Please join us in congratulating Prathamesh Chavan, Rep of the Month for August 2016!
Prathamesh is an extremely active and super energetic Mozillian of the Indian community. He has successfully led several different events and shown unbelievable leadership skills. One of the most recent examples of his untiring energy was the Mozilla India Community meetup 2016. His skills at managing all the logistical work for such a huge event was a pleasant surprise for all the organizers and senior members of the community.
Prathamesh is famous of going around with a viral smile. If ever asked to do some work, he does it with a smile and also makes sure that the smile virus is perfectly passed on to you…leaving you smiling as well. Prathamesh is a strong supporter of the Open Web and believes that everyone deserves to have access to it. With this thought in mind, Prathamesh also initiated the MILE project here in the Indian community. The purpose of the MILE project is to teach the basics of web to the less fortunate section of our society.
TL;DR As part of the RepsNext a group of experienced Reps has been assembled to improve Reps resource request cycle times. This will enable all Reps to have more impact. This group, called the Review Team, will review bugs as of Monday the 5th of September.
The background of the decision
It all started when we were working on the the future of the Reps program (also known as RepsNext). We realized that resources are a crucial part of the Program. In the past our budget process had been going extremely fast and easy. Unfortunately, it has slowed down due to multiple factors: 1) the program had grown but processes were not scaled appropriately, 2) Reps were not providing enough information on their initiatives, 3) mentors and council were not reviewing budgets on time, and 4) people were focused mainly on decreasing cost instead of maximizing impact.
Those factors created a lot of frustration across the program and disengagement among Reps. We also identified that we wanted to move away from just an events program to a program that would enable Reps to have all the resources needed (hardware, budget, helping documents, guidance on where to focus their energy) in order to have greater impact in their community. We want Reps to be able to do more and not constrain them. For that reason we’ve created the Resources Working Group.
Decisions made in the Reps Working Group
After the Working Groups were formed, we’ve started having meetings on early February, 2016. The conversations were long and impactful and involved both Reps and Council members.
The following decisions were made:
There will be a specialised track for Reps called the Reps Resources. Reps that will join that track will be handling resources, aligned with our priorities and helping their fellow Reps with them
Since the Resources Reps will be highly trained there won’t be need for mentor review in our budget workflow
A Review Team will be formed which will be responsible to review resource requests in order to take the burden from the council.
If you want to see how was the whole progress of the group, you could find more about it here
Reps Council and Peers Meeting Decisions
On the Reps Council and Peers Meeting held in April 2016 in Berlin we decided that we will implement our decisions step by step. First, we introduce the Review Team replacing the council for bug review. Then, we gradually start the training for our Resources Reps.
Reps and Peers meeting in Berlin, 2016. Photo credits to C. Bacharakis
Review Team formation
In the London All Hands (June 2016) the council has agreed on onboarding 5 experienced Reps along with 1 employee and 1 council member on taking the responsibility to be part of the first Review team. You can find more about their selection criteria and responsibilities on this github issue.
The Review Team will be assembled from the following people:
Dian Ina Mahendra
The Review Team
The Review Team won’t take full responsibilities at once. Instead, there will be a 4 weeks transition period, where the Review Team will be coached by the council in order to better understand the needs of the program and effectively review the budget bugs.
For the first 2 weeks, the Review Team will follow all the upcoming budget requests by giving feedback as an advisor reviewer. For the next 2 weeks, the roles will be reversed: the Review Team will be the primary reviewers with the Council taking a supportive role. This transition period will start this Monday September the 5th.
Of course, we need to understand if our assumption of forming the Review Team will help us reduce cycle times in the program. For that reason, we will track approval time for budgets via bugzilla and how satisfied are our Reps with the new decision (via sending out feedback surveys to all our Reps).
Moreover, we will continue investing in the Reps Resources by working on the training for the Reps that want to join the track.
I am really happy for all the changes that have been made and more excited for what’s to come.
Special thanks to all the people who volunteered on contributing to this crucial domain 🙂
Over the past months we have extensively worked on the future of the Reps program – called RepsNext. In several working groups we worked on proposals to improve the Reps program, keeping up with the Mozilla’s and our Reps’ needs. Following the RepsNext Introduction Video this blog post provides a broad overview of the various focus areas and invites further conversation.
