally give us valuable guidance in coming up with the perfect opportunities for functional doers. If you are interested in statistics about this survey, join our discussion on Discourse.

Upcoming work

We are in the last steps to finish our work on the Resources track and the Coaching training. This allows us to start talks on further improvements in the third quarter of this year. We are also going to the All Hands to discuss Reps, Strategy, Mobilizers and more with the Open Innovation team. We will update you about the outcomes of that after the All Hands.

You can follow all the Reps program’s goals and progress in the Reps Issue Tracker.

Which thoughts cross your mind upon reading this? Where would you like to help out? Let’s keep the conversation going! Join the discussion on Discourse.

Rep of the Month – May 2017

Please join us in congratulating Vaibhav Bajaj, our Rep of the Month for May 2017!

Vaibhav is a Reps Mentor from Bhopal, India. He has been contributing as a Mozilla Rep since October 2014.

During the past few months, Vaibhav has organized a WebVR Camp in Bhopal, and attended the WebVR Camp in Indore. Additionally he took part in the Hindi & Marathi localization community meetup and participated in the A-Frame Hack Night India which had the goal to create training material about WebVR. To help increase the Nightly usage in India, he is also part of the India uses Firefox Nightly initiative.

Vaibhav, Keep rocking the open web!

Rep of the Month – March 2017

Please join us in congratulating Rizki Kelimutu, our Rep of the Month for March 2017!

Kiki is an awesome Rep from Indonesia based in Jakarta. You might have met her in Bugzilla since her daily job is handling seamlessly all the Reps budget and swag requests. But Kiki is restless! So after the endless hours of Bugzilla she volunteers her time on building and developing the community in Indonesia.

During the past few months Kiki has worked on expanding the Aurora community and organizing SUMO days. She has also been advocating to local audiences about online privacy. Further, she has been advocating for Mozilla and has been building a community in Kopdar. Lately she has also represented Mozilla along with other volunteers Mozilla in WikuFest. Kiki has also recently joined the Tech Speakers program, expanding her skills even further. And she has done all this while being one of the space wrangles of the amazing Jakarta space.

Thank you Kiki for being awesome, keep rocking the free web! Please join us in congratulating her on Discourse!

Reps Program Objectives – Q2 2017

As we did in the past few quarters, we have decided on the Reps Program Objectives for this quarter. Again we have worked with the Community Development Team to align our goals to the broader scope of their goals. These are highly relevant for the Reps program and the Reps’ goals are tightly coupled with these. In the following graphic you can see how all these goals play together.

Objective 1 – RepsNext is successfully completed paving the way for our next improvement program

  • KR 1 – The Coaching plan is implemented and we are able to scale
  • KR 2 – Budget requests submitted after June, 1st go through the trained Resource Reps
  • KR 3 – Reps can get initial resources to improve their Leadership skills
  • KR 4 – Core community sentiment NPS >11.5 (Konstantina as in Q1)
  • KR 5 – Mobilizer sentiment NPS >15 (Konstantina as in Q1)
  • KR 6 – We have a GitHub issue to plan for the future of Reps with an exclusive focus on functional contributions
  • KR 7 – The Facebook experiment is analyzed and being continued if successful
  • KR 8 – 2 communication improvements are identified
  • KR 9 – It takes a maximum of 2 weeks for new applicants to have their first task assigned

Objective 2 – MozActivate focuses mobilizers on impactful areas

  • KR 1 – General feedback form is used by 100% of MozActivate activities
  • KR 2 – We have implemented metrics and measurements for the existing MozActivate and to-be-launched activities as well as for the website itself
  • KR 3 – 70 Reps have organized one or more MozActivate activity
  • KR 4 – Activate is actively engaging 70 new technical contributors
  • KR 5 – 2 new activities are launched

Objective 3 – The Reps program demonstrates operational excellence in the Mozilla Project

  • KR 1 – Goals for Q3 have been set
  • KR 2 – We were involved and gave feedback about the Community Development Team OKRs for Q3 as well as the broader Open Innovation ones
  • KR 3 – The budget allocation for Q3 is finalized and communicated to all Reps
  • KR 4 – We have on average maximum one open action item from last week before every Council Meeting that is not tracked on GitHub and next steps/blockers are identified
  • KR 5 – We have planned 2 brainstorm sessions for the next improvement program
  • KR 6 – We have given feedback for Open Innovation’s “Strategy” project and are a valuable source for future consultation for strategy related questions

We will work closely with the Community Development Team to achieve our goals. You can follow the progress of these tasks in the Reps Issue Tracker. We also have a new Dashboard1 to track the status of each objective.

