Invitation to Working Groups to Use the New Core Contributor Checkin Platform

Dear Working Group Members:

As you may know, the Core Contributors have been filling in a bi-weekly sprint survey, to record our hourly contributions, to ask for help on tasks, to mention blockers, et cetera. It’s a really helpful process and the Core Contributors get a summary of the results which makes it much easier to do asynchronous work together.

We have been using the Friday App for this but sadly it is shutting down.

Thankfully, the team at OpenCraft, in particular Fox Piacenti, Ali Hugo, Navin Karkera and Gábor Boros, have been working on a replacement for the Friday App. They announced it here in a Discourse post. It is named ListaFlow. Here is a teaser screenshot:

It’s not only the Core Contributors that have been filling in the survey, but also the Marketing Working Group who wanted a way to easily track their contributions.

Now that ListaFlow is nearing readiness, we would like to invite all Working Groups to take part in the sprint surveys by creating a unique survey for each Working Group.

Therefore, you may want to add this to the agenda for your next Working Group meetup to (a) decide if you would like to take part in the sprint survey, and (b) decide on a short list of questions to survey the members of your Working Group.

These are the questions in the Core Contributors survey for your information which you are more than welcome to copy of course:

  • Did you find the last two weeks productive, including the meetings from your working group if any?
  • Checkin - What did you accomplish in the last two weeks (aka “current sprint”)?
  • How many hours did you log over the last 14 days? (enter only the number of hours)
  • Retrospective - What should we improve?
  • Retrospective - What went well these last two weeks / sprint?
  • What will you work on during the next two weeks / sprint?
  • Any blockers?
  • Is there anything where you could use help from others? Or that you would like to collaborate on?

Having the hourly contributions counted is going to be very valuable for the community and helps to prove the power and sustainability of the community. For example, in 2022 over 1,500+ hours have been logged by Core Contributors so far. The number is actually much higher as not all people manage to submit their survey on time, but with ListaFlow as a new tool we want to aim for improved survey data collection, if not perfect data collection.

Well, just let us know if you would like your own sprint survey for your Working Group and @Fox_Piacenti has offered to help set it up for you in Listaflow.


Hi @Fox_Piacenti :fox_face:

I hope you are well.

Based on the conversation from Wednesday’s Marketing Working Group, we have decided to continue to do the bi-weekly sprint checkins/surveys and naturally use your Listaflow.

(1) We would like to use the same questions as the Core Contributors
(2) The cadence will be different to Core Contributors in that the survey deadlines will not be done to coincide with meetings, but rather will done on alternate weeks to the meetings. For example, this month we meet on Wednesday 15th June, Wednesday 29th June, Wednesday 13th July, et cetera. Therefore we would like our survey deadlines to be on Wednesday 22nd June and Wednesday 6 July, and so forth.

Would you be able to, at your convenience, help us to set up a bi-weekly survey for the Marketing Working Group?

If yes, I will send through a list of names and email addresses.


Yep! I can do that. Go ahead and send them along and I’ll get them onboarded. :slight_smile:

Please find the list in your Slack inbox. See the second sheet.

Thank you, Fox.

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@Dean Does that mean that core contributors who also participate in the marketing group will have to fill two separate reports? We would lose a bit of the reuse if so. Also how would we include the hours reported from the marketing group in the core sprint reports? Imho it would be simpler if we all used the same sprints schedule. It would also likely help with scheduling dependent tickets accross different working groups.

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Thanks for the comments and the ideas are well received, I’m of course open to support what the community wishes. Let me try answer the questions for further discussion.

The main reasons I thought to separate the lists was so that it’s:

(1) Easier to count the hours of the Core Contributors (CCs) without being mixed up with non-CC hours. As this is one of the important variables in determining the success of the program as well as knowing which CCs were keeping up with their commitment of 20 hours per month.

(2) If we lump everyone in the same survey together it will be hard for people to work out what’s relevant to their working group. For example, someone who only participates in the marketing group does not necessarily want to sift through all the CC survey information to try find out what’s relevant to marketing.

(3) The groups all have separate meetings and focus on their own separate things, and the separate lists will be useful to each separate working group.

Yes, Core contributors who also participate in the Marketing Working Group (or other groups) will have to fill separate reports but they will only have to fill in information/sections that are relevant to that group. For example, marketing group does not usually ask each other how many hours they contributed, but they would rather like to know if anyone needs help with anything marketing related.