RepsNext – The Visual Structure
Here is a visual overview of the RepsNext structure:
With RepsNext there will be three different tracks to be specialized in:
The Functional Goals track is still work-in-progress, so we cannot provide a lot of information yet. We believe this will be a group of Reps who are heavily engaged in Mozilla’s functional areas.
Reps from the Leadership track support other Mozillians and communities through their broad knowledge. Reps in this track will regularly exchange information among themselves, creating alignment among the various functional goals in the Reps program.
For all resource requests there is a dedicated Resources track which is specialized on increasing the program’s impact. The Review team, which is part of this track, is responsible to review budget requests.
Finally, every Rep will have a coach who has strong leadership skills and can provide guidance on Reps’ personal development.
Through this structure Reps from all specialization tracks can work together towards the overall Reps and Participation goals, each Rep contributing with their particular strengths to advance Mozilla’s mission.
What are we going to improve in the Reps program?
Let’s compare the current state of the Reps program with the proposed improvements.
Alignment with Mozilla
There are no formal alignment processes with the Mozilla organization
The Reps Program is aligned with the Participation team’s OKRs. Council members participate in important planning and strategy meetings
Budget Request Reviews
All Reps can submit budget requests, leading to a lot of ping pong when reviewing those
Reps can specialize on “Resources” and file requests aligned for impact. This leads to faster reviews
Reps are mostly focused on running events in their communities
Reps will be able to specialize in a certain topic (Resources, Leadership, Functional areas)
Mentors are busy with Budget Request reviews
Mentors will be focusing on personal development, no need to do budget reviews anymore (but you can be part of the Resources track)
Leadership has been part of Reps since its very beginning, it was not formally nurtured very well
With the Leadership track we enable Reps’ personal development and develop their leadership potential for them to expand impact on their fellow Mozillians
We plan to go into more detail for each of the above mentioned areas in future blog posts. In order to prioritize and invest our (volunteering) energy in the most impactful way, we need your help: Which of the above areas are you most interested in? Where do you want to hear more in the next blog post? Which concerns do you have? What do you find intriguing?
Christophe Villeneuvehas been a Rep for more than 9 months now and has reported more than 100 activities in the program. From talks on security to writing articles and organizing events, Christophe is active in many different areas. Did we already mention that he also bakes Firefox cookies?
His energy and drive to promote the Open Web and websecurity is astonishing. Even if sometimes external factors intervene and some of the activities get blockers he neither gets disappointed nor quits, he looks for the next possibility out there. He truly is an open source believer contributing to other open source communities (like Drupal, PHP, MariaDB) as well and he tries to combine those activities for bigger audiences.
Please join us in congratulating Alex Lakatos as Reps of the Month for June 2016!
Alex is a Mozilla Rep based in London, Great Britain, originally from Romania. He is also a Mozilla TechSpeaker, giving talks all around Europe.
In the last 2 months Alex held several technical talks all over Europe (CodeCamp Cluj, OSCAL in Albania, DevTalks in Bucharest and DevSum in Sweden just to name a few) to promote Mozilla’s mission and the Open Web. With his enthusiasm in tech he is a crucial force to promote our mission and educate developers all around Europe about new Web technologies. He covered both the transition we are doing shifting from Firefox OS to a more innovative area with Connected Devices but also changes in Firefox and why you should consider the improvements made on the DevTools side.
Konstantina is a long-time Mozilla Reps from Greece. Additionally she is also responsible for the budget and swag requests in the Reps program.
In the past months Konstantina has helped out with organizing and chairing the Reps weekly call together with Ioana. That means that they are weekly in contact with many mozillians to find new interesting topics and prepare the agenda and the notifications. Further she is helping the Council with the formation of the Review Team we are implementing. This was already announce here and will give council more time to spend on mission and strategy. She became a mentor and will help inspire the new people applying for the program.
At the 2015 Reps Leadership Meeting in Paris it became clear that the program was ready for “a version 2”. As the Reps Council had recently become a formal part of Mozilla Leadership, it was time to bring the program to the next level. Literally building on that idea, the RepsNext initiative was born.
Since then several working groups were formed to condense reflections on the past and visions for the future into new program proposals.
