Project Management Processes for the Netroots

Armando, Buhdy and ANKOSS are all speaking to leadership and the netroots. While Armando is coming at it from the perspective of questioning leadership failures, and Buhdy is addressing the role of blogs in the netroots development and influence, ANKOSS is taking a critical look at the role of corporations in oppressing the populace, of which the netroots is a subset.

I’d like to throw up out another idea.  The netroots is a subset of the progressive movement, and it is a work-in-early-progress. To that end, here’s a project management proposal for meta netroots leadership, management and organizational development.  With any project management process, it’s akin to herding chickens, cats – or even libertarians! *g* Use this as recipe ingredients – subject to change to meet the tastes and preferences of the chef and the diners. Throw out what doesn’t work, innovate where that helps the process to move forward, and savor the contributions of the ingredients. So there are many different software for project management office, tools and online helpers to suit each unique business needs, these companies constantly have to cater for the variety of demand they recieve.

Cavest:  I am dyslexic, arthritic and myopic – the -Icks sometimes interfere with the cleanness of the writing, and so I re-read, continually edit and post essays that are works-in-progress.  Where commenters contribute, I try to incorporate those contributions into the essay and attribute accordingly.


Identify the members.


All bloggers who address progressive values, issues and politics.
Readers and commenters of blogs deemed “progressive”.
Policy blogs, bloggers, readers and commenters who address policy from a progressive point of view.
Non-internet voters who are influenced by activities secondary to the output of blogs and internet progressive activities. (ex. contributors to who watch television ads and act on the message)
Traditional voters who are actually or potentially influenced by progressive activity.

Mission, Vision, Values

This is the most critical piece of the whole shebang.  Get the mission right, and the movement, well – MOVES!  Make the mission and vision overly complicated, obtuse and tortuous, and the progress will be halting, if it happens at all. This is the one time to get as many influentials and grassroots members to the table and hash out and distill the essence of just what the progressive movement/netroots movement IS!  Yes, you must know what the meaning of the word is, IS!*g*

Qualities of strong mission statements are clarity, brevity and uniqueness. A mission statement answers the question of WHY this entity exists.

Next comes the all powerful vision statement. It answers the question of the future WHAT?  What is the ultimate iteration or goal of the progressive netroots?  What does it look like?  What does it do?  Who does it include? Where is it?

Then the statement of values.  Again, this is the time for brutal honesty.  What are the most important and relevant elements for the progressive netroots?

That’s the foundational and preliminary work which must be done in some form before any of the actual process can occur.

So instead of moving into the process piece, let’s take a moment and figure out how to get this essential work done.

What?  Venue to bring the essential people together? What resources are needed to support the completion and progress of the work? 

How?  How will these resources be obtained and apportioned?

Where?  Does this get held in real world settings, such as at a convention, or can it be a hybridized and larger process, a la using CurrentTV, YouTube, live blogging and real time interactive media as an adjunct or a replacement for a conventional convention setting?

Who?  Who are the essential contributors and influentials who need to do this work?

When?  I’m always impatient and use the sooner-the-better framework, but in reality, a lot of planning needs to go into this in order to have the resources, tools and supports ready for the participants.

Why?  To date, the progressive netroots has mostly been a free form and free-for-all movement.  it has generated several bloggers with strong internet presences, and who exhibit varying degrees of influence relative to campaign contributions, voting preferences and campaign agendas. it has also generated different internet-based issues organizations, such as Armando’s fearsome foe of But there has been no consensus-building to any large degree, and there has been no formal mechanism of coalescing and growing the progressive netroots movement to any large extent. 

The Return On Investment (ROI)

Using a project management approach to formalizing a structure and moving forward using a consensus-driven process has the goals of building support, building resources, building presence, building political influence and building societal change.

In the beginning, there was darkness upon the earth.

In the growth and development of organizations, the progressive netroots has been in the earliest “primordial soup” phase.  Exploring the world.  Serendipitously meeting and collaborating with other entities.  Trying on ideas.  Testing boundaries. Determining limits.  Exploring the environment. Acting in a mostly disorganized and random fashion. And beginning to find advantages for working collectively and morphing into a different organism.

Let there be light!

If you like this process and care to continue to discuss using process management tools, I’ll be happy to write more, as I’m able.


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  1. I am just about to publish on this!

    Starting with what I guess you would call the mission and vision parts…..

    Starting a progressive manifesto project.

    I like the way you have presented it here and will link.

  2. Focus and follow through are the biggest bottlenecks to achieving pretty much anything — particularly in online activism.

    I reduce your essay down a little further:


    >>What’s the goal?


    >>Who can help or what can they use to help?


    >>How much does it cost?


    >>How do we organize the resources and how will they be managed


    >>How do we known we’re making progress?

    Success Metrics

    >>How do we measure if we were successful?

    The netroots isn’t very good getting past objectives and resources.  So many fantastic ideas get lost in comments or lose momentum after a few diaries.

    Building a better widget that distributes, organizes and mobilizes collective policy is a good policy to pursue.

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