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Message and Action Plan from CCG Chairs

From: Kim Hamilton <kimdhamilton@gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 4 May 2019 11:15:42 -0700
Message-ID: <CAFmmOze9oKK2Ei=3YROgMSgLa4mQKq_2GkP1XmpXPw5Ed-W2vw@mail.gmail.com>
To: "W3C Credentials CG (Public List)" <public-credentials@w3.org>, "W3C Digital Verification CG (Public List)" <public-digital-verification@w3.org>
Cc: Christopher Allen <ChristopherA@lifewithalacrity.com>, Joe Andrieu <joe@legreq.com>
*tl;dr Action plan from the CCG chairs on process and roadmap visibility,
improving inclusivity, and ensuring a positive work environment*

Dear CCG Community,

Recent discussions have highlighted ways in which we can improve our

Much of this is informed by the 2018 CCG End Of Year Survey. We are very
grateful to Heather Vescent and Karn Verma for leading this effort, and to
all community members for providing this feedback. This pointed out some
important opportunities for growth and improvement.

Another impetus is unconstructive communication we’ve observed in github
discussions and community calls.

Below we outline our specific plans to address some of these issues. Note
that many of these will require community-wide effort. We need your help
and support.
Concern that process and roadmap is unclear

We hear you, and the chairs are working on these highest priority. We think
this is the root cause of some other issues discussed below.

First, the chairs are wrapping up the CCG work item process for review
within the next few weeks. We want to make sure that the process is clear,
accessible, and used consistently throughout the community.

Second, we will make sure the broad strokes of the roadmap are communicated
more clearly going forward. We want to ensure that the roadmap is community
driven -- not just selected by a few. At any time, if your interests are
not reflected, please propose a work item (again, we are making sure this
is clearer in the coming weeks). If you are not feeling sufficiently
supported, please reach out to the chairs, and we will help.

Perception of insularity/need for more knowledge transfer opportunities

We understand and take seriously the feedback that it is hard to get
involved with CCG work. We feel clarifying the work item process and
roadmap will help address some aspects, but more is needed. We need the
entire community to help with the following:

- More mentorship/knowledge transfer opportunities (e.g. working groups
could make time to pair with newbies)

- Work item groups to help define and advertise opportunities for help

- Help us raise awareness of existing opportunities for help the chairs
have called out

- Your constructive proposals for additional improvements, whether that’s
work items, dedicated times in meetings, etc. We want to hear from you
Bridging to non-technical contributions

We are committed to improving opportunities for contributions of a
non-technical nature. We realize that broader perspectives are critical to
building these standards correctly. We need your help. Please propose
concrete, constructive suggestions, whether that's in the form of work
items, or simply ongoing time in a meeting to discuss. The chairs commit to
supporting these efforts and will help obtain the help you need to be

Please keep in mind that inevitably some conversations and efforts have
aspects that are highly technical in nature. The chairs and working groups
need to factor in the urgency of such efforts. That said, we are committed
to building better bridges, and we need your input to make this possible.
Constructive collaboration

A specific discussion that has taken a negative turn is that of what
constitutes a sufficiently decentralized DID method -- both on calls and in
github issues. That is just one example of topics that seem to be taking an
increasingly destructive turm.

We believe at least some of this is caused by the concerns about process
(which we plan to address, as described above). Speaking specifically about
the decentralization discussion, the chairs and DID spec editors are aware
of this problem, and have been already been driving towards a proposal to
reach consensus. To that end, Joe Andrieu initiated some discussions at IIW
to help lead to a solution, the DID spec group will continue to discuss on
Thursday calls before submitting a proposal for review by the broader

But the broader issue is the need to communicate effectively and
constructively. Beyond possible confusion about process, several additional
factors are likely at play. As we ready the DID spec and relevant docs for
WG review, people may be stressed to get work done, and people are very
passionate about their perspectives (they've invested significant time to
this important work). We appreciate this passion; our work depends on it,
and it makes us successful as a group.

We think the above efforts are part of the solution, but we have also been
lax on enforcing a code of conduct. We cannot tolerate attacks on other
members or other behaviors that compromise the efforts of the group, such
as attempting to dominate the discussion, questioning the integrity of
other members without basis, and detracting from productive conversation
with passive-aggressive background commentary. Such actions violate the W3C
Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct and will no longer be tolerated.

If you have concerns about a process or a person, it is important to keep
your objective in mind and not engage in attacks on CCG calls, mailing
lists, or github issues. Please discuss your concerns with the
individual(s) first; checking your frustration and working from the
assumption that all of us are working with good intent toward shared
goals.. If you’ve discussed your concerns and are not comfortable with the
response or resolution, we ask that you tell the chairs immediately so that
we can investigate and resolve. Please be specific; it is hard for us to
take action if the first we hear about a concern is in the context of a
public attack without context.

To prevent destructive behaviors from harming the efforts (and draining the
energy) of the group, the chairs look to you to help ensure a positive work
environment. We will be more proactive in maintaining a healthy,
professional work environment and we are asking for your active support to
shape the conversations that drive our work forward.
Positive Work Environment

The chairs would like to bring renewed focus on the W3C Code of Conduct,
with a goal of ensuring a positive work environment. Please refer to the
W3C Code of Conduct (https://www.w3.org/Consortium/cepc/).

The W3C Positive Work Environment CG (https://www.w3.org/community/pwe/) is
working on a set of more comprehensive guidance. We are committed to
upholding their guidance when that is complete. Until then, here are some
useful practices enabling healthy collaboration with your peers.



   All participants should strive to treat each other with dignity and
   respect. Diverse perspectives are critical to our success

   When listening to input and comments of others, start by assuming the
   most benign interpretation and the best intention of the speaker. If
   comment is phrased in a way that might be misinterpreted, ask for
   clarification of the statement or intent. If the comment is discomforting
   (or hostile), please reach out to the chairs.

   Respect the privacy of others



   Be open to new ideas and learning from others

   In moments of strong disagreement, we ask participants to “agree to
   disagree,” stay focused on the goals of the session or discussion and move
   on to address shared needs and shared opportunities.



   Follow the “Rule of 1” and the “Rule of n”: When you speak, make 1 point
   and then let others speak, and when in a group of “n” people, speak “1/nth”
   of the time.

Attempt to resolve issues directly with your colleagues, but please
escalate to the chairs if you cannot resolve or feel you are being harassed.
Thank you and next steps

We are grateful that you’ve shared your honest feedback and are committed
to making the changes we need to make this a more collaborative, welcoming
group. To summarize the comments above, we plan to:


   Finalize work items process and review with CCG

      Owner: Chairs

      Goal: completion early June

   Better awareness of roadmap

      Owner: Chairs

      Goal: completion early June

   Suggestions for broader collaboration (beyond above)

      Volunteer(s) needed!

   Suggestions for bridging to non-technical audiences

      Volunteer(s) needed!

   Resolution for decentralization discussion

      Owner: Chairs, DID spec editors

   Positive work environment discussion

      Owner: Chairs and all

      Goal: Review during next CCG call

Lastly, please keep in mind that your chairs are doing the best they can.
We are honored and humbled to have been selected by you to lead this group
and its important efforts. We have our limitations and need your help to
ensure this large/prolific community remains successful.

If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read this email.
Thank you for your contributions to date. And thank you for your ongoing
efforts to advance the work of the Credentials Community Group.

— W3C-CCG Co-Chairs: Christopher Allen, Kim Hamilton Duffy & Joe Andrieu
Received on Saturday, 4 May 2019 18:16:22 UTC

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