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Procedure for Kickstarting Projects

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SENSORICA is a peer-to-peer (p2p) production organization that operates within the framework of an Open Value Network (OVN), an emergent accounting system used for open collaboration and open innovation projects. As such, anyone in the world can set up projects and contribute to projects, respecting Sensorica’s rules of engagement. Projects must fit within Sensorica’s mission and vision, must do no harm to affiliates, to the network/community as a whole, or to the Sensorica brand. Otherwise, projects can be shot down by network affiliates.

Creating a project with SENSORICA doesn’t guarantee it will magically gain traction and acceptance by the larger community. It will need to be nurtured from the time it is proposed until it is finished, which means you will have to take lead. To reward those who contribute by stepping in and getting things done, we govern from the perspective of a “doacracy” (rule by doers).

Within the OVN economic model, a project can best be described as an open and collaborative enterprise.

The processes and methodologies used to produce work within SENSORICA and other OVNs draw heavily from the collective efforts of open-source software and open-access communities all over the world. This means SENSORICA adheres to many of the principles put forth by these communities, namely openness, fairness, and transparency.

Check out our project wiki to find out more.

More about how the the SENSORICA OVN is governed, check here. 

If you need help understanding OVN, p2p production, or anything related to SENSORICA, feel free to engage with us in the main communication channel.

Table of contents

Document Summary Table

Operating procedure for open projects

Terminating a project



Document Summary Table

Purpose

In this procedure, you will learn how to kickstart a project with Sensorica. Kickstarting a project means

Scope

This document outlines…...and is to be used for…..

Responsibility

This document is applicable to…...

References

List any procedures or outside references that help guide or link to this document….

Resources/Materials

List any materials/resources needed to complete this procedure……

How to realize the market value of your innovation By Steve Bosserman

Guide to Innovation Portfolios By Steve Bosserman

Key terms and Abbreviations

OVN, p2p, stigmergy,

Authors

Tiberius Brastaviceanu, Drew Sowersby

Operating procedure for open projects

Step

Instructions

1

Soundboarding your project idea

Propose a rationale for kickstarting your project by completing an informal preliminary exploration. Explore/test the project idea you wish to pursue. Talk about it on social media (e.g., G+ or Facebook) or directly with SENSORICA affiliates.

If successful, proceed to the next step.

2

Creating an official project

Choose the type of project you want to do and create it within Sensorica’s virtual environment using these instructions.

3

Build capacity and a communication strategy

Once you officially log your project, start building capacity to execute on the project. This can be accomplished by developing a robust communication strategy, and may involve erecting physical and virtual communication spaces. Establish appropriate communication channels, coordination tools, etc., such that participants feel comfortable interacting with each other as the project moves forward..

4

Establish a project structure

Set up a working structure for the project. This will include, at minimum, the following:

  • Governance: describes rules of conduct and conflict management, including benefits redistribution rules. Use template for service-based projects, other type of projects
  • Roadmap: describes important milestones and how they will be reached, see planning  use TEMPLATE
  • Custodian agreement: an agreement signed by the Custodian to administer the funds use TEMPLATE

5

Create a core team

Once communication channels and the project structure have been established, develop a core team to help manage ongoing activities related to the project.

Map interest

From what you know, try to build a map of individuals and organizations that would be interested in your project-idea. You’ll use it in conjunction with a communication strategy to get more structured feedback.

5

cont.

Outreach for the initial idea

  • Propose the project to network affiliates and on social media to see if there is enough initial interest and support.
  • Try to see if there is synergy between this project and other projects, and align the project to increase this synergy.
  • If positive feedback is low, you might want to seed the project, i.e. to develop it a bit more, to create more interest and some action around it, to bring it to a point where people can understand more about it.
  • During this phase, start thinking about incentives and a Path to market (see example).
  • If no interest can be developed the project is probably not worth much, or it is outside of the scope of the community, or people don't have time for it (in that case do more external project outreach), or it is not properly communicated, or the incentives are not appealing/transparent, etc. You decide if you want to keep it or abandon it.

If the project picks up you put in place more structure and processes.

See Outreach - best practice and resources

6

Establish an incentive structure

Motivation is internally driven, it comes from people’s values and intrinsic interests. Incentives are external mechanisms, based on some form of compensation that comes out of the collaborative activity. There can be financial incentives, learning opportunities, networking opportunities, reputation, visibility and recognition, etc.

Engage the core group in this activity!

Market study

The market assessment impacts incentives. If there is a need for the project’s deliverables capturing mechanisms can be put in place to generate rewards for participants, including financial rewards.  

7

Expand the team

This is part of the more generic resource acquisition. The goal is to attract talent to the project as well as tangible resources such as physical spaces, equipment, tools, materials, money, designs and prototypes, etc.  

Outreach is about letting people know that the project exists, how they can get involved and what’s in it for them. See Outreach - best practice and resources

Onboarding is about helping newcomers integrate the project: understand the project, find tasks, get accustomed with the culture of work, etc.

Engagement is about maximizing the time every participant spends on the project.

Information mining

Extensive mapping existing technology and field of expertise

In order to conduct an effective outreach campaign the project needs to develop the technical language to speak about the project, and to identify the field of expertise needed. As the core group engages in information mining it develops the language and a narrative that can be used effectively in external communication.  

Information mapping is aosl a very important step in open source projects, one that will save you a lot of resources down the line, and a lot of time. To deduce development time and costs, the group needs to integrate as much as possible open source innovation. Map open source communities and their offers.

The project also needs tools, equipment, materials, spaces, money and other types of tangible resources. The group must signal its needs and tell people how they can contribute.

A crowdfunding campaign is one form of outreach that could fit here, but we need to think larger than that, to attract contributors that can also provide spaces, equipment and tools, etc.

8

Plan out the activities required to complete the project

A methodology for open projects can be formalized using Workflow recipes in the NRP-VAS system. For R&D projects that have as a goal to bring a product-idea on the market, the methodology is composed of a couple of interrelated recipes, see more on the wiki. A concrete example would be the Conditions part of the methodology, which is a pattern of activities (a recipe, a script) designed to put in place the conditions for the project to develop. See an example of Conditions recipe. See the wiki to learn how to create or modify methodologies, or how to use one for your new project.

Other processes will follow to insure the development of the project, see more on SENSORICA’s use of Workflow recipes.

9

Document the project as progress is made

In order to insure speed of innovation in an open environment we need to work stigmergetically. Concretely, and generally speaking you need to leave traces of your work and instructions for others to know how to build on it.

All projects have a main doc, which links to all the documentation created for it. Structure it well. The main function of this doc is orientation.

All projects have a main website page, which should be built as the main entry point for the project.

R&D projects have working docs, for all the major components of the project. Here’s a Working doc TEMPLATE that you can copy and use.

Terminating a project

Harmful projects can be terminated by the community. See how.