I was asked by someone to write a mission statement for chapters. I don’t know if this qualifies in the truest definition of a mission statement or not but, I partially stole this from a friend and I hope he doesn’t mind: 2012 is going to be the year of the chapter.
Its been a busy quarter since I took over responsibility for chapters and there have many changes, hopefully this post can summarize the highpoints.
During the past quarter we’ve seen exceptional growth of chapters, including seeing 12 new chapters formed across the globe!
A BI Chapter in Wisconsin, USA led by Farouq Abukhamireh
Algeria led by Badrou Zeggar
Bangkok, Thailand led by Fukiat Julnual
Ekatrinburg, Russia led by Evgeny Fedyakov
Kharkiv Ukraine led by Denis Reznik
Kyiv Ukraine led by by Konstantin Kosinsky
Las Cruces, New Mexico USA led by Colleen Barnitz and Russ Burns
Leicester, UK led by Gavin Campbell
Maidenhead, UK led by Richard Douglas
Stavropol, Russia led by Maksim Lemeshko
Santa Catarina, Brazil led by Rodrigo Dornel
Last month I put forward some recommendations to the board of directors for increased spending for the Fiscal year 2012 (ends 6/30/2012) two of those proposals were accepted and funded.
Yesterday I had the opportunity to lead 2 separate meetings with our Regional Mentors in order to bring them up to speed on what those proposals are funding.
The first thing this is going to allow us to do is send a “Chapter Kit” or mailing to every PASS Chapter around the globe! I’m not going to spoil the surprise about what’s going to be inside but, we hope that Chapter leaders will find the contents valuable and can put them to good use.
The second program we’re going to implement is to fund some regional mentor travel to PASS chapter meetings and SQLSaturdays. The basics are that we’ve given each regional mentor a funding allocation and asked them to attempt to visit as many chapter meetings in their region as they can, with the primary focus being on chapters especially those that need help with speakers, or are otherwise struggling. We are attempting to fill a gap in speakers at local UG’s and allow the Regional Mentors to get out in the community and evangelize for PASS.
Both of these programs are new, and both are things that we’ve talked about trying for a good while. I’m expecting to see both of these have a positive impact on the community and I’m expecting to get lots of feedback during the process and learn some lessons while we see exactly how this is going to work and what impact its going to have.
Since I started with chapters I’ve been pushing forward with a plan to revamp the existing tools our Chapter leaders use to manage chapters and I’m happy to say I’m starting to see some real movement towards helping with our needs in this area! I expect the first round of changes to start being rolled out within the next 45 days. As this project continues ill continue to write about the new and exciting changes we’re making.
Do you know someone in the PASS Community who is a hidden hero? Perhaps a chapter leader who is doing terrific work to help the SQL community. Maybe its a member who is putting in 110% to organize a SQL Rally. A virtual chapter leader who is organizing great sessions or perhaps its a speaker you’ve seen go above and beyond and speak at multiple chapters/virtual chapter events this month. There are so many people who contribute and make the SQL community so vibrant that finding those who stand out is tougher than ever!
These people are the lifeblood of the SQL Server community, they freely give of their time to make PASS the premiere SQL Server association and its about time we start recognizing them!
Since Ive been volunteering with PASS one thing that has always struck me is how rare it is that PASS actually recognizes outstanding volunteers. When I first joined, we only had the PASSion award which is awarded yearly at the Summit to the single volunteer who had the “most” outstanding contributions. In more recent years we’ve done a better job of recognizing additional people who are outstanding volunteers through the outstanding volunteers presentation at the Summit however, these volunteers all come from the passion award nominations and those nominations are only open just prior to the summit.
I’ve always thought that we should recognize volunteers across the organization in a more consistent way, and not revolve that recognition around the Summit. Luckily, the opportunity to do something about this lack of recognition knocked earlier this year and we’ve made progress. In last weeks connector there was an announcement about nominating volunteers to be recognized as outstanding volunteers of the month. The initial intent is that we’ll accept email nominations during every month for any volunteer who has made outstanding contributions to the community. Those submissions will be reviewed on the last day of the month and recognition will follow the next month. Initially, we are planning to recognize these outstanding volunteers with a nice certificate and highlight them in the connector newsletter. Its not much compared to what these people do day in and day out but with success over time, hopefully we can expand this a bit more. For a start though, I think this is a good first step down the right road.
We intend to have the first recognition cycle start in March so that means that submissions are due by 2/29 (tomorrow!) Please, take a moment and send us an email with as many details as possible about the contributions of an outstanding volunteer who has made an impact in the SQL community. As always with these types of things, the more details the better!
