otsukare Thoughts after a day of work

Working With Transparency Habits. Something To Learn.

I posted this following text as a comment 3 days ago on Mark Surman's blog on Transparency habits, but it is still in the moderation queue. So instead of taking the chance to lose it. I'm reposting that comment here. This might need to be develop by a followup post.

Mark says:

I encourage everyone at Mozilla to ask themselves: how can we all build up our transparency habits in 2015? If you already have good habits, how can you help others? If, like me, you’re a bit rusty, what small things can you do to make your work more open?

The mistake we often do with transparency is that we think it is obvious for most people. But working in a transparent way requires a lot of education and mentoring. It’s one thing we should try to improve at Mozilla when onboarding new employees. Teaching what it means to be transparent. I’m not even sure everyone has the same notion of what transparency means already.

For example, too many times, I receive emails in private. That’s unfortunate because it creates information silos and it becomes a lot harder to open up a conversation which started in private. Because I was kind of tired of this, I created a set of slides and explanation for learning how to work with emails. Available in French and English.

Some people are afraid of working in the open for many reasons. They may come from a company where secrecy was very strong, or they had a bad experience by being too open. It takes then time to re-learn the benefits of working in the open.

So because you asked an open question :) Some items.

  • Each time you sent an email, it probably belongs to a project. Send the email to the person (To: field) and always add in copy the relevant mailing list (Cc: field). You’ll get an archive, URL pointer for the future, etc.
  • Each time you are explaining something (such as a process, an howto, etc) to someone, make it a blog post, then send this URL to this someone. It will benefit more people on the long term.
  • Each time, you’re having a meeting, choose one scribe and scribe down this meeting and publish the minutes of the meetings. There are many techniques associated to these. See for example the record of Web Compat team meeting on January 13, 2015 and the index of all meetings (I could explain how we manage that in a blog post).
  • Each time you have a F2F meeting with someone or a group, take notes and publish these notes online to a stable URI. It will help other people to participate.

Let's learn together how to work in a transparent way or in the open.