Intro to the Open Leadership Series (Series README)

This Open Leadership Training Series is designed to teach you best practices in “working open” – a way of working in which:

  • a community of people collaborate to make or build something amazing,
  • and any product or knowledge that the community of collaborators creates is shared widely and freely with the public on the world wide web.

This training is designed for those starting up or currently leading open projects– project leads, partners, or small groups of co-leaders responsible for project success and growth.

This training was developed by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation, with help from members of the broader Mozilla Community. You may recognize the name Mozilla– we’re a group of people, organized as a non-profit, public charity– that makes the Firefox web browser and champions a free and open web for all. Mozilla’s Firefox is an open source project, which means the source code is freely, publicly available and anyone who would like to can help develop the project. To create this training, we drew on our many years of experience leading open projects.

The training consists of nine sections, each containing a set of modules on a topic related to working open. In each module, you’ll learn by reading, watching short videos created by Mozilla staff and community members, and completing hands-on assignments. The assignments build on each other, so this training works best if you do the modules in order. The nine sections are:

  1. Introduction to Open Leadership
  2. Opening Your Project
  3. Building Communities of Contributors
  4. Get Your Project Online – Getting Started with GitHub
  5. GitHub for Collaboration
  6. Open Communications
  7. Running Awesome Community Events
  8. Open Project Maintenance
  9. Open Leadership Outro and Next Steps

Before you start the training series, you must have:

  1. a project, or a vision or idea of something you want to create,
  2. an audience or community in mind; the group of people who will work together to build this project
  3. access to the world wide web

Having a project in mind or underway is key, because you’ll work through the assignments in each module using your own content, knowledge, and ideas, related to your project. This is a one-size-fits-all resource– it doesn’t matter if your project aims to teach kids to code in Cleveland or build mobile apps with taxi drivers in Bangladesh. And it’s okay if your project is just getting up and running, or if you haven’t even started yet. This training is also useful if you have an open project that’s gotten derailed or is struggling to gain momentum or attract contributors. If you don’t have a community of contributors (those people eager to pitch in and help) or if you only have a handful of contributors, don’t worry! The “Building Communities of Contributors” section of this training is all about helping you find, connect with, and keep contributors on your project.

Completion of the assignments in this series is very important! The work in each assignment represents real, significant work on your project, from project planning to developing good workflows to convening events and communicating effectively with contributors. It’s important to do the modules in order, because the assignments build on each other– for example, you’ll want to complete the module on open communications before you jump into a module about running an event, because the open communications module will help you set up the tools and infrastructure to get the word out about your event. We’ve provided a time estimate of how long it should take to complete each module, including assignments. This training series is designed to grow along with your project– from project set-up through maintenance. While you might complete the reading/learning part of this training over the course of a few days, some of the assignments– such as convening a community event– may take much longer to complete.

Upon completion of this training series, you’ll have the basic knowledge and initial technical skills to lead your own open project, or to get an existing open project back on track by improving your open practice. If all this sounds good to you, and you’re ready with your project or project idea, let’s jump in and start with the first section, Intro to Open Leadership.

next: Intro to Open Leadership  

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