a few thoughts for the governance sprint
Although I personally will not be present due to family commitments, I do have a few things that I want to share with you for the coming Governance sprint. And I would like to start by thanking you all. I have been active in the CiviCRM community since 2009 now, and it has been the most enjoyable part of my professional career. It has enabled me to work with non-profits and contribute to the social good as well as earn a living for me and my family. The community is full of people that I can relate to. So a thank you to you all is the least I can do to show my appreciation.
I have a few concerns about this Governance sprint that I need to mention:
I am afraid it is going to be a lot of chiefs fighting over what a few little soldiers need to do. I reckon this concern mainly stems from reading lots of discussions on what the core team should do and provide and then counting them (the core team members, not the things they should do :-)).
I am concerned that we might see our community as a homogenous group that all want the same thing in the same way. Personally I believe that there are a lot of things we have in common but we also have huge differences within our common ground. These differences are caused by the region we operate in, the market we approach, the way we approach our market, where our strengths as partners ly, how we deal with our clients and how we see the community (and how we think the core team needs to operate). I do not think this is a bad thing, it is a given. The strenght of the community IMO is that we can all co-exist, co-operate where we see fit and contribute to the community. My concern is that in our ambition to reach consensus we forget these differences and pretend we are all the same, and therefore take the wrong decisions or think we agree but some of us simply gave up trying to discuss.
Personally I do not believe we will grow by stressing the "product" CiviCRM but by stressing the "product" community and vision. Although CiviCRM certainly is a software product is also plays a completely different game than the 'established' closed source CRM's. By stressing the product we play "their" game, at which we are certainly less qualified and can achieve 'just as good' as the best goal. By stressing that we assist non-profits and stressing the community we at least attempt to communicate that we are different, that you can not judge as by 'their' rules. This does not make it any easier, I know....but I strongly believe it is the road to take if we want to grow.
I think we do moan and complain a lot. And boy do I love a regular CiviCRM rant too. If I think about it though in combination with the first concern and the size of the core team I think we are actually not doing such a bad job. There are certainly areas where improvement is possible, but I think that improvement also needs funding. If we think we need more product management fore example or better communication I think we should either pull out our purses and put the funds on the table or learn to live with what is available for free.
Right, I have shared my concerns. I trust that if we all repeat the vision we believe in together, accept and respect our differences and embrace our community the sun will continue to shine and we will have a great outcome of the Governance sprint.