NGI Ethnography Team Structure

(image cred to @bevvypix via Stuck in Plastic, going through a lego phase)

A place to note ideas/topics for discussion in advance of our call on Friday at 10am UK, and to document the outcomes of the call.

Communication Medium and Timeframes

Element. This is our live chat medium, which completely replaces the WhatsApp. Element is where we can have ongoing conversations that don’t need to be on the platform. Limit use of Element because it does not allow for documentation of processes, deadlines, etc but good for catchups and other chat-based updates (e.g. small questions, weekly “this is what I’m up to” checkins).

Edgeryders Platform. For documentation of all research conversations, updates, etc. Things we should discuss in the call:

  • Code review. Where to put comments about indvidual codes and code choices.

  • Open Ethnographer Manual. When to update the manual with new processes.

  • Memos. Where to put longer form memos on coding choices and other theoretical / methodological / topical observations.

  • Reporting. Where to construct our reports, and how frequently.

  • Research Call Notes. Where to document notes of weekly and biweekly calls.

Todoist. So that we have clear tasks and deadlines set out, I suggest we move to use todoist (like @nadia’s team) to make clear what we have to do and when we have to do it by. I suggest that in our call on Friday we come up with tasks and deadlines together for the next quarter, since these are things we largely have to structure ourselves. That way we have them clearly documented and we all know what we want to be working towards. And other teams can peek and see what we’re up to.


Open question: what is our response timeframe for confirming communication? I suggest 2 working days maximum, but am open to feedback or other ways of marking this.

Team Structure

@amelia is team lead. What does that mean? What do @Leonie and @katejsim need in terms of guidance, and what kinds of self-driven work does @amelia need from them?

  • Initial thoughts from @amelia - I don’t want to be setting deadlines and determining how everything should look – in large part because I think that limits your creative thinking and ownership of the project, which I want us all to have. I see my role as a resource since I have more experience. I also am committed to make sure our ship as a whole stays on course. I think we should come up with deadlines and goals together, break them into subtasks, and then all keep each other up to date with our progress, ask open questions about how to do things, and keep each other on track to hit our deadlines. I also think that the more we document and decide together, the less things will feel like they are coming out of the blue from on high and the more we can account for individual differences in work structure and communication style (e.g. if one of us is a do tasks immediately as they come up worker and the other blocks their work time at the beginning of the month for the whole month, both should be fine as long as we know what our big picture is). Something else worth clarifying and to keep in mind is that I get paid less than either of you to work on NGI (you’re on 14,400/year, I’m on 13,000).

@amelia’s needs/requests right now are as follows:

  • Code regularly and rigorously. This will be facilitated by our bi-weekly calls where we do the code-by-code review.
  • Think about how we can usefully and meaningfully represent and communicate the ethnographic work. This is wide open for your own thoughts and innovations!
  • Stay in contact. We can work around a lot of problems, but please don’t fall off the grid. If you have issues, communicate them. Part of having flexible working hours means a higher need to communicate when you’re working or not working. This should be helped by more clearly documenting our tasks and deadlines ahead of time.
  • Direct communication. If you have a problem and/or want something to be different, communicate it as soon as possible (before it grows into a larger issue), clearly and directly. If it’s something you don’t feel comfortable raising with me directly, you can confidentially raise it with @johncoate who can help you navigate the situation.
  • Meet the deadlines we set together. If we agree to finish work or coding by a certain deadline, let’s do that. If something gets in the way, communicate the problem as early as possible, before the deadline hits.

@katejsim and @Leonie’s needs/requests of @amelia:

  • Dedicated communication channel for work and deliverables: We’ve just done this by moving from Whatsapp to Todoist and Element, so this is a great start to centralizing work-communication.
  • Discussing expected tasks/deadlines in advance so we can plan ahead
  • Clear instructions for deliverables: for example, “write 1-2 paragraphs on codes XYZ” vs. “write an ethnographic memo with SSNA screencaptures that pull interesting stories. It will be be compiled into a report that will be circulated in xyz ways.” The latter gives me a clearer idea of the scope, depth, and audience.
  • Not really sure how to phrase this, but I’d really appreciate better idea of how our work feeds into broader work Edgeryder does and how this contributes to the European Commission’s policy agenda. Participating at the Summit was really helpful for this purpose, because it allowed me to interact with stakeholders and get a better idea of our “audience.” More like this, maybe at a quarterly timeline in conjunction with our reports?, would be helpful.

^ I think the bi-weekly meetings we scheduled moving forward will address most, if not all, of these because it will be an explicit space for us to discuss objectives and timeline. I add these points as conversation starters to frame our discussion tomorrow about organisational structure around what we want to do differently going forward.

Actions from the Call

  • Send NGI Proposal / Agreement
  • add Kate and Leonie to consortium mailing list
  • create/organise categories on platform (according to list above)

  • look in to connecting with partners more
  • OXDEG talk
  • todoist staging process (see categories on todoist)
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