Which of the above objectives are you most interested in? What key result would you like to hear more about? What do you find intriguing? Which thoughts cross your mind upon reading this? Where would you like to help out? Let’s keep the conversation going! Join the discussion on Discourse.

 

Reps of the Month – February 2017

Please join us in congratulating Siddhartha Rao and Vishal Chavan, our Reps of the Month for February 2017!

Siddhartha
Siddhartha is a Computer Engineering major from New York, he is also a technology leader with rich experience in Security, Web Development and Data Privacy Evangelism. He started with his Mozilla contribution by leading the Firefox Club and Cyber Cell for a year at his university. Sid was a speaker and Data Privacy Ingeniouses at the Glassroom initiative by Tactical Tech and Mozilla.

He contributed to the strata of data privacy in browser metadata, mobile devices and social networks and took the responsibility to delve deep in the topics and spread awareness about the same at the Data Detox Bar. He also is an important part of the privacy month campaign in the New York community. Creating quality content for the campaign, Sid was responsible for putting together the social media content for Twitter and Facebook posts and ensuring timely delivery of graphics to global teams for localization.

 

Vishal
Vishal is a web entrepreneur and a champion Mozilla contributor since April 2013. He started his Mozilla journey by organizing sessions focused on teaching the web to school and university students. He then became a part of Mozilla Foundation when assigned the role of a Regional Coordinator for Mozilla Clubs. One of the key roles he played as a contributor was being a core team member who started the January Privacy Month Campaign. A campaign which, as of 2017, has proven to be a global success for the third year in a row.

In the last six months, Vishal has contributed as a Regional Coordinator, has helped set up and mentor many new Mozilla Clubs in and around India. He has been an integral part of campaigns to spread privacy awareness in India. Involved in the planning and the flow of the privacy month campaig, Vishal was responsible for assigning roles, mobilizing contributors and encouraging participation in India and in global communities. He also mentors at the Maker-Fest in India.

Congrats to both of you! Join us in congratulating them in discourse.

Rep of the Month – January 2017

Please join us in congratulating Petras, Rep of the Month for January 2017!

Petras is an IT specialist and entrepreneur, who started at an extremely young age to build up a company and to develop his Project Manager skills. Nowadays he has a track record of working with or even heading a number of world class IT projects and companies.

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During the last few months he organized and participated in many events giving talks to thousand of people in various topics, including Privacy and Advocacy and the EU Copyright Reform. He adds his PM knowledge to the program by building up proposals for different projects. He managed to mobilize our community of volunteers, showing great leadership and communication skills.

Congrats Petras! Join us in congratulating him in discourse.

Reps as mobilizers in the Mozilla Community

TL;DR

This is a blogpost that explains what Mobilizer in Mozilla Community is and how Reps would potentially fit in this role. Right now we have defined the mobilizers as a group of trusted, aligned and committed mozillians that are interested in:

  1. finding and connecting new talent with Mozilla projects
  2. growing in their mobilizing and coaching skills
  3. supporting their local communities and the rest of the organization to reach their goals and be more effective and
  4. creating collaborations with other local communities in an effort to expand Mozilla’s mission and Mozilla’s outreach in the open source ecosystem

Definitions:

  • trusted: Mozillians will feel good sharing information intended just for internal use and they keep it that way.
  • aligned: We refer as alignment or aligned to the people who have a clear understanding on where Mozilla is right now, what are the current needs/priorities for the organization and as a result they plan their activities to bring value to these high level goals.
  • committed: People with proven past record on their accountability and support to the activities delivered inside the organization.

