Restructuring NISEI

Hi Runners! It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, but have no fear I’m still around―although going by SwearyPrincess now rather than RealityCheque!

As you might have guessed if you’ve read neuropantser’s post on recruitment there’s been some slight changes around here… and not just that we’ve finally brought someone on specifically to help us with recruitment. As the person who designed the changes, I’m going to take some time to let you know what they are and why.

For three years, NISEI has operated using the same structure that the original Selection Committee designed. This structure was very flat and wide with only the Standard Balance Team, Translation and Web Development teams being additional add-ons and not directly reporting to the President.

Organizational chart showing the old NISEI structure. At the top is the President. Directly below the President are Design, Dev, Rules, OP (Organized Play), EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion), Community, and Creative. Below OP is SBT (Standard Balance Team). Below Community are Translation and WebDev.

It turned out this wasn’t particularly efficient. It was a struggle to arrange meetings where each of the team leads could be present, and such a wide, flat structure also caused bottlenecks. As you can see, that’s a lot of people reporting into the President, and keeping up with all of that sometimes felt like a full-time job! Additionally, the location of some of the sub-teams made little sense, and the flat structure meant that if someone was out of commission due to real-life concerns, it could cause a real logjam.

NISEI is getting pretty large now―with over 60 people in our team Discord, and more to recruit―so it’s time for a rethink. The flat structure worked great when there were eight of us and okay when there were thirty, but now that we’re over fifty, it’s struggling!

We’ve split the previous NISEI teams into two wings, Product and Engagement, and added a long-overdue third wing, People. Each of these three wings will have a Vice President to oversee it and to combine their powers, Captain-Planet style, to act as President when that person isn’t available.

Each team and department will also have a named Second-in-Command able to step in to cover, meaning we should get to a point where someone having to take a break doesn’t cause disruption!

A new organizational chart. President is at the top, in blue. Three teams report directly to the President, listed in green: People, Product, and Engagement. People has two subteams, also in green: Recruitment and ???. Product has six subteams: Production (green), Design (blue), Dev (blue), Translation (red), Narrative (green), and Visual (green). Rules (red) reports to Design, and SBT (red) reports to Dev. Engagement has five subteams: EDI (blue), OP (blue), Community (blue), WebDev (red), and Marketing (green).
  • The brand new People Department includes a Recruitment Team to help us find the people we need effectively (something we’ve been slack at in the past), but the rest of the structure will be up to the person who ends up leading this. They’ll be responsible for the people within NISEI itself, and our internal policies.
  • Anything to do with actually making the cards, from initial concept through to translation and layout, now falls under the Product Department.
  • How NISEI interacts with people outside of NISEI is in the purview of the new Engagement Department (as tempting as it was to call it Public to make it match the naming for the other two departments).

In the diagram above, the teams in blue are largely unchanged from their familiar previous iteration, they’re just reporting to one of the new VPs. Red teams existed previously, but now report elsewhere:

  • Translation didn’t really make much sense anywhere in the old structure and mostly ended up falling under me in Community because our Lead Translator, MrBuggles, was recommended directly to me―but it definitely fits under Product in our new structure.
  • Same with WebDev; it was in Community simply because it was!
  • Community is now just the medium through which information travels, instead of trying to be many things at once―something that almost burned me out a few times, and I don’t wish on my replacement.
  • We’ve talked previously about Rules moving to sit under Design.
  • The Standard Balance Team (SBT) now reports to Development because both are focused on a happy and healthy metagame.

This just leaves those lovely new green blocks. The top level and Recruitment have already been covered, so a little about the rest…

  • Production are responsible for keeping track of our workflow, and communicating the current state of affairs both internally and externally.
  • Narrative and Visual are the two teams split out of the old Creative team, and cover the fiction/flavour and art/design sides respectively.
  • Marketing is something I’ve been waiting for a good jumping-on point before recruiting for this. Our success this past weekend at PAX Unplugged 2021 proves that its time has come―more on that in a future article!

In the past, we’d have made these roles, recruited for them, and in the meantime left the structure half changed―but we’ve learned the hard way that this can cause chaos, so while we wait for the recruitment process for leadership roles to be complete a few people are stepping up to cover these in the short term:

  • VP of Product: June Cuervo
  • VP of Engagement: SwearyPrincess (a.k.a. me)
  • Community Manager: SpencerDub
  • EDI Manager: Laury “CaKnuckleGuy”
  • OP Manager: Orbital_Tangent

So now you know what the structure looks like for us, when we list the open leadership positions in a few days, you’ll have the context to decide if you’re going to apply!

Expect more news from us over the coming days and weeks as we continue making changes, until then…

Always be running!

Author

  • Serenity is the VP of Engagement for NISEI, and wishes it was her full time job. Known by some as "Netrunner's Cool Goth Mom", she's a DJ in her spare-spare time and streams under the psuedonym SwearyPrincess!