Brainstorm: Better Planning, Collaboration, & Reporting for Core Contributor Work

@ali_hugo Thanks for the good work on this! A survey is a good base for doing an iteration of improvement. :+1: I have done a pass of review, I’m putting my comments below:

  • Can we ask the question 4 - “How long should core sprints be?” to everyone, regardless of what they choose on other questions? We can filter the results in the spreadsheet as needed, but it would be useful to know what everyone thinks, since it’s still going to have an impact, if anything on the rhythm of communication.

  • Before asking the question 3 - “Should we continue doing sprints?”, can we qualify the uses the respondant would have for them? We could get more granularity in what would be useful for people - either existing now, or to implement. I.e. add questions before like:

    • “Do you think Open edx would benefit from more planning of the work being contributed?”
    • “Would the project benefit from more/better retrospective about the contributed work?”
    • “Would it be useful to you to get more visibility from the community into your work?”
    • “Would you benefit from knowing more about other contributors’ work?”
  • For question 7 about the use of the sprint retro & planning questionnaire, I would rather ask the respondent if they find the questionnaire useful to collect checkins. We’ll all know more once we have the results of the questionnaire, so we should be taking better decisions then.

  • For question 8 about the timing of the notification to complete the questionnaire, I agree that we should make it clear when the end of the sprint actually is. I believe it’s Monday evening though?

    • In any case, we should show it clearly on the form - a good way to do that would be to write the name of the weekday on each of the form answers presented (eg. “c) Last day of sprint (Monday)”).
    • It would also be useful to make it clear what the response deadline is - which should be the evening of the last day of the sprint
  • For question 10 about the report, it’s useful to have the open response field, but it would be useful to also get the yes/no answer we have for the other elements too. It is useful to force a choice, though with giving the open text field to give nuances.

    • Actually, other sections of the form would also benefit from getting open forms (optional ones).
    • In the open form fields, also maybe ask which improvements people would like?

@gabrieldamours @ali_hugo

I believe the sprints finish on Monday evenings, no? In any case, it’s true that we have caught a gap in documentation - could we add to the tasks list on this project to properly document the sprints, including decisions and changes coming from the survey?

FYI, there are some elements described on the wiki about the sprints and their reports, for example at - but currently the new core contributors are mostly exposed to the process through the email notifications (cf onboarding runbooks). Having better documentation and onboarding of new core contributors could likely help a lot here.

We actually have a brand new set of core contributors who have just passed their reviews btw - it could be worth looking into their onboarding & feedback, in particular?


We touch on this in the Core Contributor Onboarding Course. If you’d like I can add you to that course for review, just send me the email address you’d like to use. I want to avoid documentation of the same thing in multiple places, so I’d welcome thoughts on the best places to document things such that we don’t have to sync things.


Sure, I’d be happy to review the course and make suggestions :slight_smile:

5 posts were merged into an existing topic: Confirming Core Contributor Sprints

@antoviaque Here is a very belated “thank you for your feedback”! I am finally finding time to get back onto this.

I’ve already made some of the updates your requests but would like to confirm something with you before I continue:

The way I see it, we can approach questions like this in two ways; either

  • we ask a required yes/no question followed by an optional open form question nudging the respondent for more info; OR
  • we ask a required open form question that ends in something like, “Why or why not?”

The first option makes the survey longer, but arguably easier to fill out. The second one makes the survey shorter but more wordy. Do you have a preference?

@ali_hugo It might depend on the question, but I would tend to prefer the first option - any open form question that is mandatory is likely to require more time (and thus give us less answers overall if people stop filling it by lack of time/energy). It might also be harder to interpet.

Imho when we need many open form questions, especially mandatory ones, it means we need more upfront interviews (which are an easier way to give open form responses for the interviewees, and show more respect for the interviewee than an “automated interviewer” via a form). The “free” responses obtained in the interviews then help designing specific questions, that we can validate against a larger panel of people via a form with yes/no answers.

I see what you’re saying. Initially the idea was to create a short and sweet survey, but it seems we have more to ask that I had anticipated! Interviews make sense. I will start setting these up next month when I have more time available.

P.s. I’d like to close this thread but I’m not sure how to. Do you know?

@ali_hugo Sounds good to me :+1:

As for closing the thread, I think only moderators can - we can simply stop posting here though :slight_smile: