Board Report—September 2020

Categories: Association Created by Mathias Bolt Lesniak
Screenshot of an online meeting with seven members
The TYPO3 Board met online 21–22 September 2020, working on a wide range of topics. (Photo: Boris Hinzer)
The TYPO3 Association met online on the 21–22 September for this year’s third virtual retreat. The entire board was present and worked together to review the year and look ahead to 2021.

The eight board members worked on a wide range of topics:

  • Policies and regulations (e.g. for committees, teams, and travel)
  • New membership types
  • Contribution visualization and onboarding
  • Communication training
  • Market expansion
  • Financial questions
  • Vision (for the product and the Company)

The next retreat will be at the end of November 2020.

Vision for the TYPO3 Company

TYPO3 GmbH plays an important role in the TYPO3 ecosystem. Through the Supervisory Board, the Association provides guidance to the Company. Our goal is to help the Company deliver the best possible services to TYPO3 and expand adoption of the CMS.

To succeed we need definition and division of tasks between the company and community. The company needs clear expectations and the community needs a clearer understanding of the company’s role. We will work to ensure that expectations are formalized and communication improved between both parties.

Both company and community are responsible for maintaining positive communication. As community members, we cannot expect the company to do everything. At the same time, the company should be the Association’s professional arm and an enabler for the community’s activities.

Policy for Committees and Official Teams

We are working to clarify the decision-making processes related to the community teams and committees. For some time, the Board and the team leaders have been working on a policy document defining clear responsibilities, as well as rules for empowerment and disempowerment of positions. During our meeting, we reviewed the policy draft and returned it to the team leaders for final feedback.

The board plans to finalize and implement the policy ahead of the New Year. Follow the news on typo3.org to stay up to date on developments.

Pricing of Certifications and Member Discounts

The current system for discount vouchers is difficult to manage and must change. It is important that every member receives a benefit through their membership. This might include discounts on events, advance booking, or access to exclusive merchandise.

We would also like to introduce other benefits and discounts based on community involvement. (More about this in the section on Onboarding and Visualizing Contribution, below.)

Web Property Strategy

A consolidation of the content at typo3.org and typo3.com based on target groups was planned for this year. It has been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we hope to pick up speed again before the end of the year.

This collaboration between the community and TYPO3 GmbH gives our CMS the best possible web properties: One aimed at community activities and another aimed at business, sales, marketing, and decision-makers’ needs.

New Membership Types

Today’s Association memberships are aimed at freelancers, developers, agencies, and academic institutions.

We would like to see more groups, such as TYPO3 end-users and end-user businesses involved in shaping TYPO3. The Association is able to interact more closely with people and organizations that are members, and we believe membership results in a stronger feeling of ownership and commitment.

Members are not just an income stream supporting the development of TYPO3. They can help direct product development and are voices we should listen to. This is not about becoming a recruitment platform for agencies—when end-users become members, they become direct contacts for our agency customers. They can give better information about their needs from TYPO3 and increase engagement and adoption.

Improved Membership Management

It is important to improve member management processes. We are struggling with poor data quality that requires manual labor and could affect member satisfaction. For example, event vouchers cannot be distributed automatically and it is hard to integrate membership benefits into more of our offerings.

The relaunch of my.typo3.org by the TYPO3 Company shows the first features on the way to three key milestones:

  • Self-service area for members
  • Centralized member data
  • Optimized workflows

Updated Travel Cost Reimbursement Regulations

We are polishing new travel cost reimbursement regulations, and hope to vote on the final document in one of our upcoming regular bi-weekly meetings.

In a normal year, travel costs take up a considerable part of the Association’s budget. This means regulations for travel cost reimbursements are important and must be easy to understand and implement. They must also be in line with our values.

We believe the updated regulations clarify important points and make it possible for us to take greater responsibility for the Association’s carbon footprint.

Education

We are working on goals and a long-term master plan for everything related to education within TYPO3. A number of new ideas and possibilities for improvement were brought up, and we will reach out to the Education Committee, Academic Committee, and the TYPO3 Company to discuss possibilities and options.

Investment in Communication Skills Training

Good communication and group facilitation skills are important for the continued success of the TYPO3 project. In our meeting, we discussed steps to strengthen these skills within the TYPO3 Association Board, the TYPO3 Company, and among team and committee leaders.

