Global Gathering 2019 - Day 8 - Instance Specific Development

Tasks are in ATT Pipe

What is the purpose of this session?

  • Understand the trade offs and tensions between instance specific requests and the global pipe
  • Tensions are monetary, strategic, capacity
  • Can an instance pay an external developer to implement a new feature?

What outcomes/deliverables do we want?

  • Confidence to move forward in terms of process and promises for new features

Who is facilitating? Rachel

Who is scribing? Lynne



Tensions in the past around the hodgepodge of people interacting with the software and not creating a cohesive product. Originally in Aus instance specific things pushed to the sides. Process developed with a sense of momentum for users things being brought in. Then people started trying to do things on the side - Zaps and Metabase. Hacks mean that instances with developers can play. Means that those with devs in their countries hold back funding from the pipe to do their own hacks. And then the time the developers can contribute to global pipe is reduced.

We have tried two strategies so far:

  1. The wild west of every instance funding and developing features they need with their own resources. It did not work.
  2. We tried totally collectivising all decisions with a single global pipe. It did not work.


  • Everyone agrees that we need to find a middle ground between the two strategies

  • Instance specific development need is a spike that goes into the pipe. When an instance specific need comes ups there is a better process for id of ROI and prioritise a spike on the feature.

  • We need a better way to describe ROI in the wishlist list eg revenue, time, cost, users, impact, will issues be s1 s2 or workarounds.

  • We agreed that we will have instance specific external development on external tasks. Internal tasks need to be prioritised through the global pipe.

  • Spikes will be added to the global pipe

  • There was a strong feeling to move toward a “plugin” strategy on payment methods.


  • Spike on payment method externalisation eg a “plug in” feature
  • Providing a template for less expereinced instances to use to define some of the things that we’ve talked about in terms of ROI.
  • Let’s have a conversation with Stripe to see if they will support our quest.

Detailed notes:

Thank you for these notes and for your consideration of this topic! Teminology questions:

** Spike on payment method externalisation feature.*
Not sure I understand what a spike is

** Agreed that we will have instance specific external development on external tasks.*
Not sure I understand what external development and external tasks are - those that don’t go through the process to become part of the OFN product?