From Ideas to Deliverables: A Trust over IP Workflow Proposal
We perceive an opportunity within the Trust over IP (ToIP) Foundation to design and propose a workflow to handle inflow of ideas and manage the outcomes of those ideas. The intent is to make it absolutely simple to propose and socialize an idea for seeking feedback. Upon being assessed as a worthwhile task, the idea would be formally turned into a proposal which is tracked using traditional project management methods.
This document uses a specific set of tools and tooling to illustrate the process flow and the decision points. These are not to be read as advocating for or, limiting only to those tools.
The formation of the Trust over IP Foundation has also seen a large number of member organizations and individuals sign up to participate in the various Working Groups (WGs) which are part of the Foundation. With the formal approach to we foresee growth in active participation within the WGs and Task Forces (TFs). As a result of such interest, we see an opportunity to design a light-weight, outcome focused approach to receiving and managing new ideas which can then be plugged into the GitHub based workflow as which is being built into the ToIP process documents.
We believe that a primary component of creating a culture of idea exchange and validation is through enabling the advocacy of ideas and encouraging discussions around design, validity, feasibility and relevance. In order to reach this stage, an idea would need to be advocated and pitched to an audience. To this effect our proposal includes “The Ideas Forum”. This is a placeholder name for a process improvement proposal for WGs. We propose that the WGs schedule an open-for-all member of ToIP session each month in order to have an idea proposal pitched to an audience. We realize that there are challenges to overcome around timezones, number of participants at any meeting and such. And we do not desire that the strength of a proposal be weighed simply on the basis of whether it was a well participated meeting or, it pitched to a sparse audience. To address this, we propose the following workflow for an idea which is coupled with the pitch at The Ideas Forum for a WG in order to be reviewed for further adoption and subsequent work. We do not mandate a pitch at The Ideas Forum. Nonetheless, we see this meeting as a way to socialize an idea and incubate a culture where an idea can be nurtured for the potential it contains.
Our proposal implies that a WG will be able to self-organize and self-govern and thus create a review mechanism for ideas received. We have implicitly understood that the reviewers will include at least one of the Chairs and Vice-Chairs of the WG along with a member of the Steering Committee. Other reviewers and experts will be called upon to weigh in on the merits of the proposal as determined to be necessary by the reviewing group.
The sequence of the workflow as we visualize it are outlined in the steps below.
Much like the brain is split into two-sides, so is the proposed Idea Management Process.
- The left side of the brain … performs tasks that have to do with logic, such as in science and mathematics. On the other hand, the right hemisphere … performs tasks that have do with creativity and the arts.
The Creativity Side
The proposed tools and workflows for the creative side are designed to facilitate the ideation process by lower some of the typical technical requirements seen in certain open source projects. Functions like submitting a simple form, commenting on or, “liking” posts are familiar among popular social networks.
The Logic Side
While the foundation’s deliverables are documents, their contents, are really no different from software source code. Documents are written in a language, much like software. As such, traceability and accountability are standard requirements in software development.
The proposed tools and workflows for the logic side are designed to meet that requirement and are fundamental to most open source projects.
A Basic Process
We start with an Idea, seek feedback, to determine if should be formalized as a Deliverable and get published.
Idea Tool Stack
Once we gather more experience and an understanding what our requirements are, we can either switch out one or more tools or, write our own integrations to improve the data flow and process. For now, the proposed Idea Tool Stack consists of:
- GitHub is an alternative
As with most software solutions various roles & skills are required: