The following questionnaire can help you understand who already holds power, whether formal or informal, in your community. It is structured around the different collaborative tools that a project might use.
- Who owns your repositories?
- Who has merge rights to them?
- Who can review pull requests?
- Who can triage issues?
- Who is actually responding to issues and reviewing pull requests? Are there people with permissions they don't use? People without permissions they probably need?
- Who tends to open issues? Do you have users submitting issues along with developers? Strangers, along with people you already know?
- Who owns the server (or account on the server)?
- Who has access to the server?
- Who is responsible for the project being "up"? When there's an urgent problem, who drops everything to fix it?
- Who owns the accounts for communications tools such as Slack, Discord, Zulip, Discourse, Matrix, etc.?
- Who are admins on those accounts?
- Who drives conversation in communication channels?
- Who welcomes newcomers?
- Who answers help requests?
- Who do people defer to? Who do they seem to trust?
- Are there any other organizations that formally partner with or informally coordinate with your project? Who in your project do they work with?
- Are you part of an umbrella organization that has its own governance rules you are meant to follow?
- Who participates in the project outside of the collaborative tools mentioned above? For instance, is there an artist who has drawn a logo for your project, or a mentor who has helped at a sprint?