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Visible Processes


Trust needs to be built within the community.


A collaborative data project might involve a large number of users participating in a range of processes, at different times and at different frequencies. This makes it important to clearly communicate and document when and how decisions have been made.


Ensure that all decisions that are relevant to the work of your community are clearly documented and shared.

For example, by keeping track of decisions around applying Escalating Blocking, clearly indicating the results of reviews carried out during Moderation, and in other aspects of the project governance, eg meeting minutes and other decision-making processes.

Collaborative maintenance projects involve continual decision making. The decisions include, for example:

  • Agreeing the scope of data to include in the project, eg as part of an Evolving Schema or Shared Canvas
  • Whether to add or update specific records as part of the Moderation process
  • When and how Escalating Blocking are applied to users
  • How to engage with and support the community of users
  • Project-level governance relating to ongoing sustainability, operations, etc

Due to the range of stakeholders involved in collaborative projects, it is important that these processes are transparent. This helps to build trust, and results in there being a record of important decisions, capturing when consensus has been reached.

Visible processes help build confidence that policies are being consistently and correctly applied, and can also help to highlight conflicts that may need to be addressed, eg by revisions to project policies.

Working in an open and transparent manner is the best way to engage a wide community of users.


Incidents of vandalism or problems are reported to Moderators which are discussed in public by the community and decisions recorded


Open community discussions can inform future policy

Related patterns

Published Policies

Collaboration across distributed groups requires clarity around rules, policies and procedures.

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