Power To The Puppets (CSM)

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All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt

Stats[edit]

Summary[edit]

The impact of the CSM's work on CCP's development is insufficient in the public opinion. That does not say there was no impact at all. But as it is, the insatisfaction displayed in public review of CSM work is detrimental to player participation in the CSM process overall.

Either the marketing about successes is insufficient, or the influence needs to be increased. This submission aims to realize the latter.

Details[edit]

The Problem[edit]

CCP does not neglect the players, nor the CSM. It is simply that the topics brought up by the CSM are - more often than not - too far away from CCP's legitimate autonomy in the game's development. Having CCP input open questions into the CSM will bring the CSM closer to actual development; in turn, the CSM's anwers will have a higher chance of making a difference.

I admit, such a scheme may entail keeping more topics under NDA, and the regular CSM meeting minutes may have to undergo review by CCP before publishing.

Let's see this diagramme; CCP's current development focus and CSM's player submitted issues - in average - have a certain distance :

(ccp) <---------------------> (csm)

This distance needs to be briged in order to make a difference on CCP's development. Else, CSM's input will simply go to the backlog. And priority changes in the backlog are hard to display to the general public. XHagen affirms over and over again that such changes do happen. But rediscussing present issues does require a lot of patience by the player public and there is simply no process yet to "rediscuss" items, once submitted by the CSM, when they go into development.

Now, the sum of all the CSM's procedures does result in a certain influencial force on CCP. These procedures are :

  • the item submissions (and re-submissions and re-re-submissions) on the Assembly Hall, which are submitted to CCP via meetings
  • the faith of CCP into the CSM, which is constantly growing
  • live discussion with CCP in online meetings and on Iceland (Iceland has the biggest impact)

The strength of CSM's influence, as a sum of the above, can be visualized like this :

(f) ----->

CCP has a will to change it's mind and include ideas and aspects (I call them ideas and aspects rather than new issues), brought up by the CSM. It can be visualized like this :

(w) --->

If you now overlap the distance between CCP's and the CSM's focus with the force of CSM's push and CCP's will to change, you get this :

(ccp) <---------------------> (csm)
..(w) --->.............<----- (f)

You clearly see the gap, which remains. Whining will not close that gap !

Solution[edit]

It is not like there were no ideas on the table : quit that focus on issue submissions, which never get implemented. Do not stop the Assembly Hall and associated procedure; but stop doing only that. The CSM should be used as a player think tank, where CCP inputs topic that they are actually working on. This is what CSM3 had prominently discussed with CCP, and Zastrow wrote an emotional pledge in the CSM3's dev blog.

Instead of only relying on CSM's new ideas, brought up by players on the Assembly Hall, we will now look at the current development plan of CCP and pick items from that queue, which are under scrutiny. We will call them (sbi), as in "sprint backlog item". Having the CSM discuss issues, which are on CCP's agenda will increase the impact, which the CSM can do on actual development. Instead of bombarding CCP with player submitted issues, that are totally off limits and out of focus of current development.

Those of you, who have followed CCP's demonstration of their development method, which is Scrum, have heard of that sub-process defined by the method. Sprint backlog items are still not implemented, and may fail, but they are considerably closer to reality, because they are features chosen from the huge product backlog that shall be implemented :

(ccp) <-------> (sbi)

Go ahead and overlay CSM's strength with that distance and you see :

(ccp) <-------> (sbi)
..(w) ---X----- (f)

They meet !

As a clear result : CCP must give the CSM items from their current Sprint backlogs for discussion.

The New Process[edit]

If the submission is endorsed by the council and CCP approves of the changes, this process will be included into the What is the CSM constitutional text.

  • Sprint teams are invited to pick items from their backlog for discussion among the CSM to gather elite player feedback. CCP Xhagen will do this collection approximately once in two weeks. He may be attending daily scrums or use the team's sprint backlog tracking system as a trigger.
  • CCP Xhagen submits one to three items to the chairman of the current CSM by e-mail.
    • The mail will clearly be marked "NDA confidential"
    • Each of the items will be accompanied by a title or explanatory text, written by Xhagen, which will later be put to the minutes. The explanation may be as generic as "very secret development issue of the planetary interaction sprint team"
  • CSM discusses the items on its next regular online meeting. The council will need to select a solution from options given by the sprint team, or come up with a statement on the topic, which may be as generic as "motion passed" or "motion rejected".
    • The chairman will call up discussion on the issue by stating Xhagen's public explanation
    • The discussion will be purged from the meeting minutes raw log starting after the public explanation and ending with the next issue. The minute compliation will also only display the public explanation.
  • The CSM chairman submits the council's opinion to Xhagen by responding to his prior e-mail. The answer is forwarded swiftly to the sprint team's scrum master by Xhagen or he talks to the team during their daily scrum.

Pros[edit]

  • CSM influence rises
  • One further communication channel between CSM and CCP (in addition to CSM/CCP-Meetings, Q&A), which follows clear rules

Cons[edit]

  • More topics may be held under NDA as they touch current CCP development. This may make marketing the CSM work more difficult.

Relevant Forum Threads[edit]