Kiez Burn Manual & "Post Mortem 2019"

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How To Kiez Burn _ What happened to the Post Mortem?

This thread is to share what we’ve been working on regarding Documentation and Learnings, as well as to gather input and ideas on how it could be improved. If you were wondering what happened to the 2019 Post Mortem, keep on reading.

Find here all the Kiez Burn 2019 Learnings

Kiez Burn Manual index

Short Version:

Finding and gathering specific information is a true struggle! There was a document called “Post Mortem”, created in order to gather feedback and learnings directly from each Lead (realizer) As cool as it was, we felt there were some opportunities to improve its usability. 

We propose and realize a Kiez Burn Manual, where the most practical and specific information on how to fulfill a Need (Responsibility, Task, Role) is easily accessible, concise and accumulative of previous learnings. We hope this will help the accessibility of the engagement for volunteers and newbies.

We also ask for your input to make it better (go to “Improvements - Challenges - Questions / How could you help?” at the bottom)


Longer Version (7 minutes lecture)

Who and why us?

We, @Veroca R. Sala (Volunteers Lead 2019) and Cris Olano (Wondering Rangers Lead 2018 & 2019) stepped up during the General Assembly (Q4 2019) to take care of 2019 Documentation, einfach so.

How was it done before?

Once the event was over, one or several people took on the task of creating a Post Mortem. This consisted of a list of questions regarding the role at Kiez Burn, which were emailed to the different Leads. After following up, all answers would be gathered in a document available to everyone.

Kiez Burn Post Mortem 2018

Another previous Learnings document

Where do we see the problems?

  • Information / Documentation:

    • We understand that gathering specific information is a great struggle because most of it about “How to Kiez Burn” is scattered throughout different Post Mortems, private documents, Realities, Talk and a million Google Folders. 

    • Realities Platform offers a good perspective on what is needed to do, but not that much on how. Short descriptions and links to threads and Docs are available there, but broader information, exact numbers, are still hard to find. 

    • Talk is great to discuss and as an archive source, but extremely time consuming while researching specific questions.

    • Moreover, many important inputs that affected some decisions are often lost in long conversations. This will nevertheless more likely improve as we get better with Talk.

  • Previous Post Mortem:

    • Is, in our perspective, a feedback-document, more focused on the past experiences than in how to do it in the future, which is great, but not that useful. 

    • We understand that this format, as it is now, lacks more practical information on how to fulfill a role. This is essential for inexperienced hippies and newbies, who want to take on responsibilities. 

  • Engaging volunteers:

    • We identified that new people, who are eager to engage, find it difficult to access information. It requires a too long learning and researching process to start doing something. 

    • Sometimes Needs and people’s skills are a match, sometimes don’t. As an inexperienced in one particular topic, stepping up to take on a responsibility could be appreciated as a bigger work than it is, when the information is not clear or easy to find. 

  • Guides: 

    • Are excellent to help out, partner up, get personal council, etc, but this roles still have challenges:

      • The “expert” person in one matter may not be available for the next year, which means this guidance and maybe wisdom getting lost.

      • Guides may be busy and don’t have the time to repeat the same things over and over, neither to “babysit” other peeps. 

What do we propose?

Our dream is that anyone, who wants to take over a responsibility has, regardless of their experience, a clear path on how to fulfill a Need, with links to broader information, if they wishes to research deeper. 

  • We see a BIG document (Google Doc so far, but very open to suggestions) gathering, in an structured and concise way, the precise information anyone (could) need to carry on a Responsibility. 

  • We want to start this process and settle this idea, but it’s a work in progress. It’s not supposed to be finished this year, maybe never.

  • An introduction on our burny philosophy, tools, procedures and general info could as well be part of it. 

  • For every Need, there will be a section including: 

    • Previous Realizers and Guides

    • Short description of the task

    • How this task could be realized step by step

    • Numbers (Kw/h, volunteers schedule, €, dB,..)

    • Dependencies

    • Needs

    • Time and Effort

    • Timeline

    • Relevant links

    • Role email & Password if used

    • etc.

  • If someone, as a realizer, goes for a different methodology, both could be kept in the Manual with pros and cons, for the next realizer to decide which one they want to implement.

  • The use of this manual is definitely not compulsory, everyone taking over a responsibility will at all moments decide whether they use it or not. 

How is this happening?

  • Create a team, meet and discuss.

  • Create a template and send it over to all the 2019 Leads. Feel free to comment or make it better. 

    The idea of the template is to keep the whole document with a similar structure and giving inspiring questions, but ultimately, every Lead could adjust the information to the particularities of their task.

  • Follow up and remind Leads to fill up their templates

  • Gather all templates in the same document. 

  • Add a Responsibility for documenting learnings and how-tos under each Need on Realities.

  • Open a Talk thread: make it public, share the document.

  • Gather potential further input.

  • Describe this procedure on each Need in Realities platform.

  • Add links (in each section of the Manual) to relevant Talk threads. 

  • Implement potential changes and improvements gathered in Talk. 

