What it is, in a nutshell
T2P Community Projects are essentially an open source knowledge development portal. T2P members can define and participate in projects that generate knowledge deliverables for the whole community. Project initiators can tap professional skills, time, and resources beyond those to which they'd normally have access. Project participants can gain valuable professional exposure, network relationships, and other benefits described below.
You can create a Community Project to produce almost any deliverable that generally supports information governance and operational performance. A deliverable might be a policy draft, control definition, set of program KPIs, documentation of an assessment protocol or procedure, a taxonomy for a business practice area and/or compliance regime, a secure-configuration file, or anything else with a practical application. In fact, a project can be whatever you, as a professional, need to get your work done. However, projects designed to produce concrete, practical deliverables that address common challenges are likely to attract participants and reach completion.
How Community Projects work
Any community member can use the Project Builder form to initiate a new project. The form defines project objectives, scope, deliverables, and other key variables. New project requests are vetted by T2P Project Admins and, if accepted, promoted to the community as a request for participation.
T2P does not require project initiators to participate in their own projects. Just having an idea is enough to launch a project. However, participation by project initiators (in some capacity) is encouraged, because a) people prefer to join teams that already have at least one committed member, and b) project initiators can provide unique motivation and guidance for project completion.
Team make-up and participation
New projects are posted to the project staging area with the status of "Open." Any community member can sign up for any project team—in whatever capacity they might add value. Like projects themselves, member participation is vetted by T2P project administrators. A project must have at least one team member (beyond the initiator), to be considered active.
Every project has a designated project manager, who is responsible (and recognized) for completion of project deliverables. A project manager can be self selected (if the "team" is only one member who can alone complete the project), appointed by the T2P project admin, or elected by the team (if, for example, an appointed project manager drops out mid-project). Projects remain open to new participants until they are completed; however, the project manager decides whether and how each team member participates.
Project teams typically function as moderated democracies. Project managers keep the team's eyes on the prize, try to keep team members happy and humming, and manage stakeholder expectations. Within that guidance, however, each team member is responsible for supporting team dynamics and productivity.
T2P project admins are sometimes, but not always, engaged in project workflows. Primarily, project admins are responsible for maintaining the Community Project framework, ensuring project and participant visibility, providing tools and techniques for efficient team communications, and making sure project deliverables are available to the member community. If a project bogs down or breaks down, a project admin may try to help clear the obstacle. And, in general, they're always available to address project-structure questions.
Production and output
Projects produce deliverables, which are ultimately made available to the entire community. Working teams are provisioned with closed mailing lists and document management tools. Team members may also use publicly available tools, such as email and Skype, for interproject communication, and T2P project admins will work with teams to ensure their access to any specialized technologies or data that is needed for project completion.
There are no private projects. All final deliverables are published for general community access. Complex or long-term projects may also publish interim deliverables. Finally, T2P project admins may also elect to publish fragmentary project deliverables, if a project dies (for whatever reason) on the vine.
Because Community Project deliverables are produced by the community itself, they will always be free to community members.
Why start a project?
The benefits of initiating a Community Project are largely self-evident. The T2P professional community has more people with greater and more diverse experience than is available in most companies, and Community Projects have no service costs (although initiators can voluntarily compensate project participants).
Of course, the tradeoff for this resource base is that project output is not proprietary and is necessarily somewhat generic. Projects can be defined to align more or less aligned with initiators' business interests; however, project deliverables aren't owned by project initiators and are restricted only to the whole of T2P's privileged community membership.
Why join a project?
Millions of people contribute to open source projects. You might think the main driver is altruism—and then wonder how all those people have so much time to give away. The truth is, that a lot of self interest goes into donating time and skills. Here are a few (common) reasons you might consider joining T2P Community Projects:
- You need a resource, but don't want to do all of the work yourself
- You want something to make your job easier, and you don't want to pay for a commercial alternative
- You want to participate in an environment where you can explore, express, and develop new ideas
- You want to expand your professional network
- You want to diversify your skills portfolio
- You want to enhance your resume
- You need a project to claim as CPE for a professional certification
- You gain personal satisfaction from solving puzzles and problems
- You crave intellectual engagement---something beyond the predictable tasks of your day-to-day work
- You enjoy teamwork and a sense of community dynamics
- You one benefited from an open-source project and you feel like you should pay down that ideological debt
T2P Community Project participants are publicly credited for their contributions. Projects that are (voluntarily) funded by their initiators can also offer some financial compensation. Of course, working with an unfamiliar group isn't for everyone. But if you've enjoyed teamwork in the past and you want to be recognized for building something that means something, T2P Community Projects might have something for you.
How to get started
To initiate a project, go to the Project Builder form.
To evaluate project opportunities, go to Open Projects.