Element Descriptor

Spontaneity requires loads of planning. At any given time you need to know what jobs and roles folks can take on, with each job listed with a guesstimate of how long it will take, what skills and levels are required. Not having this means you are going to lose volunteers, who are put off by chaos, or who are afraid of being emotionally blackmailed into more and more work…

Level descriptors

You can maintain a basic list with minimal details around a relatively straightforward project that has a beginning, middle, end and discrete tasks, with a little helpYou can maintain a comprehensive list of jobs and roles, as detailed as required for a complex project or set of simple projects, showing how the pieces fit, and allowing folks to see how they would develop their skillsYou can maintain a comprehensive list of jobs and roles for a small number of complex projects or a large number of simple projects, updating and amending it in real time, and dealing with mistakes complaints, inaccuracies immediatelyYou keep a funny, inviting list of jobs and roles for a large number of ferociously complex projects updated, so that anyone with any amount of time, skill, motivation can dip in or dive in to their heart’s content. Shit just gets DONE, in a collective, distributed and accountable way. Our Lords and Masters want to kill you.

Element Overview Essay

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The reasons this is done badly: well, apologies for being condescending, but it’s difficult to list jobs that you want done because you often don’t know what the jobs you want doing. And let’s be honest, social movement  organisations aren’t particularly good at project management. And so this element really, really does combine with Project Management. 

The consequences of not having a list of jobs and tasks that people can take on is that people don’t step forward because they don’t know what’s on offer. And you spend a long time rummaging around, trying to find work for people to do which is demoralising for you and makes you look in your own eyes as well as other people’s not particularly organised. 

So, the solution is quite simple. And I can’t believe I’m having to say this to myself. You set up a spreadsheet, and you have the different kinds of jobs. And you make sure that you keep that spreadsheet updated and it’s public. And you have a disclaimer that says, “always contact us before taking on a job because someone else may have done it. And we forgot to update the spreadsheet. I believe we haven’t but you know, always contact us first.” 

You’ll get better at this and make sure that other people in the cor group can become better at it too. And this absolutely ties to enabling legitimate peripheral participation. If you don’t have a regularly updated jobs list on your website, you are not enabling legitimate peripheral participation.

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