Agree. However on the other hand, we gain some independence which makes it easier for different groups to remain focused on their own agenda instead of mixing it together.

We would not include non-CCs hours in the CC report.

I agree with you. It would be great if we all used the same survey and schedule, but I’m not sure it would be useful as scale.

I will hop into a meeting now, then I will do the summary of this latest sprint :slight_smile:

@Dean Thanks for thinking about this! It is a good occasion to try to figure out a way to optimize the approach, to better take into account working groups.

@Ali @Fox_Piacenti Could you have a look at the points below? Note that they aren’t all necessarily changes to make to Listaflow itself (to not bloat it) – it could also be changes to make outside of it, for example in the spreadsheet used to compile the core sprints checkins data.

We have the hours submitted individually, so we are able to check the time spent by individual CCs. And in the exported spreadsheet, if we sort the answers by whether the person is core contributor or not (by adding a column for it?), then it’s easy to separate the two types of contributors in the results.

That said, core contributor work can sometimes be contributed by people who aren’t core contributors (yet?). It’s actually a very good way to demonstrate the skills of a core contributor, to become one – by doing the same work as core contributors. Arguably, we could even include the time spent in the count of core contributor time – time contributed as part of working groups likely qualifies.

Conversely, core contributor work is usually done as part of working groups, so we would still need to count the core contributor work reported as part of working group reports anyway.

If, similarly, we could sort individual submissions by the working groups the person contributes to, then we could group updates using it?

  • In the checkin form, we could ask each person to select the working groups to which the person has participated during the sprint.
  • For each working group the person participated in, display as specific text input field to input the part of their update related to that working group
  • Keep the existing update text input field for providing an update about core contributor work not related to a specific working group

That should allow to have a single, adaptable form with a single process (and thus follow-ups to do only once), while allowing to produce reports that are specific to each working group.

What do you think?

There are some changes planned for Listaflow that would help with this. We’re planning to introduce a tagging system that will allow for workflows where certain checklist items exist or do not exist depending on whether you and the item have the same tag, for instance. This is critical for allowing Listaflow to handle our own Sprint Checklist, since many tasks exist only for specific roles in the organization.

We haven’t designed out these features in full yet-- getting the current set of designed views built to make the app ‘livable’ (like the list of checklists you need to finish being refined) are currently being finished first, but these are expected to be hit soon after. Figuring out how to best handle reporting (and, for instance, filtering these reports by the tags) sounds like a good way to handle much of this. cc @ali_hugo

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Thanks for your notes @dean and @antoviaque. :slightly_smiling_face:

As @Fox_Piacenti mentioned, the designs we’re busy with will resolve some of the issues that you mentioned. I’ll take another look over the design files with the above points in mind to ensure they’re all accounted for. The designs are going into review next week.

We’ve added a “team” filter to the page listing individual submissions, but not a “working group” filter. Do you think it would be valuable to allow users to filter both by team (ABC Online Courses, OpenCraft, tCRIL, etc), and by working group (Core Contributors, Marketing, etc)? That makes sense to me. Then the user can decide whether to filter the submissions by none, one, or both of the filters.

FYI: @Cassie

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No, but we might filter by tag in some way once we begin working on that functionality. Working groups is too specific to this particular team, I think, and we want the implementation to be more generalizable than that.


@Fox_Piacenti Ah, ok. Makes sense. Thanks.

Hi @antoviaque

That sounds great.

I’ll bring it up in the next marketing working group to see if everyone would like to proceed.

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@ali_hugo from the perspective of someone involved in various working groups, it would be great if we could make it more obvious that all questions (except the 1st one which tracks time) are optional. People in the marketing work group had concerns about the time needed to fill out the form, but not everyone had figured out that almost all the survey questions were optional. This is relevant at least for working groups, for whom the #1 functionality of the check-in form is time tracking.

Hey @gabrieldamours

Thanks for the feedback. That’s really useful to know. We actually originally had the design like this, with “optional” quite obvious at the end of the line:

But we decided to label required tasks instead (using an asterisk) because we felt it looked quite busy having “optional” all over the place:

However, in light of what you’ve mentioned, it looks like we need to rethink this. Perhaps there are other less busy ways to show a task is optional. I’ll think about this and let you know what I come up with.

Thanks again!

P.s. In case you’re interested, here’s the design that went into development yesterday:

Listaflow Progress.pdf (442.7 KB)

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