Creating a new Mission Statement for Twin Cities Drupal

stpaultim's picture

Draft by: Joe Shindelar (@eojthebrave) and Tim Erickson (@stpaultim)

At a recent Twin Cities Drupal Camp planning meeting, those of us in attendance decided to explore the creation of a mission statement that would help inform future discussions and decisions related to our local Drupal community. Later we (Joe and Tim) got together to talk a bit more about how we might go about accomplishing the task of creating a mission statement that reflects the goals, and diversity, of everyone in our community.

The following is a clarification regarding the purpose of a mission statement and the process we are recommending to gather input and draft a statement. While we expect our newly developed mission statement will have an impact in the latter stages of planning for our 2018 Drupal Camp, we do not expect that camp planning will wait for this process, rather it will proceed along side this process.

Our original goal was to accomplish most of this work in October, however Drupalcon Europe and Badcamp have or will set back our timeline a little. It now appears that this process may take until late November or early Dec.

Why have a mission statement?

We have a vibrant and active local Drupal community that is recognized for our annual Drupal Camp as well as our ecosystem of meetups and events. Our community is driven by the support and efforts of local volunteers and local companies. However, as our community grows and matures we expect that our goals and purpose will also change.

This feels like a good time to gather input and assess how our community is changing and how our goals and purpose may be changing over time.

We think it would be beneficial to have a mission statement to help guide us as we make decisions about future programming in the local Drupal community and as we plan future Drupal Camps.

The ultimate goal is to have some kind of statement that we can use to provide guidance when making decisions like:

  • Do we want to grow our camp and attract more people from outside the community or do we want to focus on having more small events to introduce more folks in our local community to Drupal?
  • Should we sponsor other events in the community and if so, what kind of events?
  • Should there be a theme for our camp and if so, what should it be?

A mission statement would give us a starting point for these discussions and allow us to evaluate ideas based upon a commonly shared sense of purpose.

Figuring out what our missions is

So how do we figure out what our mission is? We’re proposing a two month process with the following four steps:

Step One: Gather Data

During the months of October and Nov, we’d like to hear from the community about what kinds of programming and activities that you value most. What have we done right in the past and how can we improve in the future? Possible options for discussion and input:

  • October/Nov happy hour
  • October/Nov user group
  • An open discussion on groups.drupal.org
  • A noontime Google hangout scheduled in later part of October or early Nov
    (potentially more than one opportunity)
  • Potentially during the University of MN user group

Step Two: Digest and Process

Notes from all meetings and other forms of data gathering would be collated and made available on groups.drupal.org/twin-cities with a preset period of time for additional comments.

At an open meeting in late November or early December for anyone interested in the process to meet and discuss the feedback we’ve gotten and digest it into something that could be given to a small group assigned to draft a mission statement.

Step Three: Draft Mission Statement

A small group would meet and convert the information gathered into a draft mission statement to share with the community.

Step Four: Discuss and Find Consensus

At this point in the process we’d share a draft mission statement with the local community on GDO, and encourage discussion on GDO, in an effort to build consensus.

In summary:

We believe this entire process should be as open and transparent as possible, and would like to do our best to include as many members of the local community.

At the moment we’re looking for the following feedback:

  1. Do you think this process makes sense and are you interested in participating?
  2. Why do you think it’s important (or not) for our community to have a mission statement?
  3. Do you have thoughts about how we can make sure that we generate a mission statement that truly reflects all the diverse voices in our community?
  4. Should we have more opportunities or ways for people to provide input in the initial step? Do you have suggestions on what those should be?

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