My first experience of the Ubuntu LoCo Team re- approval process. First of many I hope!
June 25, 2011
The Ubuntu Ireland Team was re-approved at the LoCo Council IRC meeting which was held on Tuesday the 21st of June, 2011. I was thrilled with this achievement and extremely grateful that the members of the LoCo Council had kept faith in our little LoCo. Paul Mellor of the Ubuntu UK LoCo Team attended that LoCo Council meeting and wrote an insightful blog post, regarding the contents of the meeting, from the perspective of “outside looking in”. Encouraged by reading that I decided to write this complimentary post from the perspective of “a first timer right in the middle of it”. These are my own views on how I saw the Irish Teams reapproval application progress. There are clear concise guidelines on how all teams should go about obtaining an approved or re-approved status (Getting Approved / Approval Guidelines / Re-Approval Guidelines / A Template Application page ).
Now my involvement with Ubuntu Ireland only goes back to October 2009 so I missed all that was involved with the team gaining approval in the first instance and as a result this whole process was a bit alien to me. Since October 2009 I’ve been hearing about the importance of team reports, keeping logs of meetings and keeping our events wiki pages up to date. When the call for volunteers came I spotted a way in which I could help the Irish Team so I took on the task of updating the events wiki pages on an ongoing basis (while still not fully appreciating the reason for this). After been given a few simple instructions even I could update a wiki page, on a basic level at least, and this gave me a sense of contributing something!!
So I diligently updated our Events Wiki pages first, then I continued to add new events to the wiki and the website. Finally, when available, we added the likeable LoCo Directory to the mix. Jeffrey Roe did a smashing job maintaining our Team Report wiki pages (again, something that I did not realise early on) and we were having regular monthly team IRC meetings with the minutes and logs also being maintained on the wiki (In recent months these have also been linked to the new “Meetings” section of the LoCo Directory).
We powered along like this for some time diligently maintaining the wiki in all the areas mentioned above. Late last year we added a centralised online storage point for our event photos to make it easier for everyone to upload photos to and also easier for folks to link to in notices.
As a result of all the simple, but necessary, wiki work which we had performed since our initial approval we were primed for preparing our re-approval application. We started discussing the re-approval process during the spring but only set down to the task in mid May. We had a couple of meetings (informal face to face and IRC) to organise ourselves and take ownership of tasks requiring completion. I found these meetings to be a great source of information and ideas. They gave me focus where I was previously flapping in the wind. It was becoming crystal clear to me what was involved, how all the work we had put in to maintain the wiki was now paying off and how we were going to proceed with the preparation of our re-approval application.
For our application we followed the standard Template and referred to other successful re-approval applications for ideas. The Wiki content diligently added over the preceding two years formed the backbone of the Experience section. To be honest, we could have put a little more thought into the Roadmap section. As it was, we completed the Roadmap with the simple set of ideas that had been expressed for our LoCo by members of the Team in the recent past.
We kept our application clear and concise:
Key Details: These were easily gathered by LoCo team administrators of the various online resources.
Rooadmap: no mystery here, we very simply defined, at a high level, what we hoped to achieve during the next two year cycle.
Experience: Relied heavily on linking to the wiki content and online photos. Highlighted new activities we had taken part in since our initial approval. By linking to content elsewhere we were able to keep this section neat and concise.
Above: 2 Team members working on the re-approval application at a face to face meeting. I’m the one on the right.
Once the application was completed and appended to the meeting agenda there was only one thing left to do. Our Team Point of Contact Rory McCann put himself in front of the firing squad (LoCo Council) and dodged (Answered) all the bullets (Questions) fired at him. Many other members of our team including myself shouted support from the sidelines. Rory did an admirable job.
In finishing I have to acknowledge the huge contribution Laura Czajkowski makes to the Ubuntu Ireland LoCo. Everyone knows the important community hats Laura wears but she is also a top notch member of our little LoCo, EVEN from across the Irish Sea. Thanks so much Laura for keeping the re-approval message clear throughout the last two years. I didn’t understand what you were talking about initially but boy do I understand now!