Handbook Processes and Policies

Welcome to the Mattermost Handbook process, policy, and onboarding section.

As a remote-first company, we rely heavily on shared knowledge. Often, that knowledge is stored in peoples' heads, on a notepad somewhere, or in a Google Doc. The purpose of the Handbook is to capture everyone's knowledge of how Mattermost works so that we can all have access to it. This means that there's no ambiguity or confusion. It also means that when new staff members join us, it's easier for them to ramp up.

So, let's get started!

Handbook-first

As we mature, a Handbook-first policy is critical. But what does this mean?

Handbook-first means that when you have a new idea, a new process, an update to a process, a change in your team, etc you document it in the Handbook first. For example, when a new staff member joins us, they should be added to your team's page before their first day. Another example is if you've created a new Jira process - first document it in the Handbook and then announce it to your team/the company. This allows you to find blindspots and also means that people can go to the relevant page immediately after the announcement to read more.

How do we drive Handbook-first?

Great question. It's a team effort across the whole company, but we plan to have a secret weapon in the form of Handbook Champions.

Handbook Champions

A Handbook Champion is a volunteer from a specific team/operational area who drives Handbook-first adoption and acts as a go-to in the team for Handbook questions. They also enjoy saying "oh you can find that in the Handbook!" and "You should put the in the Handbook!". They're motivated by the understanding that a single source of truth is empowering and decreases wasted time. Lastly, Handbook Champions enjoy working with their team to ensure processes, ideas, plans, and everything in between are documented in the Handbook.

The long-term goal is that Handbook Champions will have a huge impact on Mattermost by supporting constant iteration, decreasing the barrier to information, and breaking down knowledge silos.

What's expected of Handbook Champions?

The only requirements are that you're excited about the Handbook and knowledge sharing, and love knowing that you're building something indispensable.

There's no set time or output expectation - and it's completely voluntary. The idea is not to have you write or update everything yourself, but to corral your team/operational area and get them into the habit of documenting everything in the Handbook. Another aspect is sharing outstanding Help Wanted issues with your team to see where any gaps can be filled.

However, if the Handbook is something you're passionate about:

  • You can take as much initiative as you want.

  • You can suggest and own new content.

  • You can help drive change and alignment if that’s what you’re interested in.

What do I need to do?

To put it simply, anytime someone in your team/operational area mentions a process in a meeting or asks about one, remind them that they should either document it or can find it in the Handbook. You may also be asked to review PRs before they're merged. In time, you'll find that you're reminding less, and being asked to review more... until Handbook-first becomes a company habit.

Of course, if you have ideas for content that's needed or content that should be updated and you're happy to tackle some of it that's fantastic. Likewise if you have suggestions, ideas, complaints, or issues - feel free to raise them.

How do I get involved?

You can join the Handbook Champions channel, and then also update this list with your name and team/organizational area. There can be multiple champions per team.

Will there be meetings?

Yes. We'll sync up once every two weeks initially, for 25 minutes. This will allow us to catch up, sync up, and keep up.

Do I get a cool badge?

Yes! You get a Handbook Champion badge, and may also be eligible for a Contribution Champion badge, depending a number of factors. There's also swag on offer (of course!)