Richard Green (Samvera Operations Adviser, co-facilitator)
Kevin Kochanski (Notch8)
Simeon Warner (Cornell University)
Agenda and notes -
Discussion of other funding sources and funding targets
JD gave an overview of the Fundraising Team's charge. Under that we considered pursuing funding to "get Valkyrie done" and, in discussion, the scope got bigger - to try and infuse one-time investment into Hyrax to put it on a stronger technical and functional base. We are clear that this idea is in support of existing community structures and is in no way intended to go round or subvert them.
To that end we are looking at the possibility of an IMLS National Leadership Grant. This probably needs us to appoint a coordination role for grant administration and to fill in some of the work that a community technical coordinator might do (if and when we have funds to appoint one). We have a draft document describing what we think we want. The bullet list is of things "we know people want" (even from HyBox days) supplemented by needs of potential HykuUp clients etc. There is no hidden agenda to the list which can be changed and massaged. It may be strategic not to list things that already have grant funding but we need to make clear to a potential funder that we are complementing those projects, not attempting to "double dip".
TD observed that this is about progressing the Hyrax roadmap - dealing with things that have been on hold for a long time. There is nothing particularly new here, it is about meeting and delivering existing needs. It's a solution, not a distraction. Under the existing model we are really only treading water with Hyrax - a grant would be a good way to move forward.
What do we need to coordinate the larger effort? A tech project manager to provide coordination - the revised Product Owner role does not subsume this. We need enough day-to-day organization across a PO, the Hyrax technical lead and a project manager.
What incentives do we need to get Partners involved? The grant should hire a full-time project manager and provide for hiring contractor time. IMLS will want a guarantee of matched funding if the grant application exceeds $250k (which, over two years, it will). This raises the question of whether existing informal agreements for staff time contributions to Hyrax can be counted - we don't see why not. We will need to commit to doing things that the contributors themselves want (but not so as to unbalance the spread of what will be achieved); communication about this "laundry list" will be important.. The grant application needs to come from a Partner institution because Samvera is not a legal entity.
In terms of work to be funded: Valkyrie is "almost done" but there is a lot of work still to take place to uncover and check all the places in the codebase that it touches. There needs to be a single pattern of interaction which can be used in an extensible way. The actor stack needs to be rewritten. We should perhaps pick out a few middleware and interface items to make the short, initial application "look good".
Could we use the grant to solidify the process of ongoing maintenance work? This is probably not exciting to a funder! We have had 2-3 years without a breaking change in our code; we need to figure out how to move more quickly again so that we are seem to still be at the forefront of repository development but also maintain a stable product. We need to come out of the grant (if we get it) with added momentum. Can we develop patterns that would continue after the grant - what's the post-grant sustainability? Maybe sustainability is itself innovative - it would show that we are serious about keeping Hyrax around (which should be a good selling point to Partners).
Talk to Partners who might contribute/participate
Talk to people in the community structures (groups) who would be involved
Need financial commitment soon - we need the contributions locked in by mid-September.
We are looking for a cost share - but they don't get cash! We need to reach out and see if people will sign up for that. Create a focus group of potential contributors and try to sell the idea of being a partner on the grant and therefore having some control of what it will achieve. Send an email to the Partner list inviting participation in the focus group from any other interested Partners.
HF to draft something and sent it to the likely focus group - specifically: Cornell, UCSB, Princeton, Notre Dame, Michigan, Duke, Emory.
How do we quantify the matched funding - in sprints, fractions af an FTE, both? What's the minimum FTE to be a partner in the grant - 20%, 25%?