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The Danger of Having No WHY

The Danger of Having No WHY

I am exceptionally proud of the Drupal community. Together we foster the development of excellent software, and raise the capacity of our individual contributors. During the Drupal 7 to Drupal 8 upgrade, I have seen increasingly more tension as long standing community members no longer feel that Drupal is their product. We are in a period of transition. By looking to the lessons provided by change management, we can see that we are already doing a lot right. The piece that appears to be missing is a clearly defined, and shared vision.

By design, our community does not have a "mission statement" or single focus. Dries does outline road maps for each release, but it is the community which drives the direction. I like how the community is able to drive the direction of the software, but I also think it makes it difficult for people to decide if they want to (1) start participating and (2) continue participating. There is an unspoken assumption that growth is good; that more contributors are needed; and that the code base must support increasingly more complex systems. Is it time we wrote down these assumptions? Is it time to revisit our Principles?

This session is a two-part session:

1. To guide people through the creation of their own personal mission statement, allowing them to more easily evaluate if their time on Drupal is in conflict with their own values.
2. To kick-off a conversation about having a mission statement for Drupal: the benefits of having a single vision; and the possible culture clash against our existing model.

This presentation was the keynote presentation at DrupalSouth in 2014. It was very well received and sparked some excellent discussion at the conference (and afterwards too!). The slides are here: https://speakerdeck.com/emmajane/lessons-from-an-unlikely-superhero

Emma Jane Hogbin Westby

June 03, 2014

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    A J A N E W E S T B Y
  2. Warning! The talk contains use of the “f” word.

  3. Bold Claim I think the Backdrop fork was good for

    our community. Backdrop offers a clear mission statement. And it is forcing us to clarify our own product’s mission.
  4. Agenda 1. How (and why) to be selfish in a

    FOSS project. 2. The danger of not having a clear mission statement. 3. Discussion.
  5. The Hobbit An unexpected bit of research

  6. Everything had its place and every place had its thing.

  7. “That’s not a dishcloth! It’s a doily.”

  8. Bilbo chooses adventure.

  9. Humans want to connect with people who believe what they

  10. What How Why

  11. What How Why

  12. What How Why

  13. What How Why Simon Sinek’s Golden Circle www.startwithwhy.com bit.ly/ss-tedtalk

  14. Bilbo's WHY is “home”. “You don’t belong anywhere.”

  15. To understand, transform, and remove obstacles to achieve a state

    of flow My WHY.
  16. Discovering Your WHY Your purpose. Your cause. Your belief. Your

    personal mission statement.
  17. What makes you smile?

  18. When you lose track of time, what are you doing?

  19. What are your favourite things to do?

  20. Is there anything you don’t feel gifted at, but love

    doing anyway?
  21. When people ask for your help, what do they want

    help with?
  22. If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

  23. Who would your students be?

  24. When you quit, what’s typically your “last straw”?

  25. Define your why.

  26. This space intentionally left blank.

  27. Bilbo was committed to WHY the dwarves were adventuring, not

  28. @emmajanehw 2003ish Ripped the content storage tables out of Drupal

    for my own CMS. drupal.org/user/1773 2005 Came back to Drupal and started building sites for clients with walkah's help. 2007 2009 My first (and only) core patch. Moshe tells me my mom’s bookstore site shouldn’t be built with Drupal; that I should use WordPress instead. “For my mother, who asked for the manual to her web site.” 2011 Taught my first Drupal 8 workshop. 2013 2014 Still haven’t upgraded mum’s site from Drupal 5.
  29. I sold the promise of easy growth.

  30. I sold the state of flow to designers and themers.

  31. Drupal 8

  32. None
  33. What’s our mission statement?

  34. Modernization of the infrastructure. My mission statement for Drupal 8.

  35. “Our mission was to make Drupal fast, small, clean and

    on the bleeding-edge of technology.”
  36. “At the end of the day, we can't make everybody

    happy and it is very important that you realize that.”
  37. Dries, 2006 http://buytaert.net/backward-compatibility

  38. Drupal was trying to be consistent. So what happened?

  39. <?php if ($mission): ?> <div id="mission"> <?php print $mission; ?>

    </div> <?php endif; ?>
  40. “Come for the software, stay for the community.”

  41. <?php if ($site_slogan): ?> <div id="site-slogan"> <?php print $site_slogan; ?>

    </div> <?php endif; ?>
  42. (you said) “Drupal 8 Will Have Something for Everyone to

    Love” https://drupal.org/drupal-8.0
  43. Stop doing that.

  44. Put the stake back in the ground. Define, and own,

    the WHY.
  45. Massive change doesn’t happen by magic. It happens by management.

  46. Change management is the application of a structured process and

    set of tools for leading the people side of change to achieve a desired outcome. https://www.prosci.com/change-management/ definition/
  47. A shared definition of the problem…

  48. so that stakeholders understand why change is necessary.

  49. A shared vision of the future…

  50. so that stakeholders understand how they will benefit.

  51. Backdrop didn’t share Drupal’s definition of the problem. That was

    stressful but in a good way.
  52. Discuss.

  53. “The Drupal mission is to develop a leading edge open-source

    content management system that implements the latest thinking and best practices in community publishing, knowledge management, and software design.” https://drupal.org/mission
  54. Does drupal.org accurately describe our WHY?

  55. How do we define GOOD software?

  56. Who has the authority to define GOOD?

  57. When it’s DONE, how will we know?

  58. Whose responsibility is the vision of DONE?

  59. What did you think? E V A L U A

    T E T H I S S E S S I O N : A U S T I N 2 0 1 4 . D R U P A L . O R G / S C H E D U L E