Project Branch Charter: README

If the Project Branch or its charter is new to you, this page will give you the TL;DR on its purpose and proposed methods. Want to see the full charter and leave feedback? Go here!

:ballot_box: Now accepting Working Group Nominations!

Look over the Project Branch Working Groups and nominate yourself or a friend in the comments section of the Projects Branch Nominations thread.

The Project Branch should be as inclusive as possible

The Project Branch is designed to help project teams develop the best work possible. As long as the project is in basic alignment with Code for America values, you can join the project branch where you will receive a wide variety of resources, as well as a pathway for making your project the very best version of itself.

The Project Branch is all about support and resources

There are many ways to support a project team, and there are many types of resources a team might use. Education, subscription services, best-practices – nothing is off the table if it represents a chance to significantly advance our project pool towards more valuable, impactful work. This is outlined in general terms in the “Project Support” section.

The Project Branch selects and prioritizes the project resources

As we build our Resource Library from scratch and decide how to share our cash-dependent assets, a lot of decisions will need to be made. The Performance Working Group is responsible for developing the Project Support document that details the different types of support offered by the Project Branch. We’re talking about things that help project teams:

  • design impactful projects
  • develop local partnerships
  • improve project management
  • recruit & retain volunteers
  • find & secure funding
  • get direct technical resources

Does every project get all this awesome stuff?

Yes, but not all at once. The branch charter uses Project “Tiers” as a high-level tool to identify where projects are along a the path to fully implementing our current values and priorities. In summary:

  • Tier 1 (Portfolio) Projects
    Projects which have met our highest bar will receive direct funding and individualized support to expand their impact and volunteer involvement.

  • Tier 2 (Branch) Projects
    Projects that have demonstrated commitment and progress towards our goals will receive active group support targeting the areas of greatest growth opportunity to help them level up. This support will take the form of workshops, newly developed playbooks & guides, or program initiatives such as the 2022 Impact Sprints.

  • Tier 3 (General) Projects
    These will generally be new projects that are just getting started, but which are aware of, and aligned with, the Project Branch goals. The Project Branch will organize all durable learnings developed for the Portfolio and Branch projects and make these available to the General projects as part of the Resource Library.

How does my project level up for more support?

The Project Branch uses a Review Process to help projects evaluate see their own strengths and growth edges. We want to keep all projects steadily improving so instead of a pass/fail test, the review process will be developed to be an iterative evaluation tool to help projects expand into our values and goals.

What is this Review Process based on?

The Branch charter specifies Portfolio Targets that gets specific about the values and project types that are most important to us as a network. This provides a north star for the Project Branch to move towards. The review process will be designed to help projects advance towards these targets

How will we get all this done?

By working together - as a collaborative network. The CfA Network team will provide some staff support, but the bulk of the decisions and the work will be executed by volunteers – this is very similar to the way your local municipal organizations function. Specifically, the Branch Charter outlines three Volunteer Working Groups. Each of these groups have distinct responsibilities and interests, but they are designed to work together collaboratively with each other and the other branch working group trailblazers.

  • Performance Working Group
    This working group will be responsible for the prioritization, review, selection, agreement, and evaluation of projects for the Project Branch.

  • Participation Working Group
    This working group mobilizes volunteers, helps projects find needed skills, and offers projects volunteer organizing advice and support.

  • Project Development Working Group
    This working group is responsible for the processes and initiatives that help projects become the best versions of themselves.

Please nominate yourself or a friend for these working groups!

For a decade now we have dreamed about a network that shares project knowledge and resources. This is it – we’re doing it. Jump in now and help take a leading role in building out this dream.

»» Nominate yourself or a friend in the comments section of the Projects Branch Nominations thread ««

Here’s what someone shared in the Participatory Governance area during Brigade Congress:

This + Impact Sprints = the most exciting culture change in CfA since its founding.