A Formula Proposal

What will this Discourse post be? (ER)

I am creating this proposal to introduce a resourceful, adaptable and interchangeable tool that can be used by every group and independent project in SourceCred. (CM)

I will give examples that are not only easy to absorb and understand, but I can say without a doubt that once you have read this post, you will be able to walk away from this and have an understanding of how to use it in ANY instance. (QR)

“What is the Project Formula and why should I use it?” (ER)

  • The Project Formula is my adaptation of a learning goal based program from The MET Sacramento High School. What this means is that the base of this formula is an entire successful high school curriculum. (CM)
    • The process is called “Big Picture Learning” and is used in numerous schools across the US and Canada. (CM)
    • Big Picture Learning exists because and I quote “To help create a framework for looking at real-world concepts and abilities that are necessary to being a successful, well rounded person. The learning goals are not content oriented curricula, nor are they completely distinct categories. Good project work incorporates many overlapping elements of the Learning Goals.” (CM)

“Why should I use The Formula?”(ER)

  • Using The Formula in individual/group projects (even if you have already completed a project) will help see if the project is meeting 5 main goals. These goals make sure that the project has qualities of; responsibility, leadership, reflection, communication, understanding, comprehension, logical processes, and results.(CM)
  • By adapting the base formula of these learning goals to SourceCreds approach to projects and project management (and anywhere else, so cool!) I predict that we will see HUGE improvements of outcomes in things such as (QR);
    • Expectation Trauma Responses
    • Onboarding Training
    • Navigation Accessibility
    • Project Clarity & Focus
    • SourceCred Growth into non tech areas
    • Multi-Media interactions/training
    • PLUS all of the other future projects that will be impactful to SourceCred!

So let’s get down to it and take a look at the ACTUAL formula and show some examples of how to use it and how impactful it is to each use. (QR)

The Formula:

  • Empirical Reasoning (ER): Empirical Evidence
    • Key Question:
      • What idea do I want to test?
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR):
    • Key Question:
      • How do I measure, compare or represent it?
  • Communication (CM):
    • Key Question:
      • How do I take in and express ideas?
  • Social Reasoning (SR):
    • Key Question:
      • What are others’ perspectives on this?
  • Personal Qualities (PQ)
    • Key Question:
      • What do “I” bring to this process?

“How do I use this in my project/life?” (ER)

Great question! In fact I’m sure by now you have noticed that in all of this document there are areas where you see abbreviations that have been highlighted: (CM)

(ER) (QR) (SR) (CM) (PQ)

Since the moment you started reading this you have already started to see examples of how The Formula looks when in use. Doesn’t this WHOLE explanation feel easy to absorb? Do you feel that this formula could be given to any organization, office, company, or group and use it right away? If you’re still on the fence and not sure how The Formula could be applied in projects with SourceCred let me give an even better and more detailed example that might hit home for you.(CM)


Focus Question: “How can we make Onboarding more impactful?” (ER)

  1. This question is Empirical Reasoning, most projects start because of a main question or drive to better understand or help improve something that has been seen. ER can show up in a multitude of ways because it is the base of scientific thoughts and curiosity.(CM)

  2. “ER is used to help evaluate or prove hypotheses that can incorporate ideas from physics to sociology to art theory.” (CM)

  3. If you are curious how else ER appears, try to see if any of your questions sound similar to these; (CM)

  4. “What idea do I want to test?”

  5. “What has other research shown?”

  6. “What is my hypothesis? How can I test it?”

  7. “What information (data) do I need to collect?”

  8. “How will I collect the information?”

  9. “What will I use as a control in my research?”

  10. “How good is my information?”

  11. “What are the results of my research?”

  12. “What error do I have?”

  13. “What conclusions can I draw from my research?”

  14. “How will I present my results?”

Focus Question: “I am seeing a trend that new Creddies are feeling overwhelmed. Could this feeling of being overwhelmed correlate to a lack of leadership roles?” (QR)

  1. This question is Quantitative Reasoning, when you want to get down to the numbers and predictions of a project they are your go to buddy. QR’s goal is to analyze numbers, data and to comprehend and study how things are moving.(CM)

  2. “This goal is to think like a mathematician: to understand numbers, to analyze uncertainty, to comprehend the properties of shapes, and to study how things change over time.” (CM)

  3. Here are some other fun ways QR shows up in questions; (CM)

  4. “How can I use numbers to evaluate my hypothesis?”

  5. “What numerical information can I collect about this?”

  6. “Can I estimate this quantity?”

  7. “How can i represent this information as a formula or diagram?”

  8. “How can I interpret this formula or graph?”

  9. “How can i measure this shape or structure?”

  10. “What trends do I see? How does this change over time?”

  11. “What predictions can I make?”

  12. “Can I show a correlation?”

Focus Question: “How is Onboarding benefiting and pulling from other projects and groups?” (SR)

  1. This question has Social Reasoning written all over it. Any time a question asks about the impact or involvement of another group, community or even others views its SR- BIG TIME. (CM)

  2. “This goal is to think like an historian or anthropologist: to see diverse perspectives, to understand social issues, to explore ethics, and to look at issues historically.” (CM)

  3. Other thoughts and questions SR shows up in are: (CM)

  4. “How do diverse communities view this?”

  5. “How does this issue affect different communities?”

  6. “Who cares about this? To whom is it important?”

  7. “What is the history of this?”

  8. “How has this issue changed over time?”

  9. “Who benefits and who is harmed through this issue?”

  10. “What do people believe about this?”

