Organisational structure


#1

Um. I think we need to have a re-think about the organisational structure of the Hackspace.

This is not a criticism of anyone currently, or formerly, in charge of running the hackspace.

Currently we don’t really have a structure, and I think the organisation is weaker because of this.

A mixture of the bystander effect, and nobody having specific roles means that nobody is taking responsibility for anything, and nobody knows who is in charge of anything. In fact, nobody is currently in charge of anything.

Say, for example, that I fancied putting on a ‘painting’ workshop. At the moment I have no idea who I’d talk to about that. Would I have to tell a board member? Would I just announce it? I have no idea. I don’t even know who the board members are.

If we had an “events manager” who was the central point of contact, it would be much easier to organise events. They wouldn’t have to actively do everything - they could always form an ‘events team’, or delegate to someone else, but they’d be a central point of contact for all events-related things.

Also, I’m sure that there are numerous people who’d be up for organising, say, trips to other hackspaces or maker-faires, but because they feel they don’t have the responsibility they don’t do it. Again, this wouldn’t stop other people organising events - it would just mean that there was a definite person who co-ordinated everything events-wise.

Likewise for website/social media. I spotted a mistake on the website and didn’t know who to contact about it. I asked on Telegram, and the answer was pretty much “various people - ish”. If we had a web/social media person, I’d know immediately who to contact. Again they wouldn’t have to do everything themselves - they could have a team of people to actually do twitter/facebook/website/whatever. I’m sure that there are people who’d be up for writing content or running the facebook page, but currently who do they get in contact about it? I have no idea, and I’m sure other members are the same.

Also, a central web contact would mean someone could just send news etc. to the web/media person and know that it would get put out through all channels.

Another thing would be PR. Currently, there is no reason why anyone would contact, say, newspapers or websites with anything the hackspace does. But if we had a PR manager, who didn’t mind doing this from time to time (or asking other people to do it), it would benefit the hackspace no end.

This is just a bit of a brain-dump on my part.

Obviously this would need proper thought about what roles were needed and how it should all work. But I know that other organisations I’m involved with are either small enough that one or two people can be point-of-contact for everything, or they have a proper organisational structure in place. We as a hackspace used to be the former - I think we need to move into being the latter.

:slight_smile:

  • Paul

#2

Three months ago we asked for people to do exactly what you’ve just asked. This was mentioned via the the mailing list, on the telegram chat, via Twitter and Facebook etc.

The post is here: https://hacman.org.uk/we-need-your-help/

tamarisk

p: 07949 151 100
e: tamarisk@tamarisk.it
t: @notquitehere


#3

I largely agree with this, though I’d disagree with having a single point
of contact for each role. This was one of the motivations behind the
’teams’ system I suggested earlier this year (and apparently never posted
to the list, sorry!) Will look it out shortly and post it to this thread.

-Bob


#4

Here are my thoughts on teams pasted across from telegram:

So people know: We are trying to make more official the practice of splitting some of the space-volunteering things people do into volunteering teams instead of one big “Stuff to do” pot. This is how we’ve generally run the laser and 3d printer maintenance for a while now, but we want to expand it out into other subgroups.

I’ve started the process by putting together a list of all the stuff that has been done / is currently being done / needs to be done to try and make the space accessible for everyone, Team Accessibility

If anyone wants to join this team or has ideas, theres a trello board at https://trello.com/b/TmTLkOKC/team-accessibility with the current task list. Any ideas people have for improving accessability should be added to the “Incoming” column

I’ll be putting this out to the mailing list and we’ll probably do a blog post once we have more teams sorted, but i figured in here is a good start for the soft-launch

We need different names for the teams that do physical infrastructure (walls, power etc) and technical infrastructure (access system, beacons, networking etc)

Tbh I think largely teams should be self organising and not need board intervention

I’m leaning towards team systems for the electronic stuff and Infrastructure for the walls, power etc

I sort of want to start Team Meta to organised the teams system

CNC, Laser, Disappointment, Systems, Infrastructure, Access, Membership, Tools, Board, Metal, Wood, Consumables, Meta

Is my current list

Team Disappointment looks after the 3d printers :stuck_out_tongue:


#5

I’d add the Craft Crew to that list, as well as the already-formed
Documentation Group. It might also be worth thinking about an electronics
group to manage the bench and spare parts, as there may be a time when
nobody on the consumables team is knowledgeable about electronics and
what’s needed etc.


#6

Regarding the teams business, is this documented anywhere with who is on what team and what each team does? I think it would also be good to document how to go about organising a new team, even if it is just “shout on telegram and the forum”.

The biggest issue we have is just visibility of these things, as was pointed out in the original post; we do have some of the structures needed but people just don’t know about them, and it can seem hard to get the information needed.


#7

It hasn’t got past the suggestion stage yet.

tamarisk

p: 07949 151 100
e: tamarisk@tamarisk.it
t: @notquitehere


#8

is there any update on this? maybe the new year can inspire us to move things forward? happy to help where I can


#9

Hi Rach,

We’re still plodding on with this, though we’re still in the fomalising of the teams stage at this point.

Are there any teams or areas that you have particular interest in? if so i can make sure that we keep you apprised as soon as we have more information :slight_smile:

cheers
Kat


#10

Thanks Kat,
as I’ve mentioned to people before, I’d be happy to help with promotion and
PR but I think as Paul said above, there needs to be something more
organised and transparent in place before I’d feel able to do so. I feel
like there’s a bit of a communication disconnect at the moment which I’ve
made suggestions about but not gone anywhere.

Have also said I’d be happy to help with documentation and getting the wiki
up to date, if there’s anything I can do without knowing the details myself.