Notes from the summit session on mission & vision statement development

Notes on the mission statement development exercise led by @shaunagm, via review of the Google Doc draft developed on Wednesday:

Opening statement: "The core purpose of the ODK project is to provide a high-quality tool for capturing digital data to organizations and communities who might not otherwise be able to access one."

  • Increasing range of tools available. Maybe a more useful distinction for ODK beyond just access?
  • "Free & open source" has been important to user groups.
  • Consider focusing less on the adjectives and keeping this section simpler.
  • Quote off web site: "Our goals are to make open-source and standards-based tools which are easy to try, easy to use, easy to modify, and easy to scale."
  • Important to consider aggregation & curation (visualizing), not just capturing data.
  • Suggestion to separate mission (what) and vision (why).

Q: Is this conversation a reasonable venue for us to fully define & prune the list of what's feasible and strategically valuable?

Concerns on bullet points from first section:

  • Support: Providing coordinated end user support seems to rarely scale well for an organization. Things like 2nd or 3rd tier technical support may be more reasonable.
  • Usability: Consider including accessibility for all users. Specifying offline data collection might be too specific. "Us vs. them" probably highlighted too much here. How do we bring users into the design process? Chunking of people into categories seems problematic -- consider self-service rather than unidirectional service providing.
  • Reliability: No significant disagreements/concerns.
  • Affordability: Wording of "low barrier to entry" seems ambiguous. Consider levels of effort of training/adoption.
  • Adaptability: Words like "modularity" or "standard interfaces" might be good to again highlight here.
  • Openness: Improve wording around what allows users to exercise control.

I ran across a new blog post this week from a contributor to the GNOME project, regarding some of their guiding principles. It might be useful or inspiring (or maybe not!) for those who are interested in exploring an "ODK Mission & Vision" further.

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