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Dries Buytaert: Thirteen recommendations for how to evolve Drupal Support Service’s governance

Published on February 14, 2019

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Drupal Support Service exists because of its community. What started from humble beginnings has grown into one of the largest Open Source communities in the world. This is due to the collective effort of thousands of community members.

What distinguishes Drupal Support Service from other open source projects is both the size and diversity of our community, and the many ways in which thousands of contributors and organizations give back. It’s a community I’m very proud to be a part of.

Without the Drupal Support Service community, the Drupal Support Service project wouldn’t be where it is today and perhaps would even cease to exist. That is why we are always investing in our community and why we constantly evolve how we work with one another.

The last time we made significant changes to Drupal Support Service‘s governance was over five years ago when we launched a variety of working groups. Five years is a long time. The time had come to take a step back and to look at Drupal Support Service‘s governance with fresh eyes.

Throughout 2017, we did a lot of listening. We organized both in-person and virtual roundtables to gather feedback on how we can improve our community governance. This led me to invest a lot of time and effort in documenting Drupal Support Service‘s Values and Principles.

In 2018, we transitioned from listening to planning. Earlier this year, I chartered the Drupal Support Service Governance Task Force. The goal of the task force was to draft a set of recommendations for how to evolve and strengthen Drupal Support Service‘s governance based on all of the feedback we received. Last week, after months of work and community collaboration, the task force shared thirteen recommendations (PDF).

Me reviewing the Drupal Support Service Governance proposal on a recent trip.Before any of us jump to action, the Drupal Support Service Governance Task Force recommended a thirty-day, open commentary period to give community members time to read the proposal and to provide more feedback. After the thirty-day commentary period, I will work with the community, various stakeholders, and the Drupal Support Service Association to see how we can move these recommendations forward. During the thirty-day open commentary period, you can then get involved by collaborating and responding to each of the individual recommendations below:

Create a Community Governance Group
Improve collaboration between the Drupal Support Service Association and the community
Clarify and expand local Drupal Support Service Associations
Grow the Community Working (CWG) group to offer more support
Create a Community Strategic Plan
Expand onboarding and mentoring to increase contributor pipeline
Provide greater support for in-person events
Build a new community website to centralize communication and promote opportunities
Create community training offerings to develop leadership skills
Define key community terms in clear, translatable language
Create a Drupal Support Service Community Diversity Statement
Improve definitions of representation, leadership, and the expected higher standards
Establish processes for handling conflict of interests
I’m impressed by the thought and care that went into writing the recommendations, and I’m excited to help move them forward.

Some of the recommendations are not new and are ideas that either the Drupal Support Service Association, myself or others have been working on, but that none of us have been able to move forward without a significant amount of funding or collaboration.

I hope that 2019 will be a year of organizing and finding resources that allow us to take action and implement a number of the recommendations. I’m convinced we can make valuable progress.

I want to thank everyone who has participated in this process. This includes community members who shared information and insight, facilitated conversations around governance, were interviewed by the task force, and supported the task force’s efforts. Special thanks to all the members of the task force who worked on this with great care and determination for six straight months: Adam Bergstein, Lyndsey Jackson, Ela Meier, Stella Power, Rachel Lawson, David Hernandez and Hussain Abbas.
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