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.
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.
Bob Chao (Taiwan) – WebVR
Long time contributors, Bob has been empowering and growing different Mozilla related communities in Taiwan, more recently Rust and WebVR.
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.
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.
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.
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
- A certain degree of understanding of the technology is needed for the mobilizer to be truly effective and understand the communities.
- It’s key to devote enough time to do research and understand the local environment and the potential contributors needs
- 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…)
- There are two important areas when working with technical communities:
- Getting people excited about the tech and the community
- Keeping people engaged after the main activities take place. The top priority should be designing for the follow-up instead of the activity.
- Establishing a direct conversation between mobilizers and the functional area staff is key for having a correct direction and impactful outputs.
- 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.