We have set up a tentative action plan for the next several months, until just after the next General Assembly (13 April 2021).

  • Contact trainers in nonviolent communication, group facilitation, and remote communication skills.
  • Organize workshops on remote communication. Learn how to best host and organize online meetings.
  • Publish articles with general advice to the community at large.
  • Organize an in-person (or online) communication and group facilitation course the day after the General Assembly, 2021.
  • Encourage the training participants to share their knowledge with the community in informal exchanges at TYPO3 events.

Board Members’ Guidebook

We started work on an extensive guidebook to introduce new board members to our internal and external processes. We hope to make this “TYPO3 Association for Dummies” guide available online as well, so our members can see how we work.

TYPO3 Events

Setting up an Events Committee will be important for ensuring that all official events and their organizers get the framework and practical help they need. The committee should also include representatives from unofficial TYPO3 events, such as barcamps.

A temporary events committee is being set up. It will be tasked with handling next year’s events, reviewing and updating the event runbook where necessary, and discussing ways to improve the events and broaden their appeal for a larger audience.

Official TYPO3 events are usually organized by the Association and Company in collaboration with a local partner agency. 

Onboarding and Visualizing Contribution

Contribution to TYPO3 should be easy and something everyone wants to do because they can see the results. That’s why there are a number of active initiatives to improve the onboarding experience and give new and old community members a greater incentive to contribute.

Guidebook, Marketing, and Mentoring

You may already have heard about some of these:

  • The TYPO3 Guidebook written by Open Strategy Partners, with help from many community members, has been delivered to New York-based publisher Apress. The book is available for preorder and will be an important tool in future TYPO3 outreach.
  • The Marketing Team is mapping the onboarding funnel and is working to improve and create new content.
  • The TYPO3 Mentoring Program is up and running, with the first handful of experienced TYPO3 mentors training mentees in Africa and Latin America. The mentees are freelancers or represent agencies interested in starting with TYPO3.

Being Present

We would also like to set up a channel for new people in Slack. As board members, we see it is important that we participate in events and foster discussions with newcomers to encourage their engagement and participation in the community.

Sprints in Diverse Locations

Regular open sprints are a good way to onboard new people and encourage contribution. We would also like to see more outreach sprints. These sprints are organized in diverse locations to foster smaller communities and TYPO3 businesses.

Visualization and Appreciation with “Karma”

A way to give points for contribution is under construction. Anything from reviewing code to publishing an article to attending a sprint can be visualized and appreciated. This will allow us to appreciate contributions, introduce gamification, and encourage agencies to actively participate in the community.  Maybe the points can even be a replacement for certain costs?

Team Management

We are working to make team management easier, both for the Association at large and individual team leaders.

Disaster Recovery Plan for TYPO3 Association, Company, and Community

This is an ongoing process within the board that involves community members and representatives from the TYPO3 Company. In short, the work involves creating a comprehensive overview of the technological infrastructure, potential weaknesses, people responsible, and steps necessary to recover from emergencies and disasters.

Data Privacy (GDPR)

As part of an ongoing project, we are working with the Association’s Data Privacy Officer, Karen Falkenberg to ensure that the Association maintains a central repository of data privacy-related documentation, contracts, and history.

It is also important that everyone handling data for the Association has sufficient expertise. We are therefore considering organizing additional training.

Budget 2021

As we continue our market expansion and creating solutions for customers’ problems, accessibility and user experience will be special areas of focus for the 2021 budget.  We will work closely with the TYPO3 Company to ensure that our goals for 2021 are aligned.

More information about the budget application process was recently published.

The reimbursement tool is key to maintaining an up-to-date overview of the Association’s finances. The tool is in continuous development by the TYPO3 Company. We look forward to many new features in the coming year, including:

  • Easier reporting
  • Automatic budget agreements
  • External invoice handling
  • Features related to CO2 offsetting
  • Restricting purposes to specific users
  • Improved documentation

Adjusted Budget for 2020

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we made adjustments to this year’s budget. During the board meeting, we went through the budget again and identified projects with flexibility in their budgets. We plan to ask project owners if we can make further changes.

Additional contributors for this article
  • Copy Editor : Mathias Bolt Lesniak