Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizational

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phproberto
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by phproberto » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:17 am

I tried to shut up as I have already shared my issues with the proposal but....
So when other community members prepare to give their feedback here, they should have in mind that: Michael, Robert, Brian, Paul, Tonie, Andrew, Radek, Roberto, Jean-Marie, Dave and I, all had our chances to change things.
Now the plan is to try to discredit those who have showed their doubts about the proposal. It says a lot.

For your interest:

- I participated in identifying LTs issues when I thought the plan was to fix them (JAB14)
- I was opposed to this when it was tried to be approved in 2 weeks without the community feedback (JAB14).
- I pointed the issues of this proposal internally (email) when I was in the PLT.
- I was there asking for transparency when we were told that if we had problems with the proposal we should send an email with them instead of discussing it as a group.
- I made it public when this was going to be voted again without time to receive and process the community feedback (JWC).
- I left the leadership team because I was not in line with the rest of the members there and I was told to damage Joomla's reputation.
- Then externally I tried to send my feedback to the proposal to improve and change it as I was asked. My feedback was deleted and new docs were released without even reply to my suggestions.
- Meanwhile I tried to keep contributing to Joomla and spreading Joomla.

Before writing a list to discredit people you should ask yourself what have you done.

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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by agrevet » Fri Apr 17, 2015 5:36 pm

Hi Roberto,
phproberto wrote:Now the plan is to try to discredit those who have showed their doubts about the proposal. It says a lot.
No, that is not the plan. Please be clear that no one on the structural team is proposing “a plan” as you suggest, or is singling anyone out to discredit them.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by sarahwatz » Fri Apr 17, 2015 6:09 pm

Hi Jenny,

Thanks for sharing your concerns that you see with the proposal.
There has been no significant change in the document other than word and page count. There is still no more clarity as to how the proposal will actually improve responsibility, accountability and transparency (all the words that are repeated to the point of nausea but never put into practice). There is nothing concrete in the proposal that assists with contribution, or encouraging contribution.
In the beginning of the document we have explained the major changes we have done in the document since the last feedback round. For example we added an additional department, we added a vice president, we added a Department Coordination Team etc. So to say that we haven’t changed it would not be fair. In the document we have tried to be very clear on the voting procedure, how to get on a team, how to get elected etc. And also show that you can contribute to a team without being a team member. That would sometimes be the first step to join a team. And the addition of the local communities department will invite even more of our global community that up until now has volunteered locally to join the global organisation. I would love to have your feedback on how you would like to see us display or write to satisfy you that we are encouraging more contribution.
There are words stating that everyone that wishes to contribute has to agree to a Code of Conduct, but yet no Code of Conduct exists, acknowledge the Grievance Procedure but it doesn't exist, and disclose Conflict of Interest per a document that outlines what is or is not conflict of interest, but again this document does not exist. An Ombudsman office has been thrown in without any documentation or detail, but they are supposed to be responsible for mediating conflict or issues - how can they when no foundational documents on policy exist to make a determination?
There are some initiatives that have been worked on in parallel with this proposal. Like the:

Volunteer Portal. It was not launched when we started working on this proposal. We mentioned in the first versions of the document as something we saw could be a great tool for visualize all the working groups / teams that are active. That could be a great communication channel for sharing updates and info from the teams. Now when it's launched we can already see a lot of improvements in that area.

Code of Conduct The current one published here http://www.joomla.org/about-joomla/the- ... onduct.htm
and https://docs.joomla.org/Volunteer_Code_of_Conduct is currently in the process of being revised. COI is mentioned in the Code of Conduct. Today a board member has to sign a separate COI when joining the board. Maybe that can be used project wide?

And other initiatives that have come up in the proposal that we hope to get started:

Ombudsman As the Structure Team believes that this function would be good to implement no matter if the proposal is accepted or not we didn't want to go to deep in the details in this proposal. As a team we thought it would be best if this initiative to create this role that has very briefly been described in the document could be tasked to another team that has more insights in how this role could be defined, and elected etc. Then we can discuss it, get feedback and implement it.

Advisory Board The Structure Team believes this function would be a great addition no matter the structure. As a team we thought it would be best if this initiative to create this role that has very briefly been described in the document could be tasked to another team that has more insights in how this role could be defined, and elected etc. Then we can discuss it, get feedback and implement it.

We will address these things in the proposal so it’s more clear. Thank you for pointing this out. That is a very valuable feedback we can use to redefine the document after this round of feedback from the community. To take away the things that is not clear or not worded correctly to understand.

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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by phproberto » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:01 pm

agrevet wrote:Hi Roberto,
No, that is not the plan. Please be clear that no one on the structural team is proposing “a plan” as you suggest, or is singling anyone out to discredit them.
Do not put words in my mouth I haven' said. I'm not suggesting the structural team is trying to discredit anybody. I quoted the text/person I was talking about. Read again.

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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by masterchief » Sat Apr 18, 2015 12:28 am

sarahwatz wrote:Code of Conduct The current one published here http://www.joomla.org/about-joomla/the- ... onduct.htm
and https://docs.joomla.org/Volunteer_Code_of_Conduct is currently in the process of being revised. COI is mentioned in the Code of Conduct. Today a board member has to sign a separate COI when joining the board. Maybe that can be used project wide?
Please make things as simple as possible - in order to participate in teams, you need to register on the Volunteer portal and on doing so you accept that you are agreeing to the requirements in the [yet to be assembled] Joomla Volunteer Handbook which covers, among other things, Code of Conduct, COI, CLA for code and documentation, rights and responsibilities et al.

Then route everything you can through the volunteer portal.

If there is to be anything more complicated than that, again keep it simple and just have one rule for things wherever possible. To that end, any person in an elected position (be that a "leader" or an OSM board member) must be required to digitally sign a document that covers things like Code of Conduct and COI in more depth.

Key points here are:

1. Have the least amount of rules to protect the interests of individuals and the project.
2. When you do need a rule, apply then as easily and consistently as possible across the widest possible audience.

Don't make these things more complicated than they need to be.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by MarijkeS » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:00 pm

masterchief wrote:My 2c

General comment - in the main document, do not ever use dot-points. Always use some nomenclature, even if it's a), i), whatever.

1.1.1 I think the directory services (JED et al) should be explicitly spelled out in the areas covered by the CLT.

1.1.3 The use of the team "weak" sounds like a translation problem. I would use the term "lightweight".

3.1.3.3 & 3.1.3.4 I think it's good to acknowledge that leadership roles need to be shared. However, I don't think you need the overhead of knowing who is the leader and who is the assistant leader. I'd suggest combining this into just "Team Leaders" where this is a number greater than or equal to 1 but preferably 2.

3.2.1 needs to be completely re-worked. Each department needs a solid role or job description.
Thank you for your feedback on these items. The structure team will take this advice into account and process it in the final proposal.
masterchief wrote: 1.1 PLT and CLT came from the Community Oversight Committee. OSM has always been there.
brian wrote:I was there - it is my name as one of the three on the legal documents that created OSM - that is simply not factually correct and repeating the myths told at the JWC LT summit about the founding of joomla
We apologise for any incorrect remarks and will rectify it as good as we can. As already commented while some things are factual and can be looked up in documents, other history is based on how it was written down - people remember things differently. Truth is always depending on perception, looking to it from different angles and the factor time can also be of influence. For this topic, let’s aim to have the history as far as it concerns and addresses issues related to structure in this proposal as correct as we can.
masterchief wrote: 3.1.3.5 I don't advise going to the trouble of defining sub-teams. Just keep the teams "flat" otherwise it's just going to be a distraction when people are worrying whether they are a team or a sub-team. If a team need sub-teams - split the team.
In the former proposal that was shared with the working groups, there was a discussion about sub-teams and voting rights. It was perceived as not fair if all these sub-teams would have team leaders with the same voting rights similar to the team leader of a parent team. This is why we felt we needed to add the definition to the proposal.
masterchief wrote: 3.1.5 While possibly necessary, I'm not convinced you need to mandate it as a team (sounds more like something that should be recommended if the leadership team of the department can't handle the role). If this was code, I'd say just leave the Team class abstract and don't provide a concrete implementation for department coordination (use composition!).
As you mention, “while possibly necessary”. Our reason for defining the team separately comes mainly from the comments in the first proposal where there was only one Department Coordinator defined for each department. To divide the workload, that role was extended to a team with a clear task. Defining it is the way to clarify this in comparison with the former proposal.
masterchief wrote: 3.1.9 Who handles, for example, complaints from JED listers?

4.9 I think it's important to provide a specific section for JED (or similar resource sites) complaints because of the potential impacts on people's livelihood. I also think there should be an SLA on such complaints.
Several Joomla directories/sites do have their own process for complaints already. If a complainer and a directory/site can’t get to an agreement and the complainer wants to bring it to another level, a standard process is currently not in place.
In the new structure, this could be taken to the Department Coordinator first, and if an agreement isn’t achieved to the Ombudsman. With that remark that there are no process/guidelines for the Ombudsman role yet. Subject to be worked on in a next phase.
masterchief wrote: 4.2 Teams seems to be far too heavy. I would keep teams very organic and allow anyone to propose them and just be able to gather like-minded people together without requiring to jump through hoop upon hoop. Any team made up of just contributors should be allowed unless they are not operating (easy to automate winnowing the team list). When you want to have team members, that triggers the requirement to get approval from the department. Keep is simple for people who just want to play around with crazy ideas.

4.3 Following on from 4.2, this section seems completely over engineered. Why not just make "contributors" self-managed. They are non-voting so who cares if they are on the mailing list. If they are being a nuisance then I would suggest that the rules for being a nuisance should apply to everyone equally, regardless of role or stature.

4.4 In contrast, teams with members are where the serious sustainability of the project comes from. Members within teams would have voting rights required for other procedures in the document to operate.
Keep in mind that people are always free to start teams in fact. Playing around with crazy ideas is not forbidden at all. The only difference will be that they’re not part of the structure, as it is with all the rights that come with it. Which at it self doesn’t mean that they can’t become it in time.
masterchief wrote: If I were you guys, I'd spend the next year *just* working on the volunteer portal and getting the working groups/teams (whatever you want to call them) purring like a well tuned engine. If you can't get communication happening now, this restructure is not going to magically fix that - in fact it will probably make it worse.
Though the initial idea for the volunteer portal was born before we discussed the structure change, and had the purpose to attract more volunteers, at the time we started to discuss the structure proposal it became very clear for us from the start that the volunteer portal could potentially be a huge support for this. It was already in our first proposal, while the volunteer portal wasn’t live yet. It went live at the JWC, where the first version of the proposal on structure change and alternative ideas were presented. It’s absolutely true that restructuring will not magically fix things, communications is one of the important factors here as is the culture within the project in my opinion.
masterchief wrote: Do the bare minimum to fix the OSM membership stuff, but don't try to fix that by reengineering the structure of the whole project. Maybe that will come later - maybe it won't (if you a lucky).

I have complete faith that you can solve 90% of the perceived problems you think you have within the current PLT and CLT structure, and reducing the board of OSM to the bare minimum required by law.
In 2012 at our joined summit after JAB12 I shared that same faith completely. At that time one of the first proposals for a structure change was on the agenda. We discussed it thoroughly before we voted on it. The proposal was created by some LT members and some community members and presented to the leaders present at that joined summit. It was voted down in the end, and I have to admit I was one who voted against it. My reasoning to vote against it was because I felt very positive about the development of the communication between the 3 Leadership Teams since the summit in July 2011 (where restructuring was launched as an idea). I truly was convinced that we could solve the problems the natural way and grow to be a well tuned machine. That was 3 years ago, and it didn’t happen. I scratched my head many times trying to figure out why not. Is it the people, the turn over in teams, perception of history, a mix of all those things? I might come up with some answers, and someone else with another set of suggestions on the why it didn’t happen. Fact is, to me it seems from time to time now that we are rather going backwards then growing towards this more unified leadership.

