Creation of Admin Ops Teams
During the April 16th membership-onboarding call there was discussion about the need for a more formalized administration structure to help insure adequate day to day coverage of a few areas critical to platform functionality and usability. These duties have historically been covered by a small group of volunteers comprised of early/founding members. The following pre-proposal was contributed to by Matt Noyes, Matthew Cropp, and Robert Benjamin prior to presentation for group feedback.
Operations-Critical Admin Teams Resolution
In order to provide for seamless and continuous platform operations coverage while still maintaining fluidity of member volunteer engagement (especially as social.coop scales), it could be beneficial to create “Admin Ops Teams” in the three following Operations-Critical Areas: Tech, Community, and Finance. For example a Tech Team would cover all things hosting, site maintenance, and development, a Community Team anything membership based, and a Finance Team would perform budgeting duties or those usually assigned to a Treasurer.
Each Operations Team would execute work within the parameters and scope of the policies provided by their corresponding Governance Working Group. The teams would self-manage to ensure coverage and participation by a diverse group with needed skill sets or desire to learn. The team members would be given greater administration access than would be afforded general membership.
There has been a good amount of discussion around the need for some kind of remuneration for performance of Operations-Critical Admin duties. Though it may be necessary at a future date to create paid staff/contractor roles, in the meantime, a somewhat simple way to incentivize volunteer coverage would be to create a working budget that allocates monthly funds for each Operations Critical Admin area. With volunteer hours managed transparently through Open Collective, the allocation could be split (per month pro rata) between corresponding Operations Team members.
Remuneration would be for OPERATIONS CRITICAL duties (however that is defined), and not for general governance duties like Working Group participation for which there is an expectation that all members participate in some way at their own chosen level. The expectation is that while the platform is small the amounts paid to any given team member would not be substantial enough to be considered “compensation” for the work performed but could provide partial offset for the expense of committing time keeping the platform up and smoothly running. For context on a funding methodology that cold support Operations Teams approach see larger budget allocation discussion.
As power may accrue to both Governance Working group members and Operations Team members by way of their already having specialized knowledge, or through the development of specialized knowledge, it would be highly advisable to require rotation of Operations Team members, not as a strict rule, but as a general principle, and adopt a mutual education approach in which people who have the skills needed for the operations train their replacements.
Additionally, as there is a risk of inequity in the formation of the Operations Teams, proposals dedicated to driving platform diversity and equity will be forthcoming.