User:AngelinaBelle/SMF team manual/Team roles From Online Manual

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The Simple Machines Forum (SMF) project is a project under the umbrella of the Simple Machines NPO.

The SMF project structure

The SMF project has a project manager and several sub-teams. The heads of these teams, along with the project manager, constitute the projects's steering committee, which is responsible for developing plans for the project and leading the project toward achieving its goals.

Project Manager

The SMF Project Manager (PM) is responsible for representing the SMF project to the non-profit organization, the Board of Directors and to the SMF community. The PM leads the team, maintaining the vision and spirit of the project. The PM encourages and supports team members, works with the steering committee to set goals for the project.

The PM's responsibilities are:

  1. To help the SMF team set goals.
  2. To lead the SMF team toward meeting the team's goals, help solve problems
  3. To help the teams collaborate, stay informed of the effect they have on one another, and work together effectively.
  4. To mediate conflict between team members, or between team members and community members, in order to help the parties reach an agreement.
  5. When authorized by the SC, to speak on behalf of the steering committee.
  6. To serve as team figurehead -- representing the team to the community, answering general inquiries, turning some questions over to other experts on the team.
  7. To identify areas for improvement within the project.
    • Inform or advise the responsible parties, bring it to the attention of the SC, or appoint someone to handle it.
    • The SC must be notified of all such appointments.

In order to carry out these duties,

  1. The PM should have administrative access to, and related sites.
  2. The PM should have root access to the servers/VMs holding the infrastructure of the SMF project, in order to be able to help in case of emergency.

The PM is empowered to:

  1. Perform administrative duties necessary for the team, such as changing groups (set as Friend, apprentice, etc.).
  2. Intervene and make project decisions, in case of emergency, when the respective person responsible is not available. These situations include, but are not limited to:
    • The responsible team lead or member is inactive or otherwise unavailable, and immediate action needs to be taken.
    • The project is seriously endangered, as when immediate removal of a team member is necessary.

Restrictions on the powers of the PM are:

  1. When the PM takes administrative action to change member access, removal of team members, or other emergency actions, he must inform the SMF leadership or the team.
  2. The PM must provide an explanation for any decision or action, at the request of the SMF leadership.
  3. The SMF leadership can reverse any decision or action of the PM. The SMF leaderhip may make a decision without taking a formal poll. If any member of the SC (including the PM) requests a poll on the matter, a poll may be taken.
  4. The SMF team can reverse any decision or action of the PM.

Team Leads

Each of the teams within the SMF project has a team lead. The team lead are responsible for:

  • Reporting progress during team meetings.
  • Participating in Steering Committee discussions.
  • Keeping the other teams informed of important changes or events.
  • Keeping their team motivated & on task.
  • Helping team members stay involved.
  • Giving team members the recognition and credit they merit for their successes and accomplishments.
  • Supporting the personal and professional growth of each and every member of the team
  • Watching for new team members and recruiting them.
  • Making sure apprentice members and new team members have a mentor, that the mentor works as closely with the new member as necessary, and that apprentices makes appropriate progress during the apprenticeship period.


Did you know?
The “SE” in YaBB SE stood for “Splinter Edition” after Splinter from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Ninjas are cool, and YaBB SE was designed to be cool, too. And it was a developed by a small splinter group of the original YaBB Team.

Developers create the software. Without them, there is no software community. For the SMF community to remain vital, the software must remain vital. The developers must lead in decisions about where technology is going, and where SMF needs to go to stay current. They need to consider everything from what the users want, to making the features run efficiently, to making sure all the pieces get tested properly.

For information and ways to contribute, please refer to the Development pages.