Background

When we introduced the mobilizer word in Reps community a lot of people were confused. What does being a mobilizer mean? And what does that mean for me as a Rep? By trying to give an initial answer we realised that every person had a different interpretation to the word, creating different expectations. What we failed to realize was that in fact Reps have already been walking the mobilizer path for a year now via the RepsNext changes.

This blogpost serves as a way to shed some light on the questions above. It is also trying to initiate a discussion inside Reps. We’re proud to call ourselves a volunteer lead program, thus we need to discuss in the open about the path we are taking and its implications for the program. We haven’t finalized any role descriptions or role responsibilities. This is something we need your help with in the comments below.

What does being a mobilizer mean?

Mobilizer is a term that we have started using only recently. From the wiktionary, a mobilizer is a person that mobilizes something or someone, basically the one that is moving things or people forward.

In Mozilla we have struggled a lot in the past on bringing coordination inside the communities and also connect with other communities with the purpose of serving Mozilla’s mission and goals. In the past we have partially solved this with creating the Reps program, however it was never clear that this was its purpose. So what does actually being a mobilizer mean?

A Mobilizer in the Mozilla community is a trusted, aligned and committed Mozillian that is interested in:

  1. finding and connecting new talent with Mozilla projects
  2. growing in their mobilizing and coaching skills and
  3. supporting their local communities and the rest of the organization to reach their goals and be more effective
  4. creating collaborations with other local communities in an effort to expand Mozilla’s mission and Mozilla’s outreach in the open source ecosystem.

But what is going to be the result/output of those efforts?

The purpose of Mobilizers’ actions is to build healthy communities and connections that will serve Mozilla’s goals as well as specific functional team goals.

How does Reps fit in that role?

When we’ve built the program 7 years ago we came with a simple definition:

“The Mozilla Reps program aims to empower and support volunteer Mozillians who want to become official representatives of Mozilla in their region/locale.

The program provides a simple framework and a specific set of tools to help Mozillians to organize and/or attend events, recruit and mentor new contributors, document and share activities, and support their local communities better.”

At the beginning we were aiming to give volunteers a way to officially represent Mozilla around the world. But the program evolved to be so much more. Over the years, Reps found a structured way to become the bridge between the Mozilla Corporation, Mozilla Foundation and the volunteer community. They became the backbone of the community, they helped to build structured communities and to bring more contributors to the project. Mozilla is competing in a very aggressive environment however we have a key differentiator, and that is our volunteer community. During the past years Reps have been the key to unlocking this huge potential and provide value to Mozilla goals. So even if it is not in our description, Reps are the ones that unofficially took the role of mobilizing their communities and help them align with Mozilla’s goals.

The transformation from an events program to a community building program (RepsNext)

As mentioned on the definition of Reps, it has been given to the participants of the program: “a specific set of tools to help Mozillians to organize and/or attend events” and it was this specific set of tools and resources that enabled hundreds of Reps through the years to conduct thousands of events in order to spread Mozilla’s mission.

However, Reps are not only about events. Of course events are a great tool that enables us to bring more contributors and awareness to Mozilla. But we came to the realization that even though events were great, we needed to use them in a way that they would be something more than a one-off effort. As we were growing, we found the need to use our resources better and to use them in order to serve Mozilla’s goals instead of just spreading awareness. And last but not least, we needed to give the resources to our community not only on how to manage budget but also on how to build and support healthy communities, how to coach new contributors and how to build connections.

We saw the need to evolve and a year ago we introduced RepsNext, a project that has already brought great changes and that will still have a long way to go.

What if a Rep doesn’t want to be a mobilizer?

Being a mobilizer is an exciting, great step for Reps. However, we recognize that there are Reps that don’t see themselves as such, and this is completely understandable. That’s why we are building a strategy for Reps that don’t want to continue that path and want to focus on core functional work activities. A strategy that recognizes their contributions, efforts and enables them to volunteer in the Mozilla world and keep representing Mozilla as core contributors.

So what do you think?

  • Does the mobilizer role feel like the natural evolution path for Reps?
  • And what else you would like to see?

Please leave your feedback on the discourse topic.