At our last Council meetup from 14-17 April 2016 in Berlin we recorded interviews with Council and Peers explaining RepsNext and summarizing our current status.
You can find a full transcript at the end of this blog post. Thanks to Yofie for editing the video!
Please share this video broadly, creating awareness for the exciting future of the Reps program.
We will focus our work at the London All Hands from June 12th to June 17th to work on open questions around the working groups. We will share our outcomes and open up for discussions after that. For now, there are several discussions to jump in and shape the future of the Reps program:
It took us a little more than a year to come up with this “new release” of the Reps program. For the future we plan to take smaller steps improving the program beyond RepsNext. So expect experiments and tweaks arriving in smaller bits and with a higher clockspeed (think Firefox Rapid Release Model).
Question: What is RepsNext?
[Arturo] I think we have reached a point of maturity in the program that we need to reinvent ourselves to be adaptors of Mozilla’s will and to the modern times.
Question: How will the Reps program change?
[Pierros] What we’re really interested in and picking up as a highlight are the changes on the governance level. There are a couple of things that are coming. The Council has done really fanstastic work on bringing up and framing really interesting conversations around what RepsNext is, and PeersNext as a subset of that, and how do we change and adapt the leadership structure of Mozilla Reps to be more representative of the program that we would like to see.
[Brian] The program will still remain a grassroots program, run by volunteers for volunteers.
[Henrik] We’ve been working heavily on it in various working groups over the last year, developed a very clear understanding of the areas that need work and actually got a lot of stuff done.
[Konstantina] I think that the program has a great future ahead of it. We’re moving to a leadership body where our role is gonna be to empower the rest of the volunteer community and we’re gonna try to minimize the bureacracy that we already have. So the Reps are gonna have the same resources that they had but they are gonna have tracks where they can evolve their leadership skills and with that empower the volunteer communities. Reps is gonna be the leadership body for the volunteer community and I think that’s great. We’re not only about events but we’re something more and we’re something the rest of Mozilla is gonna rely on when we’re talking about volunteers.
Question: What’s important about this change?
[Michael] We will have the Participation team’s support to have meetings together, to figure out the strategy together.
[Konstantina] We are bringing the tracks where we specialize the Reps based on their interest.
Question: Why do we need changes?
[Christos] There is the need of that. There is the need to reconsider the mentoring process, reconsidering budgets, interest groups inside of Reps. There is a need to evolve Reps and be more impactful in our regions.
Question: Is this important for Mozilla?
[Arturo] We’re going to have mentors and Reps specialized in their different contribution areas.
Question: How is RepsNext helping local communities?
[Guillermo] Our idea, what we’re planning with the changes on RepsNext is to bring more people to the program. More people is more diversity, so we’re trying to find new people, more people with new interests.
Question: What excites you about RepsNext?
[Faisal] We have resources for different types of community, for example if somebody needs hardware or somebody training material, a variety of things not just what we used to have. So it will open up more ways on how we can support Reps for more impactful events and making events more productive.
Daniele is a Mozilla Rep from Italy. He is helping to build the Italian community, coordinating it and also gives talks in Italy. Apart from that he is active in localization from English to Italian and loves coding. When he has time for it, he is improving the Reps portal contributing patches to it. Recently he also started a discussion to improve the Reps portal on a more general level.
Daniele has been involved in the RepsNext Working Groups since the beginning. With all his enthusiasm he was part of a lot of working groups (Alignment, Meta, Leadership), joining meetings every week and giving his valuable input. Without him it would have been way harder to grasp the need of Reps during the important phases. You can find out more about his recent Reps activities on his Reps profile where he reported a lot of activities which enables us to see all his great contributions.
Please join us in congratulating Rahul Talreja as Rep of the Month for March.
Rahul Talreja is one of the most active Reps and a senior FSA of his community. He started as a FSA in 2013 and since day one he has been doing great work in building the local community and his personal contribution towards Mozilla. He has mentored a lot of people.
Aligned with Mozilla’s new strategy towards Connected Devices, Rahul recently organised an IoT/Connected Device workshop “Web of Things @ Footprints Baroda” in February 2016. That was the first of its scale in India and it helped not only him but the entire community to learn from what he did in that event. The workshop was undoubtedly a great success , which can be seen in Rahul’s blog post about the event.