Continuity - next years

We envision that the online, collaborative and co-creative nature of this document shouldn’t generate a big amount of work for anyone, while being available for everyone. 

To keep it going, we propose that a Realities Need should be created: Kiez Burn Manual Realizer.  Their tasks: 

  • Improve/update, if so considered, the current template.

  • Contacts Leads, asking for an update with last years learnings and explain how the Manual should be filled. 

    • Keep it short and concise.

    • Add new Learnings

    • Shortly explained why something didn’t work / why a desition was made. 

    • Add relevant links to Talk, Folders, Docs, Websites, etc. 

  • Sets up a timeline.

    • Proposal: starting right after the event (July) where the experience is still fresh, and setting a deadline so that the final version can be ready for the General Assembly in Q4.

  • Follows up that the Leads deliver/fill in the documentation/add links to relevant folders and threads, and stick to the deadline.

  • Checks final version for overrides and corrections.

  • Saves a copy of the final version (to avoid losing/deleting it by mistake) → where to host it, webpage, Talk?

  • Facilitate Documentation to the realizer of “Realities Setup” for next year (middle January / February)

    This Manual is a work in Progress. The idea is to settle down the idea and let it be complete during this and next years.

    “Let fail what the community does not carry”. If this idea is crap and doesn’t catch up, next year we go back to the Post Mortem and that was it :)

Improvements - Challenges - Questions / How could you help?

  • Do you have a better hosting/format proposal? Until now Google Docs was the best idea we could come up with. Another idea was to use a whole Talk Group, being each thread a need. 

    • Pros: 

      • Our personal open source platform to create Kiez Burn

      • Space to storage

      • Open to edit, collaborative

    • Contras: 

      • Talk is a space for discussions, that’s not the idea of this document. The Manual becoming a chit-chat is exactly against its very purpose → Comments could be disabled?

      • Talk organizes its threads chronologically, which is extremely confusing for the purpose of this Manual. Back to information impossible to find. 

  • Do you know where we could save a copy of each year’s version, so it’s safe and available? Maybe the website?

  • Do you think this is a shitty idea and doesn’t bring anything new?

  • ?


Disclosure: we now this threat is coming late, apologies, life happens. We didn’t consider the need of this following the long advice process, so we went for the short version


Veroca R. Sala Wed 26 Feb 2020 10:24PM

Thanks Cris for making this

Its very hard for me to truly understand how this would go. Given the different ways to see this documentation gathering thing, I share here How do I envision this.

  • it could be a Talk Group E.g "How to Kiez Burn - Docs & Guides". (The mother of all the talk groups)

  • the talk group would have a description: that would be "the index"

  • the talk group would have several threads (one for each Need)

  • Each thread will consist in copy paste what we have documented from 2019 ( written by the Leads 2019 - Perhaps formatting a bit.

  • Each thread would also include the links to drive docs, spreadsheets, whatever.

  • Each thread will potentially have the comments disabled ( is that possible?, Who to ask?) if not, we ask not to leave comments ?... there is not point on commenting.

  • Every Year the Lead would add into the thread, only what matters. This means: new information. No need to describe once again the same procedure.

"The index" would have :

  • links to important Talk threads about "How to Kiez Burn" many from the "How we work Together" group I assume

  • links to threads within the group itself (one for each Need)

@Cris would you like to share that lovely index you have made? ❤️

I dont know if viable or if you have something else in mind. This is what i can think of. For the rest, im keen to help whatever system is taken.


walto Thu 27 Feb 2020 12:15AM

I really like the initiative to:

  • enable people to more easily find their way into kiez burn and how it works

  • help people who decided to take on lead positions to find the information of previous years

I am wondering though in how far combining these two is too much to handle in one go?

Some reflections:

On the "kiez burn manual":
We already have 2 places where we document how we work together: here in this group (where the description on top of the group kinda tries to summarize everything with links etc) and the website. They are not so overlapping, although they do already, causing more work (e.g. the link to talk on our website is outdated). Adding another document that needs to be kept in sync, might create just additional work... And most importantly: "how we work together" is a living thing, we constantly learn, improve & change. So this document would need to change constantly, and in line with what is written here on Talk... Seems quite a challenge.

On the other hand... I see the point! We have a survival guide for people joining the event, then why not have an event planning survival guide, which basically this manual would be... Just wondering if the group description here might serve that purpose?

Google doc
disclaimer: this is mainly my opinion: A long google document... who really reads that? Don't we all just skip through it anyways? And when you have such a long document as a collaborative document, it actually gets quite difficult to manage and have people edit collaboratively (for a post mortem).

I really like your proposal to set up a timeline of what happened when done by someone. It really helps to kinda set the general expectations and direct actions. nice!

Kiez Burn Manual Realizer
I also believe we should have an "archivarian" or a "master of learning" or something like that, someone that looks after people making documentation (like you suggested). However, I am not sure if I see this to be 1:1 with the manual realizer. I would see it as something separate (see above)


Veroca R. Sala Thu 27 Feb 2020 8:38AM

Yes , waldo, all that you say are questions i came across too! and i kinda like got lost. Im happy we are opening this to a discussion to clear this up.

