A Strategic Plan for the Software Carpentry Foundation

This post originally appeared on the Software Carpentry website.

The Software Carpentry Foundation Steering Committee held a strategic planning meeting in August. In that two-day, intensive meeting, we focused on developing a long term strategic plan for the Software Carpentry Foundation. The process emphasized identification of our stakeholders and mission. It also used the results of our community survey to identify our strengths and weaknesses as well as the opportunities and threats that face the organization. The resulting Strategic Plan was developed over the course of the in-person meeting and summarized into a document. With vital feedback from the Advisory Council, whose role is to offer advice and guidance to SCF on strategic matters, we arrived at the document that now resides here.

One highlight is our brief Mission Statement:

We aim to teach skills that promote reproduciblility and reliability in research. To accomplish this, we focus on educating and supporting instructors, developing curricula and running workshops.

Based on Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats identified by the community, as well as a lengthy assessment of our stakeholders and mission, the Steering Committee arrived at the following major strategic issues that will be our primary focus for the near term. Some of the nearest term goals have already moved forward since the development of the plan (such as the new website design, which contributes to reporting and transparency).

  • Reporting and Transparency
  • Documentation of Procedures
  • Instructor Pipeline Management
  • Coordination with Data Carpentry

More information about the detailed meaning of these issues can be found in the document itself.

Rather than a top-down declaration of our goals as a foundation, we intended this document to capture what we understood to be the ideas and missions of you, our community. As you look over this document, we hope you won’t hesitate to provide feedback that will help SCF clarify its mission, nurture its strengths, and reach its aspirations. If you have any questions or suggestions, we hope you’ll get in touch through comments on this post.

Even better, if you’d like to be instrumental in the annual revision of this strategic plan, please consider running for the 2016 Steering Committee. The deadline is this Friday.

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