Plone Strategic Planning Summit Debrief
Man, I'm tired
The Plone Strategic Planning Summit 2008 is now over. I'm pretty exhausted, and this is actually the first time since Friday that I've had a chance to read email or blog or do much else than talk, brainstorm, draw on flip charts, drink whiskey and smoke cigars.
I'll do a much more in-depth post later this week when I'm back to London and struggling with jetlag, but I just wanted to rattle off some of the things that are still in my mind in quick succession.
- Plone is awesome!
- The Plone community is awesome!
- Jon Stahl & team are unbelievably good at organising events like this.
- The biggest rock star of the weekend was a 14-year old.
- We had a great cross-section of people there that were hopefully a pretty representative sample of the community, and this helped us get away from the "developer mentality".
- The pre-summit surveys and the incredible blogging and discussions that happened this week were absolutely crucial to determining the agenda and understanding the opinions of the community in more depth. I think that even if the summit had been cancelled at the last minute, this community discussion would have been worth it. Whilst we couldn't talk about every single thing that was brought up, we did cover the vast majority of it in some sense or another, and there is lots of process and scope to add new things into the discussion in the coming weeks and months.
- We talked a lot about how to effectively market and describe Plone. What is Plone to a developer? What is it to a large business? What is our market? Where are our strengths and weaknesses relative to the competition? These are very hard questions, but we had some great discussions about this and generated materials that, when complete, will be useful to the community and to lots of the companies that do business with Plone.
- Mark Corum, who led this marketing work, is one of the most interesting people I've met in a long time. We're really lucky to have him help us.
- We talked a lot about how to make Plone more approachable to new users, administrators, integrators and developers.
- This process helped us capture many of the things that are difficult or just plain dumb, that we've probably all run across at some point, but that we've never comprehensively written down or thought about.
- We generated a ton of great ideas for how to improve this story.
- Now we need to see what everyone else thinks of those ideas, what we missed and how we can actually make things happen.
- We've assigned named "champions" to each of the things we thought were worth focusing on. The champions are responsible for the communication and co-ordination - not necessarily implementation - and for making sure that the ideas we propose are actually good, useful and generally agreed upon in the community.
- In general, people tended to agree on the major problems and broad themes of how to resolve them. There was very little conflict, even though we had people with a lot of different perspectives present.
- People seemed to walk away pretty excited. If we can transfer that excitement into the general community, I think we'll be in very good shape.
I realise this is all a bit abstract still, and I apologise for that. I have to run, but rest assured that the developer list will be flooded with output that we need everyone to absorb, comment on and take further. I'll do a more in-depth post about how the event ran and what went on as well when I have a moment...