We're excited to announce the release of a new collection of documents that show how our team works.
In putting this collection together, we wanted to go beyond a style guide (also important, and we're working on that, too) to try to explain as much as possible about the process and values that inform our work: What makes our team unique, how we recruit and hire new team members, our internal process, and how outside members or clients interface with our process.
Opening up our process has a number of benefits for us as a team and, we hope, for others, as well.
Codifying existing processes in one place makes them easier to reference and helps keep the team on the same page. It allows new hires to get up to speed faster and gives prospective employees insight into how we work, our mission and values, and whether working with us would be a good fit.
It also helps external partners, like INN members and our consulting clients, learn how to work with us most effectively.
Above all, we hope that collecting this information in one place will be useful to other organizations who are building and managing similar teams.
This is especially important for us because INN's mission includes a strong educational component and we want to do everything we can to help our members make smart technology decisions.
By showing not only our process, mission and values, but also expanding the scope of this collection to include things like job descriptions, how we run meetings and the tools we use to work effectively as a remote team, we are attempting to create a sort of "missing manual" for running a news apps and technology team.
We hope, over time, to make this manual even more comprehensive as we refine our process and our thinking. And we hope that providing this model will make it a little easier on organizations and managers traveling down this road in the future.
We're grateful to the teams that have come before us who have written and released documentation that served as a source of inspiration for various parts of our team docs, particularly:
- ProPublica's News App and Data Style Guides
- The NPR Visuals Team's app template, coding best practices and manifesto
- Guides and process docs from The Chicago Tribune's News Apps Team
- MinnPost's style guide
This is a work in progress and we plan on updating frequently so we'd really value your feedback and contributions. Feel free to contribute to the project on GitHub or send us suggestions to help us improve our existing docs (or to propose new sections you'd like to see us add).