Sameer, thanks for this! Please can I repost this on the youtube channel,
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfsR9AEb7HuPRAc14jfiI6g, with a CC-BY
license ? :)

Here's an auto transcription:

On 24 June 2016 at 18:20, Sameer Verma <sve...@sfsu.edu> wrote:

3) There are several confounding variables at play. For example, Sugar is a
> FOSS project. Sugarlabs is an agency established to
> foster/facilitate/support Sugar, the project. However, the two are not the
> same. So, in our effort to establish a strategic plan, the unit of analysis
> should be clear. For me, as a SLOB member, the unit of analysis is
> Sugarlabs, the agency. Everything I look at, is through that lens,
> including Sugar, OLPC, Sugarizer, etc.
> I've put together a screencast describing how all these things are
> related. I hope this will bring some clarity.
> https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/images/1/18/Sugarlabs-strategy-overview.webm

In the period 0m-7m, you say that that there should be 2 units of analysis,
for Sugar Labs and for Sugar, and therefore 2 separate sets
of Vision/Mission/Goals/etc, but these should be aligned. Is this correct?

Then 8m-18m, you describe a 7 phase model of a firm:

1. Inbound logistics (capital goods, labour)

2. Operations (production, combination of capital goods and labour to
produce commodities; Sugar Labs )

3. Outbound Logistics (distribution, shipping, go to market; eg each sugar
release being minted, and then a distro packaging it, or OLPC taking a
sugar release and combining it with some distro)

4. Marketing and Sales (managing perceptions, which for a software freedom
project is often not sales as in exchange of commodities for money, but
instead the success of propaganda at converting neutral people to advocates
who agree with the ideology)

5. Service (Consulting, eg the process of working with schools to realise
the value created in earlier stages which may be obvious to us but not to

You then group phases 1-3 as 'supply side' and 4-5 as 'demand side,' and
note that traditionally OLPC has taken care of the demand side while Sugar
Labs has taken care of the supply side; and note that such partitioning of
supply/demand often creates conflict in free software projects which have
more appreciation for the left side than for the right side; and note that
the demand side needs attention as it increases the value of the software

This all seems sage to me :) Did I miss any essential point?

Then 18m-31m you describe a 5 phase model of strategy:

1. Vision (long term) 'dream statement' of where we dream to be in a few
years - the world we hope to arrive into, the big picture we are moving

2. Mission (long term) what are we, what do we do, why do we do it - this
should hold good for the same amount of time as the Vision; what exists
today, that powers us to move towards the Vision

3. Goals (mid term) expected outcomes that are not measurable, eg "Increase
adoption of Sugar by non-English-native-speaking children". These typically
arise from a SWOT analysis.

4. Objectives (mid term) specific targets that are measurable, eg "Increase
8 translation locales from 80% coverage to 100% coverage before 2017/1/1"

5. Tasks (short term) actual activities that are assigned to people to get
done, eg "Chris Leonard to organize volunteers to meet the translation

You noted that typically the common focus of activity of free software
projects is at the 4-5 level, with bon mots like "release early, release
often," while 1-2-3 change slowly and typically get much less attention
from free software project contributors, and the Sugar project isn't alone
in this.

Again, I concur. Something I found missing from your presentation was a
guide to how long (ie, in word count) these statements should be. What do
you think?

You also noted that while there is no general recommendation for what
duration to consider long, mid or short term - as this is relative to each
given project - and the core idea is that the earlier phases change less
often than the latter ones - you give some recommended durations for the
lifespan of these statements for the Sugar Project.

I therefore propose the following concrete dates for these durations, that
are within your recommended durations:

1. Vision (now - 2020/1/1)

2. Mission (now - 2020/1/1)

3. Goals (now - 2018/1/1)

4. Objectives (now - 2018/1/1)

5. Tasks (now - 2017/1/1)

You also note that this phase strategy is a framework for situating the
SWOT analysis that Sean called for, that is, it is a method for defining
Objectives. You point to the 2x2 matrix graphic on
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis and note that
Strengths/Weaknesses are internal to the project - aspects that we control
- while Opportunities/Threats are external, beyond our control; and these
can be combined to generate 4 categories of objectives:

1. S + O = things to pursue

2. W + O = things to convert

3. S + T = things to reduce

4. W + T = things to defend

However, since this is phase 4 of 5, and we haven't finished defining the
earlier stages, I propose to postpone a SWOT analysis until those stages
are wrapped up.

Finally 31m-33m you conclude that the approach to drafting a vision
statement with wide consensus is not productive when done via email or an
IRC board meeting, and you want SLOB and the community to understand there
is a specific process you have in mind for developing these productively,
and to be patient as this process can take time to wrap up; and you offer
to do some other screencasts to present further details of that specific

This is awesome! I'm looking forward to the next screencast so we can learn
how to participate in defining the vision productively :)

IAEP -- It's An Education Project (not a laptop project!)

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