Support Specialists

  • Helping our users have an exceptional SMF experience.
  • Providing special attention to the Charter Members.
  • Monitoring the help desk & getting tickets to a “closed” state.
    • Check Help Desk first.
    • Check Charter Member boards.
    • Check Support boards.
  • Revisit your old posts and mark as solved when appropriate.
  • Perform upgrades and installs for Charter Members.
  • Support the core software by answering questions, suggesting fixes, etc.
  • Act as a filter for bug reports, reporting legitimate ones to the bug tracker.
  • Look for common problems/errors and suggest documentation or code changes to reduce them.
  • Assume nothing. Always ask questions, no matter how tedious that can get. If a post is unclear, don't make assumptions. Ask for clarification.
  • Some posts may seem trivial, to you. Remember that they aren't trivial to our users. Always strive to be friendly and helpful. You are SMF's "Front line". The way you are perceived will reflect on SMF, not just you.
  • Always try to remember to tell users to backup, before attempting anything. If you don't remind them, they'll almost certainly forget.
  • If you begin helping, on a certain topic, try to maintain an interest in that topic; don't just leave it if you're stuck. There's a "Support Helpers" board. Use that to alert other support team members of your plight.
  • If you're going to be away from the boards, whilst you're helping someone, try to let other members of the team know, so that they can take that topic over for you, rather than letting the person you're helping just "Hang".


Customizers are developers who can provide mods and/or themes for SMF. They review and approve mods and themes submitted by the community, and they maintain the customization site. Their duties include:

  • Watching for feature ideas that should be put into mods.
  • Updating SMF's official mods as necessary to maintain compatibility.
  • Updating SMF's official themes as necessary to maintain compatibility.
  • Designing new themes.
  • Theme Site maintenance.
    • Approving community-created themes.
  • Mod Site maintenance.
    • Approving community-created mods.
  • Graphics images (i.e. Buttons & smileys).
  • Other graphics as requested/required.
  • Give support to people trying to create themes and modifications.
  • Suggest changes to make theme and modification creation easier and more powerful.
  • Write mods that follow the coding guidelines and as though they were writing a default SMF feature.
  • Provide support in the Coding Discussion and Graphics boards.

Doc Writers

Documentation Writers write and maintain the online documentation at They may be called upon to write and maintain any documentation within the forum software itself. They may work with and recruit [b]Doc Helpers[/b] from the community to help out. Their responsibilities.

  • Maintaining the Online Manual.
    • Write clear, accurate, and easy to understand documentation.
    • Review and update update text as needed.
  • Work with localizers, site, and dev teams to enable document translations.
  • Write, review, or proofread other SMF team publications, including our news announcement postings.
  • Maintain the SMF Team Manual


  • Coordinate the activity of Translators and Language Moderators.
  • Validate new translation team applications.
  • Manage the correspondence.
  • Add /remove new translators.
  • Enhance accessibility to translate the wiki docs.
  • Informing community regarding language related topics of interest.

Others who contribute to the SMF project

These individuals also volunteer their time on behalf of the project, but are not members of the SMF project.

Simple Machines organizational teams

The SMF project depends on teams from the Simple Machines corporate organization for Marketing and to maintain its site and its servers. These teams are not officially part of the SMF project. The site team is responsible for maintaining and upgrading and the software on it. The server team is responsible for specifying, configuring and maintaining the organization's servers and other hardware. The marketing team is responsible for planning press releases, attendance to conferences and other public relations details. Additionally, the marketing team works on acquiring sponsorships as well as maintaining and supporting the advertisements and advertisers on the site.

Forum Administrators

Forum administrators take care of routine tasks like banning and deleting accounts, as well as less-common tasks like creating membergroups and adjusting membergroup permissions. These tasks are generally handled by site and server team members, by the SMF project manager and by other SMF team members.


Former members of the SMF team, some of whom are still members of the Simple Machines organization. They often share their experiences with the team. Some Friends may re-join the team when they again have time to commit to the SMF project.

Community Helpers

Some community members have been invited to join special-purpose membergroups. They do not have access to SMF team-only boards, but do have some permissions that other members of the community do not have.

  • Consulting Developers
  • Beta Testers.
  • Language Moderators -- moderate and provide support on non-English language boards.
  • Translators -- with their work SMF is available for many languages.

Anyone who wishes may join these membergroups right from their own profile

  • Doc Helpers.
  • Community Support Helpers.

Many other members of the community contribute in one way or another without holding any title at all. They are important to keeping things going at