MGRC candidates teamwork questions

I currently work for myself, I mainly use opensource tools that are easy for me to modify and easy for my clients to use.

I use MantisBT for bug tracking and workflow, DocuWiKi for information sharing and collating things into one place. Email, Skype, IRC and discord for voice/text communications. I dont really use collaborative meeting software except for google hangouts. I am happy to work with whatever.

I also use client systems. Including things like IBM DOORS, PeopleSoft Watson, Microsoft Tactics, MS Project, MS Office Groove (the collaborative working, not the music app), github (mainly to interact with the zfnd and ecc) SVN, etc.

I think it is worth noting here that the MGRC will live and die by its ability to communicate. this is the number one risk point.

It really needs effective communication between

  • the MGRC itself,
  • the MGRC and the community (via these forums amongst other channels),
  • the MGRC and the ZFND
  • the MGRC and the Applicants
  • the MGRC and the ECC.

and various combinations of the above. Each of these will probably require the MGRC to interface into a different system, it is imperative we avoid duplication of work and keep track of information when doing this. An ability to pick up and adapt to new ways of working is a must too. I know this will seem like kicking the can, but I really think we need to see who gets elected and how they want to work together. I, and other candidates, seem to be very flexible in this regard.

In my experience the best kind of actions/qualities to ensure good functional working relationships are respect, understanding/empathy and confidence. With these, personal differences can be respected and not cause issues.

When you are not communicating effectively then the problems start, and until you can get effective communication you are not going to get anywhere. I believe professional differences of opinion are a good thing. it helps keep people on their toes and promotes a more diverse set of opinions, which promotes a more considered opinions. This is a very good thing. This is the key to a successful team.

I particularly like @alchemydc’s idea of getting a coach to help the candidates gel. (I wish I had thought of it to put in my application.) - I will certainly be advocating for it.

All the applicants are all from very different backgrounds and cultures, so we need to be understanding of this when we communicate, lest the effectiveness suffer. - I have not seen any candidate act in bad faith and have no reason to believe any would. I know from experience that I use far too much “british english” in my communications, I cant help it. I do try though. but that can end up in very verbose messages which can make less sense. (and just bad spelling.)

Yes, I have been apart of such a team right here on the forums. I did not put the team together though, it self organised. I did not lead the team either, I just did what I could to facilitate smooth communication and making sure everyone got their voice heard (I am very very big on inclusivity.) This lead to a really rich and vibrant discussions. While there were no leaders, people with natural leadership did show themselves. A great example of something this rag tag team accomplished is zip 1014.

As for professional experience, I used to work as a test engineer (pen/security and normal/localisation) being sent off for 2 week to 6 month assignments onsite at clients. The as a test engineer you need to integrate very quickly into the development team. It is your job to explain how and why things are broken and that they need to do more work. This is an art in itself and requires a very high level of professionalism and effective communication.

because I cant use @alchemydc 's answer, which I think is really needed to get things running. I would like to get some kind of documentation running for how the MGRC is expected to interact - we will need collaborative workspaces, and we will need some form of support staff. I would like to identify what staff and how best to use them. I think a lot of how well we can interface with and use support staff will be based around timezones and work commitment in those timezones. I am prepared to do what i need to to ensure the best use of the MGRC’s time.

If the disagreements are a professional disagreement then I think that is a good thing. If they are a disagreement because effective communication hasn’t happened that is another thing completely

  1. To start with I would look as to why there is disagreement. My first stop is always introspection. Things like: Is it because I have said something that is just wrong, or could be taken as being wrong? Do I need to apologise or clarify my statements? Am I taking this personally rather than professionally? am I over reacting? hopefully that helps isolate what the cause of the disagreement is. Then I look to solving it, if it can be solved. Do I need to change my stance? Do i need to be more accommodating? Do I just need to let it go? I would normally now seek advice because sometimes you just cant see your own actions objectively.

  2. I find it harder to try to mediate other people than myself in situations like this. I try to ask rational questions and defuse the situation. This doesn’t always work. These types of disagreements are very common but can be made less so by people assuming others are acting in good faith and being introspective themselves.

as @shawn points out, a lot of the candidates already know each other from the dev fund process. the few new ones have put in really convincing applications, I have no concerns about working with any of them, or indeed for any of them to work with each other.

EDIT: I forgot to add in, When you have a small team like this you can run into problems if two people communicate with each other really well, but not with the rest of the team. Although it starts out small, this can lead to serious division and is something everyone needs to be aware of. Group information sharing is a very good way to combat this. Wiki’s for example.

I hope this answers your questions.

Please feel free to ask any follow up questions, I have not done enough posting as an applicant :confused: