IAM/CoSS Work Week - JAN 2017

Last week people from various Mozilla teams got together in Berlin for a work week on Identity and Access Management (IAM) as well as Community Support Software (CoSS).


Following up on work done throughout 2016, we

  • updated project visions,
  • populated backlogs,
  • resolved technical integration questions,
  • created roadmaps,
  • and defined integration milestones.

Lastly, we came out of the week with broad and deep shared understanding on these two projects and their envisioned impact on Mozilla’s mission.

Day 1

As people had to travel from many places in Europe and Northern America to the work week we used day one to get to know each other, set expectations and introduce project metaphors.

IAM Metaphor

Access management is strongly related to “levels of trust” of people involved in an initiative. In the past, this was usually modeled by relying on the “onion model” of Mozilla Communities. Moving forward, we believe that trust is better modeled using a Community Garden metaphor.

Some of the base principles driving this metaphor are:

  • Each contributor is a plant in the community garden
  • Mozilla is the environment providing resources that make plants grow (water, soil, rain)
  • The gardeners are the onboarding program members
  • Each group has a different level of maturity, like the plants
  • Levels of trust are represented by the depth of roots

CoSS Metaphor

Diving into Community Support Software, a Utilities metaphor closely resembles our project goals. Right now various Community Support websites are like cabins in the woods, from the outside they all look a bit different. But at the core, they have a lot of similar needs. Taking a holistic approach to these products will allow us to develop robust technologies to service all. So instead of us living like we are all cabins in the woods. We will set up “public utilities” (sewage pipes, power, heating) that can serve the community. And we’ll make sure all the utilities (identity, event management, content management, etc) can work together, can scale, and support openness.

Participants evaluated the Day 1 Return-On-Time-Invested (ROTI) at 4.7 (on a scale of 1 to 5).

Day 2

During the second day we split in two streams

  1. Identity & Access
  2. Community Software

The Identity & Access stream created a very rough story map for the work to be done during the coming months. The Community Software stream identified, refined, and shaped a shared language among program managers, product managers and software engineers.

Together we agreed on various communication and collaboration processes and expressed our intent to run the projects in a Scrum-like development approach, allowing us to inspect and adapt as we go. This set us up to co-create a strategic vision for the two projects.

IAM Vision

Mozilla’s Identity and Access Management (IAM) project builds a secure, easy to manage, and appropriate authentication and identification service for all of Mozilla and its community, which enables seamless communication & collaboration between staff and volunteers.

It is an integral element of the Community Support Software project and an essential building block to Mozilla’s goal of making radical participation a strategic advantage.

This will be achieved by

  • providing an easy, safe, and consistent user experience
  • allowing for services to be expanded and focused based on level of trust or role
  • using the same IAM platform and tools
  • establishing organization-wide data consistency
  • reducing IAM management tasks

In 2017 IAM will expand the unified sign-up/login experience to all users and provide a common platform linking identity & access management for employees and volunteers.

CoSS Vision

The Community Support Software, CoSS for short (previously VMS or MozNet), provides the tools needed for people to contribute to the issues [could be tech or mission] they care about through Mozilla. A simple, transparent, guided and personalized User Experience ensures that work is surfaced, strategic, done with clear accountability. It will have a near seamless experience with other Mozilla communication and collaboration tools.

Additionally, the CoSS facilitates and enhances the staff/volunteer relationship, allowing for staff or Volunteer Leaders to identify, recognize, and support people at a variety of levels and contribution types.

In 2017, we will create the start of a solution through iterative prototyping with local clubs. With the goal to build key functionality to solve programmatic needs in a way that is scalable for other teams.

Participants evaluated the Day 2 Return-On-Time-Invested (ROTI) at 3.6.

Day 3

By now we switched from “going broad” to “going deep”. This resulted in various break-out sessions, cross-pollination between the work streams, and continued refinement of the overall picture.

In the early afternoon we spent time on a real-life user experience journey. Showing a Mozilla Club Captain’s journey from a Tweet to the website to his/her email inbox and all the back and forths happening in between. This was a fun and enlightening exercise.

The picture below shows Gene (the Club applicant) talking to Lucy (the website). Not pictured is Julia (the email inbox). The blue flag Alan is holding up signals confusion at this particular interaction step.

Participants evaluated the Day 3 Return-On-Time-Invested (ROTI) at 3.8.

Day 4

Throughout the day we continued to answer the hard questions. This included refinement of story maps, identification of personas, prototyping and stating product assumptions.

We also used the afternoon to check in with some of the core stakeholders: CRM/lifecycle marketing, MoFo leadership, IT leadership, Open Innovation leadership. Future stakeholder meetings are planned with the People team and others.

Participants evaluated the Day 4 Return-On-Time-Invested (ROTI) at 4.0.

Day 5

The final work week day. This is where our roadmaps came together. The pictures below are rough and should provide a high level overview. Work for the coming weeks will be based on these roadmaps.

Concluding the work week we are excited to be at the start of this implementation journey!

IAM Roadmap

CoSS Roadmap

Participants evaluated the full week Return-On-Time-Invested (ROTI) at 4.8.

Closing Remarks

A huge thank you to the work week participants, sponsors and organizing committee. It was great to see that 23 people were able to set aside an entire week of their busy schedules and join us in-person. The many “Aha!”moments and actionable outcome speaks for the week’s success.

Now it’s time to switch into delivery mode and ship value. We aim to get as much done as possible in the remainder of Q1 and until we all meet again at the next All Hands. Onwards!

PS: If you want to continue the conversation, please join us at the Participation Systems Program category.


I steal the image of a community garden that is amazing as example of what we are as community!

For the rest, keep pushing!


Nice work everyone. :smile:

1 Like

A post was split to a new topic: Building Meetup.com alternative?