This is a blog post that should have been published about 3 weeks ago. Better late than never I suppose….
With all endings there is a beginning. I’ve written previously about deciding to take on a different role within the PASS organization in 2012. I’m excited to say that I convinced the leaders within the BOD to let me have a chance at leading the Global Chapters portfolio. What does this mean to the two of you reading this? Likely not much but, to myself and a few hundred chapter leaders and regional mentors I’m hoping it means the beginning of a great run of imrovements to the Chapters program within PASS. For the past weeks I’ve been working very closely with our wonderful Community Evangelist Karla Landrum (Blog|Twitter) and her counterparts within PASHQ to learn everything that I possibly can about what our chapters are doing, and what they need to grow and thrive. What I’ve learned is somewhat what I already knew and can be summed up in 4 words!
We have unmet needs!!
After staffing the Community Evangelist role last year it appears as though some of the pain points with running a chapter have been alleviated however, it seems as though there are still plenty of places that could use some improvement. One of the first things I have attempted to do is to get approval to spend PASS IT time on improving the suite of tools we provide to make managing a chapter easier. While I have a list of things I’d like to see these tools become based on feedback I’ve personally received from my friends in the community, I would like to encourage all PASS RM’s & CL’s to get in contact with me though any means available. I’d like for every PASS Chapter Leader/Regional Mentor to list the top 2-3 things they’d like the chapter tools to do that would make running their chapter easier and send those to me. I obviously cant say we’ll address everything but, this year I intend to see to it that we address as many as possible.
Connect Share Learn
While this is the simplified version of the overall PASS mission statement, it is applicable here as well. I want to encourage you to reach out to me and connect, in order to share your successes and pain points in leading a PASS chapter so that hopefully we can each learn from it. My contact info is at the top right of this page, connect with me on linked in and drop me an email to bend my ear if you’d like to talk about anything remotely related to SQL Server, PASS Chapters or the SQL Server Community at large. Ill be “the guy” trying to keep the ship on course for at least the next calendar year and I plan to make the best of it.
This will be a quick update to my post from earlier this week. As I mentioned previously, PASS has plans to do away with all paper evaluation forms in the future. This change can come none to soon for me! After I published Fridays blog, I was contacted by a speaker who had some evaluations in their report that obviously werent theirs. So, after some digging, the staff at PASS HQ figured out that during data entry several evals were incorrectly included under this speakers session id. We corrected the scores and doing so caused the overall “top 10” to change slightly. The updated top sessions with ties is now actually a top 12 list where before it was actually a top 11. Additionally doing this updated the track rankings in the BIA track as well. I apologize for the mix up on these evals but, I guess this is not totally unexpected when hiring temporary workers to enter 8,000+ individual evals. The updated rankings can be found here
Every year after the Summit the results of the thousands of evaluations are tabulated. It seems every year the only question I hear after the summit is “when are the evaluations coming out?” Well dear reader I’m happy to say, that day is today. First id like to point out that this year we had well over 13000 unique session evaluations which is an increase of about 30% over 2010.
Online Evaluations produce unexpected results
One interesting thing I noticed in this years online evals was that we received evals for all sorts of “events” that happened at the Summit. Normally, we only get them for sessions but because of the way the session scheduler was automated and integrated into the session eval forms, we actually received evals on many other events that took place at the summit other than regular sessions. Receiving candid feedback on these events was quite refreshing and will be worked back into next years similar events.
Moving into the 21st century
This year since we offered online evaluations as well as paper evaluations I was interested to see what the turnout would be and while the amount of paper vs online evaluations entered was more lopsided towards paper than I’d have liked. I believe that overall they were well used and next year we plan on only having online session evals. I expect that if the room monitors push the online evals in the same manner they pushed the paper this year that we’ll get enough evals next year for this to be an effective option. The real benefit other than costs of entering paper evals and killing trees is that if all of the evals come in a digital form I would see no reason that they shouldn’t be ready either real time or within a week or 2 from the end of the event but, Ill leave those details to next years Board member whose in charge of the Summit.
Without Further ado, Here’s the link to the 2011 Summit top 10 list
The top ten was calculated by averaging all of the evaluation answers then we excluded results if there were less than 20 evaluations or 20 attendees.
Also, if you were a speaker, You can log into the PASS Speaker portal site and get your full evaluation results (and the overall event scores) from the following link
Please join me again in congratulating all of the speakers from this years Summit, without them and their excellent contributions our community wouldnt be the same.
Edited-> I had the wrong filter criteria on our exclusion of sessions from the top list specification. I stated we excluded if there were less than 10 evals and 10 attendees when the number was 15 each, I apologize for my fading memory.