[Owasp-board] Membership assistance - Vote Required

dinis cruz dinis.cruz at owasp.org
Mon Nov 8 13:48:52 UTC 2010

Tom, although I'm the first to want more automation on OWASP and there is a
lot of potential on CRM solutions, I think you are massively underestimating
the complexity of those 140 emails and overestimating what can be automated.

Our community is very wide and Kate, Alison and Paulo get bombarded with
requests that go from micro issues ("Hey I can't edit the website" -> Answer
= "Have you tried to log in?") to structural/key issues ("Hey what is the
OWASP strategy and rules for Sponsorships/Certifications/Conferences,
etc..?"). Some answers are quick, others are complex, BUT all need an answer
since that is part of what is keeping OWASP alive at the moment.

I know that there are a lot of gains that can be achieved by outsourcing
(Elance.com) or automating (Salesforce) our admin tasks, but given the
complexity of our community and how we are set-up, it is hard to create
decent briefs.

I'm also of the view that any change at this stage at OWASP has to be done
organically. I.e. there is enough space at OWASP to try new ideas and we are
fast in adopting what works, so in this case, although there is a lot of
potential in CRM solutions they need to organically 'earn their space' :)

Dinis Cruz

On 4 November 2010 18:41, Tom Brennan - OWASP <tomb at owasp.org> wrote:

> I thought I said naked?  ;)
> Concerning membership management - adding operational additional employee
> costs to OWASP Foundation is a concern of mine --  I would rather see a
> investment in our existing CRM
> http://www.salesforcefoundation.org/products/nonprofit_starter_pack system
> to deal with membership management, eliminate cevent and provide detailed
> management and reporting for back office tasks such as case management
> website inquires, project management etc..(all well within scope of this
> platform btw)  We have a extremely powerful platform deployed currently
> however I am a bit side tracked with my new company to invest what I
> estimate is another 80 hrs in this project at this time. I have spoken to
> (2) firms 1.  http://www.cleartask.com/index_page 2.
> http://www.teamheller.com firms about our needs and they can help out at a
> discounted rate.
> The 140 emails example should be a written form inquiry on the owasp.orgwebsite concerning category and needthat is tracked,  assigned and managed
> to completion - I agree that owasp at owasp.org is a really bad way to try to
> run this .org
> So I suggest instead of a quick vote email that you join us at the OWASP DC
> meeting and we talk over what we have, what we need to run OWASP foundation
> efficiently in project management,public relations, etc..etc..  this item in
> depth for the Nov meeting (BTW what time, location are we doing that?)
> 2011 budget can the be reviewed to see if we can accommodate it with
> outsourcing, subcontracting, in-sourcing with worldwide resources.
> -Tom
> On Thu, Nov 4, 2010 at 1:49 PM, Kate Hartmann <kate.hartmann at owasp.org>wrote:
>>  I would like to ask you to approve the addition of a part time OWASP
>> administration person to our team.
>>  Since I started in 2008, we have gone from approximately 175 individual
>> members to over 1000 individual members.  We had 4 conferences in 2007 and
>> had at least 15 events globally in 2010.  We have added global committees to
>> help us address our collective priorities.  We have increased the size of
>> the Foundation board to 7.  We have added at least 30 chapters. We have
>> increased global awareness and size, but not the infrastructure.
>>  Until recently, I’ve been able to keep on top of things, but it is
>> becoming more and more difficult.  I receive over 130 emails/day that
>> require some sort of follow up.  While preparing for AppSec US in NYC, Tom
>> Brennan illustrated the volume by saying, “you get up, get a cup of coffee
>> and open your computer.  Next thing you know, it’s 4pm, your coffee is cold
>> and you’re still in your bathrobe.”
>>  Alison did an AWESOME job while I was out.  With the rush of 3rd and 4thquarter events, I know that she was instrumental in in the processes for
>> LASCON and AppSec DC.  I had an out of office message up and lots of the
>> questions went to her.  Lots of individuals decided to wait, though.
>>  In any case, we are growing and I’m afraid I am “The single point of
>> failure.”  If I miss something or have to prioritize based on time
>> sensitivity, it becomes obvious.  I want to be able to maintain the positive
>> image of the Foundation.
>>  While I believe there is enough work for each committee to have their own
>> administrative assistant, I think that a single, part time person to work on
>> the administrative details for the membership committee would be a great
>> place to start.  Membership kits, shipping, follow up reminders, telephone
>> calls, corporate supporter items, data entry, etc.  Membership is currently
>> the most labor intensive process we have.  I have been working on changing
>> that process, but the effort gets derailed by the tasks.
>>  The cost would be approx. $1200/month ($15/hr at 20 hrs/week).  I have a
>> tentative job description attached.  I have had several people indicate they
>> would be interested in something like this, so the question becomes who to
>> pick.
>> Kate Hartmann
>> Operations Director
>> 301-275-9403
>> www.owasp.org
>> Skype:  Kate.hartmann1
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