Discovery phase FAQ

Credit: Greenpeace International

Following our first posts on Planet4 channel we have received some very interesting questions from Anselm and others on the mailing lists. Feel free to reach out to us if you have more questions we will add them to this list.

Project approach and planning

What is your general approach for this project?

The general approach is based on user centered design and open communication best practices. The project will be organized in phases: discovery, concept, design, development and a pilot rollout. You can find more information in our previous posts on this channel or in the project baseline document.

What work needs to be done for each phase?

This is outlined in the project baseline document. It sumarizes high level objectives for each phase. Then we will write down additional phase plans that will contain information about the deliverables and activities for a given phase, such as the discovery. These plans are voluntarily high level, to allow contributors to take ownership of the activities breakdown.

Where do I find specific information about the Discovery phase?

In the phase plan. Bear in mind that this document is a living one. We expect that the details concerning the approach and activities will change. We want the working groups to have ownership of the delivery. What will not change is the scope of this phase and the main deliverables that we are expecting at the end of it.

Getting involved

How can I participate / commit myself to work on something?

To get involved in the discovery phase you first need to complete this form by August 22nd and say which areas are of interest for you. Then the person in charge of this track will get in touch with you and discuss how to get you involved based on your availability, skills and experience.

When can I start working on the discovery phase activities?

This project starting in the summer holiday season we knew were off for a slow start, so bear with us as we creating these working groups. It may take another one or two weeks before the work in each groups get started.

Can I do something RIGHT NOW?

Absolutely. You can Tweet at #GPP4 all your recommendations, website benchmarking or useful readings, or forward to the Mailing list all of the above, plus upcoming trainings or webinars you believe may be relevant. You are welcome to join the bi-weekly Community Calls and get updates not only on P4 but on other Greenpeace initiatives, you can suggest both Communication activities in the calendar and Medium posts in the Drive.

How do I enter ideas for the next / upcoming phases?

We’re trying to focus our energy on the Discovery phase, but if you have suggestions for the next phases you can contact the project team directly on the email list, tweet them at #GPP4, or submit them in the Suggestion Folder of our Public Drive.

Roles and responsibilities

What do you expect from contributors? (time/delivery/quality/project management/long-term contributions or are one time contributions okay, too?)

We are looking forward to any kind of constructive contributions, from a one-off comment on the project approach (i.e. “I think you should do an analysis of these other NGO sites.”), to a more consequent one-off contribution (“This is how I think should look like, here is my concept.”), to a more long-term recurring contributions (like someone doing multiple translation work, or someone becoming a regular committer, for example). We are also open to changes in the plan depending on what kind of people show interests, their experience, where and how they want to contribute.

Who can do this work (especially, is this possible to do for external/non-Greenpeace people at all)?

This will depends on what needs to be produced. For each deliverables in the discovery phase we will appoint a track lead, that will coordinate with the other volunteers to see how the work can be divided up, based on their availability and experience. From what we have seen in the current answers to the survey most people can’t commit a lot of time, so most people will be probably be involved in ideation and review sessions.

Is the work compensated or not?

Greenpeace often invite its network of volunteers to perform tasks pro-bono and we will encourage people to volunteer some of their time on this project in that context. But of course Greenpeace also compensate full-time engagements from highly-skilled professionals on a per project basis.

The current plan for this project is to advertise for 5 jobs openings at Greenpeace International, to create a team that works full time on design and development. We will most likely also hire freelancers to fill in these positions in interim since hiring generally take a few months. If you are interested in working with us as a freelancer feel free to reach out to us directly so that we can discuss this further. The final strategy for the team composition for the first phases is yet to be decided by the project board (also called steering committee).

What’s the attribution/benefit for contributors if it’s unpaid?

The answer is grounded in one personal values, whether people are looking for intrinsic or extrinsic retribution. Some people prefer not being in the spotlight (e.g. they feel their actions define them as a person more than what other people say about them), some other people need their contribution to be visible. We think we should accommodate both to the extent of Greenpeace values. At the end we don’t have a definite answer yet, since this is a complex balancing act.

For example, if you look at pictures on the website the photographer is almost always mentioned below or directly on the picture. On the other hand, Greenpeace does not endorse corporations so it would not be possible to have a credit section with the name of a contributor’s company. We also need to be fair: we can not start giving more credits to technical or design contributions than let’s say a volunteer painting a banner.

Legal and licensing

What is the CLA for contributions? (this is important, since it could even mean giving your rights to an organization and not be able to re-use your work again)

Greenpeace employees or freelancers are generally required by contract to give most rights to the organization. In the case of pro-bono work this is handled on a case-by-case basis. We are discussing with Greenpeace International legal team about such Contributor Licence Agreement. Watch this space for more details in the future.

Is the work open-source?

Yes. The goal is to have open source licences or compatible where applicable (like creative common BY-SA) and where possible (for example, some pictures on the site already have some existing agreements with photographers we cannot change). We still need to define what will be the final go-to licence for code, documentation, illustrations, etc. but that is the intention.

If it’s all open-source, how can others benefit from it (open source by just open sourcing a customized system that works for no one else is different to building a generic open-source approach that can be used by others)?

That question it hard to answer right now. Obviously the goal of this project is very much Greenpeace related. It is possible that if we see opportunities to create more generic deliverables, we will then make sure they are not branded as much. For example we already did this on another project called Greenpeace Greenwire, where we developed Drupal form validation modules that we thought might be useful to others. See.

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