Difference between revisions of "The 2019 BarnCamp Inquiry"

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m (What could we do to prevent those things going wrong again?)
 
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In order the better understand the issues surrounding the failure of BarnCamp 2019, we want to kick off a relatively informal process of opinion and perspective gathering, with a strong emphasis on what we can do in the future to make our event not just happen, but also totally kick ass.   
 
In order the better understand the issues surrounding the failure of BarnCamp 2019, we want to kick off a relatively informal process of opinion and perspective gathering, with a strong emphasis on what we can do in the future to make our event not just happen, but also totally kick ass.   
  
The deadline for submissions will be Friday 13th September.   
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The deadline for submissions was Friday 13th September.   
  
 
We've compiled a list of questions below:  
 
We've compiled a list of questions below:  
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* Anything else to share?
 
* Anything else to share?
  
Answer them by:
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'''''All entries will end up on this page, copied from the other media, unless request them to be kept private'''''. References to particular people who performed tasks has been avoided. All personal references will be removed.
 
 
* Filling in this page, format as per the example below.
 
* Emailing you answers. Email details provided by personal invitation.
 
* Filling in an entry on https://pad.riseup.net/p/2019BarncampInquiry.
 
 
 
'''''All entries will end up on this page, copied from the other media, unless request them to be kept private.''''' Please do not add references to particular people who performed tasks. Simply mention that person did, or failed to do that task. All personal references will be removed.
 
  
 
== Stephanie "Example" Jones ==
 
== Stephanie "Example" Jones ==

Latest revision as of 08:49, 13 September 2019

In order the better understand the issues surrounding the failure of BarnCamp 2019, we want to kick off a relatively informal process of opinion and perspective gathering, with a strong emphasis on what we can do in the future to make our event not just happen, but also totally kick ass.

The deadline for submissions was Friday 13th September.

We've compiled a list of questions below:

  • What went wrong?
  • What could we do to prevent those things going wrong again?
  • How did you feel about the process of trying to organise Barncamp 2019?
  • Would you be willing to try to help organise next year in 2020?
  • Anything else to share?

All entries will end up on this page, copied from the other media, unless request them to be kept private. References to particular people who performed tasks has been avoided. All personal references will be removed.

Stephanie "Example" Jones

Cut and paste this section, then add your own info. Remove this paragraph, and anything involving mogwai, unless your issue was in fact mogwai related. Don't use your real name if you don't want to.

What went wrong?

Someone fed the mogwai after midnight.

What could we do to prevent those things going wrong again?

Don't bring mogwai.

How did you feel about the process of trying to organise Barncamp 2019?

It was great.

Would you be willing to try to help organise next year in 2020?

Yes, based on a no mogwai solution.

Anything else to share?

No, I'm trying to ignore the horrific memories.

Gremble

What went wrong?

Essentially we were almost there. We lost touch with a core member who couldn't drive due to injury, and so couldn't get the kit there. This would normally have been MH's role.

What could we do to prevent those things going wrong again?

It's been suggested that we have a lock up in Bristol or nearer to the site, so that kit would be nearer. If possible this would be for a lot of valuable equipment. In any case, have things in a much more limited set of locations would make taking equipment to site easier.

Having backup operators for core tasks is essential, and that should be built into the organisation process.

How did you feel about the process of trying to organise Barncamp 2019?

Fine, but a bit late.

Would you be willing to try to help organise next year in 2020?

Yes, based on a no mogwai solution.

Anything else to share?

No. But maybe I'll add something later.


thebrentc

What went wrong?

Perhaps short time to organise, and failure of critical tasks (e.g. power).

What could we do to prevent those things going wrong again?

Gremble says it well: "Having backup operators for core tasks is essential, and that should be built into the organisation process.". I would add documenting key kit requirements such as the power equipment could provide for contingency arrangements. The lockup is worthwhile idea.

How did you feel about the process of trying to organise Barncamp 2019?

Good to meet up online.

Would you be willing to try to help organise next year in 2020?

Probably, but depending how it goes.

Anything else to share?

No. But maybe I'll add something later.


MarkR

What went wrong?

  1. most of the people who expressed an interest in helping, either on the HL mailing list or in the survey we did at the end of BC2017, did not help even when sent a personal email suggesting how their skills would be useful
  2. I tried to provide what I though would be enough structure to enable people to form themselves into task-related working groups. The plan was that each group would work independently and send a spoke into the weekly jitsi meeting. Based on the initial expressions of interest, there should have been 4-6 people in each of 6 groups, but it turned out that there were only 1-3, and some weren't represented at the weekly meetings so we had to ask for 2nd- or 3rd-hand rumours about what was happening.
  3. this lead to an impression in the meetings that things would be OK when they weren't
  4. two people took on critical roles and didn't let the rest of us know that they were struggling until it was too late
  5. I assumed that our email account was configured well, but it was less than perfect, which caused several important emails not to be delivered
  6. I assumed that all members of the group would be good at using jitsi and irc, but a few struggled

What could we do to prevent those things going wrong again?

  1. more people need to help in advance of the event
  2. we can't assume that anyone is capable of taking responsibility for their own participation, so we need people to either demonstrate that they can, or be prepared to be offended by being given very simple instructions
  3. even when given very simple instructions, people may not be able to carry them out, so we all need to check in regularly, either within a working group or to a hub group, for example
  4. anyone who misses a check-in should be assumed to be a casualty and replaced immediately, at the same time as support is offered to both the absent person and their replacement
  5. people need to learn / get trained in how to use whichever comms tools we use, and share their contact details with all other participants (email address, PGP public key, IRC handle, phone number...)
  6. I'd recommend that if we use a hub & spoke model again, any spoke needs to be proficient and have a working setup for all of the below tools. Non-spokes should have at least 3 out of 4:
    1. Email with working PGP setup
    2. Jitsi meet
    3. IRC chat
    4. Signal (phone and desktop)
  7. the people who run the mail server, mediawiki and other infrastructure need to give them an inspection and confirm they're in a fit state before we start relying on them
  8. if anyone wants to add more infrastructure (e.g. a decision-making tool or a project management tool) they need to get it up and working before we all spend lots of time discussing how/whether to use it

How did you feel about the process of trying to organise Barncamp 2019?

Fun at times and a good feeling of working together, but also very frustrating because it was hard to find the optimum level of slack.

Would you be willing to try to help organise next year in 2020?

I would not want to be part of the bootstrapping / structural organisation process, but I would join a working group or similar.

Anything else to share?

I'm unsure whether starting earlier would have helped. I imagine that with less of a sense of time-pressure, things might have been even more slipshod than they were.