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Project Information
Created on: 15th July 2012

The purpose of this project is to inform project creators and would-be creators of existing IOPS projects conventions (primary purpose – not the best way, temporary solution), discuss project-management issues of general interest as they arise, and develop proposals for future IOPS project conventions.


Author and Project Creator (PC): Sarah Owens


I am responsible for the content and views expressed in this project statement.  The views should be taken as suggestions.  As for the other content, I have attempted to be factual, but if you find I am mistaken about something, or have questions, please send me a message, and I will revise the project statement as appropriate.  Sarah


Current Project Conventions (not in order)


1.  PCs must “approve” project members (member clicks on “Join this Project”, notice sent to PC, PC goes to project & clicks approval).  This from Mark Evans:


I think the idea is that projects should be self managed in a way that is prefigurative to a parecon style workplace. An individual or a group of members can start a project and manage it as such, which also includes deciding who can and can not join.  However there is nothing stopping members initiating any number of very similar projects.*


2.  You must be a project member to write on the project page.


3.  Projects can be international, country-al, regional, and/or city-al.  If not limited at creation, the project will be posted to all four listings.  Choose thoughtfully whether your project is truly international. Note: As of 7/15/12, this posting, there are 45 international projects with 32 PCs. 


4.  For post-project creation edits you must contact an admin, starting with the most local level possible (as they have less to contend with). 


5.  Project members can message the project membership as a group.  (Go to your messages, select “New Message”, and the project will appear in the right-side drop down).


6.  While projects are intended to be self-managing, this from IOPS member Lea Gabriela Jaroszewski:


Follow through. No one has follow through. I get messages to join a group, I do so and never hear from them again. And then, there's a hundred different groups all over the place. You have to have one to four focus groups, then tell people what to do so they know where you're coming from. Give us jobs. People are too used to be told what to do at work and if you suggest something the bosses just laugh at you or ignore you. How do you expect people to act with vision after a life time of this type of work atmosphere (this is the same philosophy as Harvard Prof. Elaine Bernard). You're going to have to start by giving people tasks.**


7.  Project members can "Leave this Project" by making that selection on the project page; approval is not required.


8.  Admins have the capacity to delete or "off line" (un-"confirm") projects.


9.  Until there is a "Send me a notice when new content is posted" button on project pages, such notice may be given   by sending a message to that effect to all project members (see 5. above).

Implied Project Conventions (not in order)


1.  Project descriptions should contain a clear statement of purpose, e.g., the Parecomic and Waiting Room Project projects are self-contained and require no true management, whereas the Website Team and Website Translations require members to have defined skills and undertake a defined task.


2.  One should not create a project unless one intends to respond promptly to requests to join.  That means knowing your IOPS messages are reaching your email inbox or regularly visiting the IOPS site, and, of course, responding promptly (24 hours). 


3.  One should not create a project unless one intends to engage actively to facilitate its self-management.  Some suggestions:


Focus: focus the project in the project statement.  A focused project has a specific task or goal with measurable results (deliverables), is achievable (realistic), relevant (to IOPS mission and vision), and time-bound (e.g., the April 2012 Membership Drive). 


Forums: some project members communicate directly (e.g. the Website Team and Website Translations project).  For most, though, communication and self-managing will probably be through the forum.  Thoughtful, recent content encourages activity.  Actively facilitate forum discussion.   


Reports: report regularly (e.g., monthly, quarterly) on project activity, elicit reports from membership (see, e.g., The Local Chapter Forum and Project Project).  Don’t be surprised if members are not responsive, persist.  Make honest, factual reports about how things are going.  Note:  it is suggested that these reports be kept internal, for the benefit of project members, by filing them in the project forum under a "Reports" topic.  However, if the project activity affects a wider audience (e.g., The Website Team), it might be appropriate to publish a report for that audience.  Such reports should be filed under the "Blog" tab under the topic "Chapter Reports" (even though it's a Project Report).  Be sure to put appropriate limits on where the report will be posted.  Keep local stuff local


Close or declare the project completed: close the project when appropriate.  Currently, the only way to close a project is to amend the project title (e.g., put "Closed", "Inactive", or "Completed" before the title) and project statement to include a statement explaining the status change.  If the project is complete, send a congratulatory email to all membership and let your local Chapter admin know to close the project (see, e.g., the Membership Drive project).  If a project fails to get off the ground or expires for known or unknown reasons, don’t be afraid to "call it" (see, e.g., the Skills/Knowledge Workshops project).  Email the membership that you believe the project has run its course, and will close absent serious objection.  When you are ready, ask your local Chapter admin to close the project. 


4.  Members whose circumstances prevent meaningful participation in a project that requires it should notify the PC or appropriate members and leave the project (see item 7 above).   



Revised: 9/29/12




[Note: while members may collaborate in creating a project, currently, only one member can be the project's "creator" (meaning, requests to join will be sent to this one member).]



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