We want all of our policies to be living documents which can improve and change as we learn and grow as a company. This is how we'll propose and make changes to our policies.
We’re using several different tools and platforms to collect feedback and discuss the handbook. Here we'll codify the way we’re using them now, and then adapt as we find new ways to use them:
The handbook is hosted on Gitbook, and synced with Github as well. This is an important home for the project, and we want to encourage and reward participation. We will respond to issues and comments here and use the edits in pull requests when they’re appropriate. Rahul/Pratul will do this regularly, and anyone else is free to respond when they're interested. This will help more people feel bought into the handbook and will help us gather more opinions on our policies.
However, our internal processing does not need to happen on Gitbook. Anyone should feel free to post their thoughts on Gitbook, but there are a lot of sensitive topics that we may want to discuss internally. When we make changes, they should be merged on Gitbook and we should explain our rationale there, but we don’t need to rehash the whole conversation.
A lot of folks have commented on the handbook outside of Gitbook, especially on Twitter. The best thing for us to do is acknowledge their input and make sure it gets recorded in one of our other channels (especially Gitbook) so that we don’t lose it. As individuals, anyone should feel free to talk about their opinions about feedback, but as Obvious we should thank people for their input without being defensive.
This channel is a good place for us to comment on policy changes asynchronously. Any questions, concerns, ideas, or discussion about our handbook can go here. If a conversation seems particularly interesting, we'll document it in Google docs or in a Github issue for future reference.
Rahul has blocked out time to look through and respond to issues, create proposals based on feedback, schedule time to talk about changes as a team, and merge in changes that are ready. Regular work will make sure that issues don’t stagnate, and any team member is welcome to create proposals or contribute to research on policies that they’re interested in.
During our monthly All Hands, Rahul will summarize open issues and proposals.
Any substantive change to the handbook should be laid out in a proposal that the team can comment on and discuss. Proposals should lay out the details of the change and the reasons for making them.
Every proposal should have an open meeting for feedback from the team. Everyone is invited to all of these discussions, though attendance is not required. Participation in these conversations is really important because this is the best place for us to get a sense of how different team members relate to or will be impacted by a certain policy.
Team members can also talk to their manager or another employee about concerns they have with a given change or policy privately, as well as ask that the manager bring up the issue if they’re not comfortable doing it themselves.
Team members can comment on the proposal document before or after the meeting, in the meeting directly, or they can privately ask their manager or another employee to bring up their comments anonymously.
There should always be notes from these meetings, which should live at the bottom of the proposal document.
After changes have been proposed, discussed, and Rahul decides they are ready to be merged into the handbook, Rahul will do the merge on Gitbook, update the card on Trello, post about it in Slack, and send an email. For major changes, he or another team member may also write a blog post about the change and the factors that went into making it. Blog posts should (with their permission) acknowledge all of the community members that participated in the discussion and helped us make the change.