Focus Question: “I’ve got the data that shows and breaks down how Onboarding as a whole is impacting SourceCred and individual projects. There’s been a few meetings on leadership roles too. I know the pattern and I think I have the solution. How can I present all of this information to my peers?” (CM)

  1. Oh sweet,sweet Communication. If you have ever presented a research paper, reached for resources to read on a topic to help aid you or even spoke about core values you have in a role- surprise you’ve used Communication. (CM)

  2. “This goal is to be a great communicator: to understand your audience, to write, read, speak and listen well, to use technology and artistic expression to communicate, and to be exposed to another language.”(CM)

  3. Forms that Communication shows up as questions are: (CM)

  4. “How can I write about it?”

  5. “What is the main idea I want to get across ((thesis))?”

  6. “Who is my audience?”

  7. “What can I read about it?”

  8. “Who can I listen to about it?”

  9. “How can I speak about it?”

  10. “How can technology help me to express it?”

  11. “How can I express it creatively?”

  12. “How can i express it in another language?”

Focus Question: “What is my own responsibility now that I have presented this project, how will this impact SourceCred?” (CM)

  1. Personal Qualities is The Fonz of all formula goals. You want to organize better? PQ. Working on being more self aware? BAM! PQ baby. If you desire to grow as not just a team member, but as a Creddie and as a person, you HAVE to have PQ involved. (CM)

  2. “This goal is to be the best you can be: to demonstrate respect, responsibility, organization, leadership, time management, and to reflect on your abilities and strive for improvement” (CM)

  3. Ways PQ shows up are: (CM)

  4. “How can I demonstrate respect?”

  5. “How can I empathize more with others?”

  6. “How can I strengthen my health and well-being?”

  7. “How can I communicate honestly about this?”

  8. “How can I be responsible for this?”

  9. “How can I persevere at this?”

  10. “How can I better organize my work?”

  11. “How can I better manage my time?”

  12. “How can I be more self-aware?”

  13. “How can I work cooperatively with others?”

  14. “How can I enhance my community through this?”

Just to also make clear, you can start a project really from anyone of these goals. You could start on a PQ based project and have it end on an ER/CM. (Ex: Personal improvement of time management that ends with results based communication to other projects that the time management affected…oh man that would even be an SR. All you would need is a QR and you have a balanced project!) (SR/CM)

While we may notice trends and patterns of groups and projects being more dominant of which goals they are meeting and how often. You simply can not have a well balanced and successful project if you are missing one of the 5 goals. Do you also see the way that teams will be able to dip their hands into multiple projects based on the needs that arise from this formula? Can you imagine ways that this will help you as an individual be able to get involved with multiple projects in a more balanced way? (QR)

I have a fun prediction to make once this is starting to be used more.(QR)

Dev team may find that they are almost completely QR and ER and PQ dominant. But in order for the rest of the SourceCred community to understand how their work impacts us, they have to use CM and SR to keep up the core values of transparency and communication. (Possibly even bringing members from Community Cultivation over to help meet the CM and SR needs) (SR)

Same goes for the Community Cultivation team, you may find that the team and projects are more SR, CM, and PQ dominant. But no project will be balanced if it is missing the thinking that comes from ER, nor will it be useful if we can not measure the impact projects will have with QR. (Enticing Dev Creddies to help with those beautiful brains) (SR)

An SR that I have is I would like to do some small group exercises to see if folks really could benefit from this. How impactful this formula can be on outcomes of projects. And I am also really curious what other questions people have on this. (SR)

I strongly feel that this Formula will help check us all in an equally useful way because it does what SourceCred really needs right now, it is adaptable and applicable to our main goal. (PQ)

If you are asking yourself or someone else “What is our main goal?” Then I highly recommend to keep an eye out for my next tool which is an exercise called;

“Keeping the Main Thing, the Main Thing”

This will be an add on to The Formula to help us break down even further how to be more impactful in the long run with our projects.

BIG NOTE* This is my first ever post on Discourse, I have really only been around for 3-4 days. If you find that anything I have put into this has been harmful, damaging or pulling attention away from other important needs, please let me know. I am always open for feedback, hearing questions or concerns. It is also totally okay if as a collective SourceCred ends up thinking this will not be useful. Love you all.


This is super exciting to me! As you know, I adore process (sometimes too much). :sweat_smile:

I’d say that from this topic I have a super basic intro to the 5 aspects of formulating an impactful effort. I can see how they’re probably going to be super useful, though wouldn’t be able to apply the process yet.

I’d be excited to keep seeing this formula talked about as we’re figuring out our coordination processes together. I personally learn best through interaction and experience; so the more I can try to apply it to both existing and dreamed-of projects within SourceCred, the more I think I’ll start to get it. And once I “get it” I’ll be able to help communicate and perpetuate it to the degree I/we find useful.

As we all keep communicating about our plans (especially in Cultivation, which I use as my playground for process) I’d love to have part of those conversations be about where this formula matches up and where it doesn’t.

I predict this will be a useful tool in our efforts towards Process!

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This makes me so happy to hear!

A dream I have about this formula is being someone who can go to any project (because in the end I don’t have to know anything about the subject of the project) and helping individuals or groups through its application. The end goal of those meetings would be to help get better and better questions set up to be answered.

(Ie: Taking a math problem and breaking it down question by question until it its broken down into its simplest form.)

This is done through the individual’s themselves, my job would just to make sure the goals are balanced.

I’m excited to help you or anyone who is interested in becoming experienced to know and understand the theory of The Formula too! I want it to spread like wildfire.