We're in this together! Understanding the dynamics of the eZ Publish Community
Meet the Team Robin Teigland Stockholm School of Economics Paul M. Di Gangi Loyola University Maryland Björn-Tore Flåten University of Agder Elia Giovacchini Stockholm University Nicolas Pastorino eZ Systems Director Community
Research team and eZ Share Director Community discuss opportunity for partnership to explore ways to create “killer” community. Launch of eZ Questionnaire to solicit feedback from eZ Share Community. Research team analyzes questionnaire responses and presents results to Director Community. Research team conducts interviews with members of eZ Community, eZ Systems, eZ Partners. Results summarized and presented. Oct ‘10 Nov - Dec Jan ‘11 Feb - Jun July ‘11 Thank You! Background Story
Multiple types of actors (key players) affect development of eZ Publish Community. Early Finding 3OA CM OA OE 3OA CM eZ Employees within Community 3 rd Party Organizational Agents Community Member eZ OE CM
The end points of the diagram interact within the community on a regular basis, while eZ Systems, the organization, occasionally interacts within the community but largely affects the community via external activities. Early Finding 3OA CM OA eZ OE CM
1 2 3 Interview Protocol Invitations to Interview Interview request based on selection criteria sent to individual members of eZ Publish Community. Pre-Interview Planning Copy of interview guide sent to interviewees prior to interview. Conduct Interviews 20 interviews conducted– all transcribed verbatim
Tension Points Goal Pursuit Decision-making Community Development
Goal Pursuit Our analysis indicates that tension can arise among the actors when pursuing goals due to the following: 1) actors’ goals/needs and 2) information asymmetry.
Goal Pursuit “ If you are doing something for the community, then the main drawback is that you lose time directly, but in the end it is a win-win situation because what we do is build credibility as a very experienced, very knowledgeable company. We try to work globally, and some potential clients will google us or the community and see that a few of us from our company are actively giving to the community, meaning that we know things – this is the main reason why we do it.” ~ Entrepreneur using eZ Publish for personal business Actors’ Goals/Needs
Goal Pursuit "It is a challenge to know what should be kept within the company and what can be provided to the community." ~ eZ Systems executive about information sharing Information Asymmetry
Decision-making Our analysis indicates that tension can arise among the actors when pursuing goals due to: 1) authoritative structure and 2) decision democracy.
Decision-making “ It’s harder to give confidence to an open source community driven by an editor than a community driven by a democratic or autocratic authority because the editor of the CMS can always be suspected to promote its (sic) own interest, and not the community one. I often ask myself: ‘What *long-term guarantees* does eZ Systems give to the eZ Community?’” ~ 3 rd Party Organizational Agent expressing Authoritative Structure
Decision-making “ It would be fair for those who are active participants ….. to influence development .. this is a high motivation factor for any community member.” “ In the end it is the company itself that decides what is happening and even if they show to be more open, this is not really happening, this is an outside observation.” ~ Community Member & 3 rd Party Organizational Agent Decision Democracy
Our analysis indicates that tension can arise among the actors when pursuing goals due to: 1) role of eZ in community development and 2) transparency in eZ’s strategic direction.
" This is a challenge because as a community they want as much as possible, but if you give them the little finger, they take the whole hand – they want more when you give them something, and if they don't get something, then they get irritated. We have to educate them on this...we are a company and not a charity, so we have to make money – but this is a challenge and you have to differentiate between what you give away for free and what you sell. “ ~ eZ Systems executive about stressing difference between eZ Publish Community and traditional open source communities Role of eZ in Community Development
“ We don’t have any real information. Are they going to continue like this? What is the policy they have for their company? Can we rely on eZ systems or not? ” " It is not easy for the community to see what we are doing or prioritizing." ~ Community Member & eZ Systems executive Transparency of eZ’s Strategic Direction
Lessons Learned Active Conflict Management Open Communication Dialogue Management Continuous Evaluation
Lessons Learned Active Conflict Management Maintain a general attitude that focuses on positive conflict to ensure mutual goals are achieved. Focus on task conflict and mitigate relationship conflict.
What eZ is doing Active Conflict Management Meeting physically creates stronger bonds, faster than via online exchanges. The Event Planner initiative, led by the share.ez.no team, as well as a solid events calendar will make sure most of the conflicts are avoided by "preventive" (and fun !) live exchanges.
Lessons Learned Open Communication Ensure that two-way communication is encouraged and transparency is maintained in dealings with the community (e.g., Community Project Board).
What eZ is doing Open Communication All community teams ( Community Project Board, and share.ez.no team ) are openly showcasing their activity, through minutes of meetings published on their respective blogs. Atop, all mid to large-scope project directly or indirectly related to the eZ Community's life are publicly confronted through an open RFC process. Examples are the share.ez.no design contest, and more recently the Event planner and Job Board projects.
Lessons Learned Dialogue Management Focus on selecting and training employees that engage directly with the community possess skills that foster dialogue, relationship-building, and trust among members.
What eZ is doing Dialogue Management The collaboration between the community developers and eZ Engineering is increasing, as testified by the soaring curve of submitted pull-requests on github.com. The latter tool was preferred to all other open-source development platform for it is tagged "Social coding". This tool makes open-innovation more than a mere exchange of code, it becomes a beautiful dialogue.
Lessons Learned Continuous Evaluation Remember to solicit feedback and re-evaluate operations to ensure new tensions are not present and community/ organization needs are currently being met.
What eZ is doing Continuous Evaluation Open RFCs and eZ Roadmap are prominent tools for continuous evaluation and feedback gathering. Open RFCs/surveys concern various topics ranging from platforms enhancements to major event location. On the software development side, eZ Roadmap is the pure expression of what an open-process in managing a product is.
Action items to improve communication relations, the decision making process, and member development. Benefits eZ Publish Community represents a new form of organizing and network of relationships. Results can help researchers and practitioners understand how to operate this model effectively. Uniqueness Value The eZ Publish Community is a complex network of relationships that is driven by multiple motivation factors that are dependent on the individual actor’s goals. Overarching Finding
Thank You! At this time, we would like to thank all individuals who participated in this research and eZ Systems for allowing us to engage with the community directly. If you would like to comment on these findings or have suggestions on how we can improve our analysis, please feel free to contact one of our lead researchers: [email_address] [email_address] .se To learn more about the researchers managing this study, please see our websites below: Paul Di Gangi: www.paulmdigangi.com Robin Teigland: www.knowledgenetwork ing.org Björn-Tore Flåten: twitter.com/bjorntfl Elia Giovacchini: twitter. com/eliagh