How to keep stuff up to date if everything is in continuous evolution. This is very tricky,

Then we could conclude that the are two important things to take care of:

  • One thing is the "How to Kiez Burn Manual" : which would be Basically the Index, this contains links from " How we work together". This task would Need a Lead that adds new relevant threads to the index if necessary. Someone that is making sure the index is up to date.

  • Other thing is the Documentation added on the threads by the Leads: This requires someone to make sure this is done, and that only the new and relevant info is there.

The current description of "How we work together" could be reduced to a description of that group itself to avoid overlapping, since the "How to Kiez Burn manual" will contain the Big index already wiith most of the info.

About borderland system, I havent seen it, yet, will need some time to look it up.


Veroca R. Sala Mon 2 Mar 2020 8:10PM

I took a look at the Borderland documentation system.

I find this interesting. They ask the Realizer to confirm whether the Realities description of the Need was correct or not. This is super since I have done this myself and im not quite sure how accurate this info is. It would be nice to have that info confirmed for next year.

So it would be useful to have these "Realities related questions" on each thread (Need) where we ask this very important detail. The Realizer of Realities 2021 will have to dive into documentation again in order to have this up to date. To avoid that, we let the Realizers 2020 tell what is correct and what is missing. 😉

For the rest, I imagine slightly different:

  • I would put up on the thread what has been given by the realizers 2019. (Borderland links to Realities but our Realities is not quite there yet, its also not what Cris wanted to make out of the Guide).

  • This means we copy-paste what we have on the templates and put it up on each thread of each Need, oder?

  • I would then give some instructions for 2020 Realizers on how to document. This would mean:

  1. To read what was done the previous year and only add new information. without having to answer the same things again.

  2. excel sheets or documents will be added on the correspondent drive folder of the year and its link would be given in the thread of the Need.

  3. We could add some formating to have nice and easy to read

  • Borderland has information in the comments, we want to avoid that as much as possible. I mean, I'm not worried about the comments but the information, we tend to put in them, without actually updating the thread.

  • we could pin all the threads to have them all at the top, (would they move if we pin them?)

Does this make sense for you @Cris? how is our timeline to get this done? we have a second leads meeting on the 9th of March, would be nice to present it!


Veroca R. Sala Tue 8 Dec 2020 8:57AM

@Cris I'm at this point following up on this abandoned project from late 2019 early 2020 to enable Realizers from 2021, collect the learnings from previous years, and helping future generations to document their processes.

To do:

  1. Make a decision on how are we gonna present the learnings on Talk

  2. format the answers and transfer all the information gathered which is at the moment on the 2020 drive folder find here

  3. Determine how is the index playing a role in this or if the index is another project by itself (e.g. an Index of the Whole Talk Kiez Burn space that could be the first landing or not, to be discussed openly)

  4. update this thread and present accordingly this project to the community by making descriptions on the Kiez Burn Manual Group, invite members to join the group etc.

  5. make the Kiez Burn Manual group, public ( now is secret)

  6. set deadlines for all these points


Veroca R. Sala Thu 18 Feb 2021 11:16AM

@Jessie I tagged you hereafter hearing you yesterday at the Realizers Meeting. I think this topic is somewhat related to what you suggested, having a "master sheet".

If you read this thread, you may understand how we carry this problem along.

How to keep the information as organized as possible, reachable and up to date when we worked decentralized? challenging, but maybe not impossible!

We started this project with Cris over a year ago, but we haven't gotten anywhere yet, I'd love to hear ideas you have in mind in case you feel this is close to your concern and the great idea of having a master spreadsheet or doc that contains and directs us to the right documents/information.

You may also notice on this thread there are two different but close topics, documentation and a manual Index ( which link is broken at the moment) ... let's see if we can recover it.

Anyhow, I'm excited you spotted this issue so soon and actually have spoken out about it at a meeting. I've been actually discouraged to work on this project mainly because of the lack of input and uncertainties around it...thank you for speaking out❤️


Henrik 🤖 Thu 27 Feb 2020 8:00AM

@Cris @ Right now there seems to be no way to disable comments. Sorry!


walto Thu 27 Feb 2020 12:00AM

You might find it interesting how Borderland does it, which is similar to how you seem to suggest to document things @Veroca R. Sala : a separate thread per need where then people document their experience.

I personally do not see an issue with comments being enabled. If we get so much engagement with documentation, then that would be a winner, no?


Cris Wed 26 Feb 2020 10:44PM

Thank you, Vero. Yes that way of Talk-ing it could work, if the index is in the first description and the comments are disabled. Also don't know whom to ask about this, maybe @Henrik 🤖 has an idea if that's an option? (Disable comments in Talk?)

As for the Index, if you click in the "Kiez Burn Manual" link up there, you'll get to the Index draft as it is now. I took what we drafted at our meeting and gave the priority order set by Korg.