Improving tool set for committee

Hey guys, after talking to @Lauren yesterday I compiled the list of thoughts that will make our life easier. Keen to see what you think

So far I see some issues with the way we currently work

  • Hard to see what tasks needs to be done
  • Not clear what people are working on
  • Easy to lose tasks
  • Hard to prioritise work
  • Zero community engagement


Since last Railscamp we’ve introduced Trello as a board to manage tasks. In my opinion we’ve failed to use it effectively.

We’ve used Trello a lot in the forum team and docs team. While it worked well in the teams, I’ve decided to close both of them, because of extra overhead in management.

Tools we use

If we’ll get the list of tools we use today in committee work, we’ll get:

  • Slack #committee
  • github
  • Google Docs
  • Docs github
  • RubyDU forum
  • RubyAU trello board
  • Docs trello board
  • Website trello board

Funny enough the last 5 where added in the last 6 months.

Something that I’ve realised recently is that our attention is split across all of them and as a result everybody loses. There is no visibility and it’s hard to engage somebody else.

I thinking by cutting that list of tools everybody will win:

  • fewer places for committee to track
  • easier to engage community
  • greater visibility of work

New plan

The goal is to focus on few tools only.

I suggest the have 2 primary tools: RubyDU forum and github

The forum is great for knowledge base and discussions. I don’t know anything which could fit better than the forum for our needs.

Its wiki functionality is much easier and faster to collaborate than on github. You want to keep everything together guides, documentation, announcements and discussions, where everybody can contribute.

I’ve already decided to merge Docs to RubyDU because it’s too much effort to collaborate on documentation and guides. Guides has been on github for multiple years and only couple of people contributed so far. That’s the main reason why it’s very outdated and incomplete. Everybody (committee, event organisers and rest of community) should have contributed to them. Have you?

Once docs and guides are on the forum it should lower the barrier to contribute. github github issues will become the single place to keep all tasks for the whole RubyAU. There are github project boards which are almost the same as Trello.

Key point here that all RubyAU tasks will be here. As we know we don’t have too many of them to have an issue with managing them. But having everything in one place creates great visibility and ease of collaboration.

other tools
We will still use other tools, but it’s important to understand that they are more exception than the rule. Those tools are: Slack #committee channel, Google Docs and others.


Just imagine as a community or a committee member, there are only 2 places you need to know to be engaged with community. It is simpler than ever:

  • All discussions, announcements, guides, articles and everything else: use forum
  • If you have a task that needs to be tracked: use github issues
  • That’s it

There is no difference who you are: normal member or committee member. We are all the same, people who want to help the community

Tell me I’m wrong. :slight_smile:

Thanks Anton for the write up! I am not sure I’m sold on moving away from Trello but honestly part of this is not being as familiar with discourse or with using GitHub as a task management tool. Also as discussed Slack does have it’s place for quick casual communication, especially around smaller tasks or questions which maybe aren’t worth having a whole forum post about and which don’t fit in with a discussion that’s already happening. I’m keen to hear from the rest of the committee about what they think would be best.

As an example ruby meetups use github as a task management tool (if you can call it that). I like how Melbourne meetup is managed. Have a look how they use milestones and labels. They don’t use project boards thought, but it’s easy to trial them yourself.

I’m not saying we need to remove Slack, it’s more give it smaller priority over other tools. Trello is currently suffering from that as well.