Have your say, a roadmap or compass?

collaboration
roadmap

#1

Hi people,

Wrote a short post about the roadmap. Really curious to get your comments and ideas. Do we rather need a compass? How can we ensure proper learning to have better chances of not dying while trying?

In Spanish https://medium.com/@PazByC/mapa-de-ruta-o-brújula-56eeb63087d4

And thanks @gpereyrairujo for the editor-type comments!
P


#2

Wow! Great! I also had an awkward feeling about “Roadmap”, is not quite what we need, is not even possible, since our goal does not exist yet. Compass seems much more what we need.


#3

I think it’s a good question. I hear you that the road is long and complex… a roadmap assumes we understand the path and, as you point it, we do not.

What I like about a roadmap is that we have clear, actionable, assignable tasks. I like that because I want to get to a world of ubiquitous open science hardware, and I know someone’s going to have to do some work. Actually, lots of people have to do lots of work :slight_smile:

So my question is, how do we ensure a coherent, action-oriented community to achieve our goals using a compass? And, let’s get down to the nitty gritty, what is a compass? I know what a roadmap is - it’s a set of topics on which we have a clear direction, and a set of actionable tasks and assigned people (or groups) to those tasks.

Your post is well timed because we actually need to write this up! We have notes from the GOSH2017, but we definitely do not have a finished doc (like the manifesto) that we can all sign on to.

So… I like compass… but can you give me some details - like an outline of a doc and some ground rules that we can start to collaboratively contribute to? And just to clarify, that’s not a rhetorical challenge to negate your argument, I’m being genuine.


#4

Thanks @gbathree (Greg)!
Just a quick reply to say I’ll reply super soon :wink: (soon, maybe not ‘super’ soon)
P


#5

Hi @pazbernaldo, I really liked the piece you wrote. Clear example.

I think we need a roadmap for the short term (next 2 - 5 years) and a compass for the next 25 years.

Best,
Xiamyra


#6

Hi there! I added my answers under each part of your message :slight_smile:

What I like about a roadmap is that we have clear, actionable, assignable tasks. I like that because I want to get to a world of ubiquitous open science hardware, and I know someone’s going to have to do some work. Actually, lots of people have to do lots of work :slight_smile:

Haha, so true, a lot more work lays ahead!
I think the difference between a compass and a roadmap is not only semantic, but also in fact quite practical. Following a compass oriented strategy would also include clear and actionable, and assignable tasks (no way of getting rid of that hard work :frowning:). The main difference I believe is the emphasis on a more purposeful learning + adjustment process. Because roadmaps tend to assume linearity and predictability, taking time to learn and adjust is not central to such roadmap strategic approaches. It is however central to the more adaptive approaches.

So my question is, how do we ensure a coherent, action-oriented community to achieve our goals using a compass? And, let’s get down to the nitty gritty, what is a compass? I know what a roadmap is - it’s a set of topics on which we have a clear direction, and a set of actionable tasks and assigned people (or groups) to those tasks.

Both let you move thorough, forward, advance. So both are strategic approaches, or guiding tools if we want to sound more practical. So actually both are very similar in key ways. My guess is that the difference is to some extent on the ‘what’ to do but mostly on the how to review progress and ensure proper adjustment of actions in view of what is going well and what is going bad. It is the ‘learning’ the key ingredient. And how that learning is communicated across key actors/activists.

Your post is well timed because we actually need to write this up! We have notes from the GOSH2017, but we definitely do not have a finished doc (like the manifesto) that we can all sign on to.

So… I like compass… but can you give me some details - like an outline of a doc and some ground rules that we can start to collaboratively contribute to? And just to clarify, that’s not a rhetorical challenge to negate your argument, I’m being genuine.

Oh I do know you are being genuine because your questions are also mine, in many ways. I mean I want to see how moving from roadmap to compass changes tasks or adds more, in concrete ways. So, ground rules? I’ll try to come up with some in the next couple of days, also by looking at the roadmap draft. (I know I said I’d write soon and it took me 12 days but this time I mean it, hehe). I’ll have a look at some documents about the approach called theories of change which is one that assumes complexity instead of putting it under the rug. In particular there is one author I like (Craig Walters) and I’ll actually ask him via twitter if he knows of groups or activists trying to follow a more compass oriented strategy for change, and if there is any good documentation about it :slight_smile: Til soon!


#7

Hi Paz, Greg, and the rest…

I had been thinking about this topic for a while, although I didn’t have the time to write. I totally agree with Paz’s view, but I have to say that I still have questions similar to Greg’s, about how to apply this compass concept to our document. I think that in the end, regardless of how we name it, we need this document to be a tool that helps us move forward, allowing us to iterate, learn along the way, etc. So, here are some of my thoughts/ideas/suggestions about this:

  • I think our document needs to be flexible and dynamic, to allow it to adapt to us learning and changes in context. My concrete suggestion would be to (more or less) leave the “constants” to the manifesto (after all, you don’t want to change something many people already signed), and the “variables” for the roadmap/compass. For instance, this would include trying to avoid sections like “Principles of…” in the roadmap/compass.

  • I imagine re-discussing and re-writing this document every year. In fact, I would suggest that re-writing the roadmap should be one of the tasks included in the roadmap!

  • Another suggestion would be to try to design the document in a way that invites people to make changes (in the same way we discussed about designing hardware that invites you to hack it). Many of us will have the tendency to try to make a nice ‘final’ pdf document, but maybe what we need is the opposite.

  • And finally, going back to the travel metaphor, for a compass to be useful you first need to know where you are, and where you want to go - only then the compass can tell you whether you are going in the right direction. I think a better definition of our “ubiquitous by 2025” goal could be helpful (does it mean the same to everybody?), in order to know where to point our compass to. Also, indicators of the current state of open hardware in science could help us know where we are now, and to monitor our progress towards our goal.

Hope this helps…

Best,
Gustavo


#8

Ok - I’m an almost stupidly visual person, and love excuses to play with Inkscape my personal all time favorite FOSS.

So… is it like this very simplified version (that doesn’t account for all situations I know, but basic idea)? Basically, we define short term goals and align with our long term goal, and go for a while, then check back in and reset, and go for a while, and repeat. Then we just need make sure we have those points of re-evaluation clearly defined and flexible enough. In many ways, this is better for a distributed community so that people can be creative and go in different directions but still check in once in a while.


#9

Nice toy, Inkspace, will check it out :slight_smile:

I think you got it, although I would add a few more oops-turns.

In this photo, “actual plan” is the equivalent of “roadmap”


#10

That’s funny. These are a couple of slides of my presentation yesterday at the affordable phenotyping workshop:

what we thought:

what we learned:

And yeah, probably more turns would be more realistic… but anyway Greg’s version is clearly superior! I really like it! Is it CC licensed…? :wink:


#11

yes, well, I think we know now who is the drawing person (@gbathree)

another photo as source of inspiration


#12

Nice! Those are all great! And actually each shows a uniquely different lesson in the process of goal setting which is cool.

I think it’d be good to actually use some kind of visualization (one of these or a combination, but something simple enough to be quickly interpreted) in our compass document. And refer back to at any given point in the process just to remind people (like a ‘you are here’ dot on a map). It helps remind us of what the focus should be, and coalesce around the work that needs to get done to move forward.

Thanks all for helping me understand!