Lessons about openness and transparency from a budget discussion
Last month, the 2011 Joomla! draft budget was published and community feedback on it was invited. I believe this was the first time that community feedback was invited before our project's budget was formally approved.
To be honest, I really didn't expect too much interest from the community about our project's draft budget. I was sure wrong about that though, because a total of 63 posts were made in a lively discussion about the budget on the Joomla! People website.
As the posts came in, some included general questions or comments, while others were direct and specific. Some of the posts were complimentary, and others were critical. Some asked for clarification about processes, and others offered suggestions about new processes. During the course of the discussion, seven different leadership team members came forward and responded to the questions and comments posted by community members.
This discussion about the budget revealed some important lessons about openness and transparency in our project. Openness and transparency isn't always comfortable or convenient or fun. It involves extra time and effort for volunteer leadership team members. It also means taking a risk by exposing plans and actions to the scrutiny of our global community.
But openness and transparency come with important benefits. They help insure that Joomla! leadership team members and Open Source Matters board members are accountable. Accountability is important in all organizations, but especially in a community driven project such as ours. When openness and transparency also include a respectful dialog between leadership and the community, doors begin to open and good things happen. Community members not only feel more informed about how the project works, but they also feel more involved in the process and they are more likely to want to contribute. New ideas, perspectives, and suggestions can be considered from those who are most interested and knowledgeable about different aspects of the project. Ultimately, more trust can be built between project leadership and the community. This message was given over and over again by many contributors to the discussion about the budget.
The final approved budget will be published soon, along with goals from each of the Joomla! project's three leadership teams (I believe that publishing goals from all leadership teams represents another first for the project). And based on feedback from the community, multiple improvements will be made to the planning and budget process for next year, and work is also underway now on new and improved processes to increase our project's financial openness and transparency.
Starting today, the Joomla! Community Magazine team is also making a stronger commitment to increased openness and transparency. We have had a private team email list as a primary communications channel since before the JCM launched last July. But partly due to seeing the positive outcomes from the recent public budget discussion, the JCM team voted to change our email list to be public (read only). Please check out the public (read only) JCM team email list if you are interested in following our team's discussions.
Openness and transparency are not always easy concepts to put into practice, but they are definitely important to strengthening our community. And when we strengthen our community, we strengthen our project.
In this issue:
A special thanks to the members of our Joomla! community who contributed articles to this month's issue: Merav Knafo, Anh Tuan Bui, Paul de Raaij, Abolhassan Firoozmandan, and Meta Krujis!
- Nicholas G. Antimisiaris shares his thoughts on how to best move our project forward in Push me, pull you....
- Anh Tuan Bui summarizes key features of Helpful E-mail Marketing Components for Joomla! Powered Websites.
- Robert Vining gives a shoutout to all of the Joomla! Voices Heard Around the World.
- Abolhassan Firoozmandan has submitted an article written in Farsi for this issue.
- Opportunities are now open for community members to submit articles in 22 different languages.
Website Case Studies
- Robert Vining reveals how Joomla! powers the CMS Expo (this major event is happening May 2-4 in Chicago).
- Alice Grevet shares updates on what OSM has been doing during April on behalf of the Joomla! project.
JUGs and Events
- Meta Krujis shares some secrets of success in Organizing Dutch Joomla!days and back to life again.
- Hagen Graf talks about the Awesomenimity at J and Beyond 2011.
- Cristina Solana invites you to join her with your pail and shovel in The Sandbox Manifesto.
- Merav Knafo counts down the 5 ways to document your Joomla! extension.
- Paul de Raaij shares the benefits of using an Object Relational Mapping framework in Using Doctrine ORM in Joomla!.
- Anthony Olsen sparks the flame in How to put more love into your Joomla! dates...
The Joomla! Haikus
- Prolific poets,
punsters and word masters too,
spread the Joomla! love...
Post your haikus for May!
- Bo Astrup reviews "Joomla! 1.5 Top Extensions Cookbook".
Joomla! in the Press/Media
- Mark Bender bring us Joomla! in the Press/Media — May 2011.
On the lighter side...
- Yepr has contributed another Jane Beyond & friends cartoon.
In our next issue
We want to publish your Joomla! story in the next JCM issue! So take a look at our Author Resources content to get a better idea of what we are looking for, and then register to become a JCM author and submit your Joomla! story!