To me the problem isn’t fixed by just having the membership stuff fixed within OSM. It is much more than that. Keys for me are the way we evolved since 2010, from almost not allowing any community input to wanting it but not having the proper tools and processes in place to actually make that happen. From being closed to the community to trying to open up to it, but also to each other as Leadership teams. Today a shared email lists isn’t even a standard, much of the conversation still happens behind closed doors. Not only closed for the community but also for LT members in other teams. Having one part of a discussion behind closed doors and then try to communicate it with another team that needs to be involved, results in frustrations. Many discussions are repeated, a lot of time is wasted and people start to get demotivated because decisions take a long time, ideas get stalled, and we don’t see the development we all would like to see.

All in all I gradually became more convinced that it takes a new structure and not a bandage to overcome those problems. And of course you are right, and a lot said it in here, it won’t magically happen just by doing X. You could just throw out any plan or proposal here, but it all comes down to the people and their willingness to execute it in the way it is intended. What became clear to me over the past years at least is, that even though I trust everyone within the project all the way and am convinced every bone in them intends it the right way, it simply is not going to happen if we maintain the current structure and put some additions to it. We tried that path.

I also hear you when you say, it’s not FUN when we have so many rules, or motions. I would love to have less rules, less procedures, less of everything to make this work. But the plain reality is that we need them in order to trust each other. I am as dumbfounded as you are about
masterchief wrote: 2. For some unknown reason when you get to be on OSM, you are suddenly branded as someone that is not to be trusted and you are most certainly not part of the Joomla community anymore (dumbfounds me every time).
We human beings just seem not to be able to behave without a proper set of rules and need to be guided by procedures and processes. I wish we humans were better creatures.

If I read along in this thread JM already wants to point out how people could be able to abuse a system and why we need rules and guidelines to act on. (on which I will resume in my next post).
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by MarijkeS » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:03 pm

infograf768 wrote:
agrevet wrote: I'm not sure I understand your second question. Do you mean can a single person on a team cast a vote on behalf of a community, or in some way represent or speak for an entire community? Let me know if I've got that right or wrong - thanks.
The issue here is simple: the voting power. Who votes for the Department leader who would be on OSM board.
If I understand well, for you, a Team is made of all volunteers from the same country speaking the same language and there is one vote per Team.
Yes, with that remark that it is the Team Leader of each team, that casts a vote for the Department Coordinators, and in case vacant the Department Coordination Team Leader. Additional all Department Coordinators can vote also for the Department Coordination Team Leader.
infograf768 wrote: Case 1: Therefore, if I personally want more voting power, I just have to declare myself as French Basque speaker + Breton speaker + Provençal speaker, etc. This will give me as many votes as languages I pretend or do speak, therefore as many teams...
No, first of all, you can not be a Team Leader of all these teams, you can only be a Team Leader of one team. For Team Leaders in the local community department you can be a Team Leader of one additional team in another department (and keep in mind that as a Team Leader you will only vote for the department coordinators within the same department the team lives). Second, you can only cast one vote per person, so even if you have two hats on, you will only be able to cast one vote. The proposal provides so in section 4.10.1
infograf768 wrote: Then If I make an alliance with other one person/Teams —East Syriac, Cherokee, Corsican, Ongan (Andaman language spoken by 300 people), etc.— I could theoretically get a majority and decide of the Team Leader! Even if other Teams like Italian, Dutch, French, etc. do represent many more people involved in joomla directly or indirectly.
This is in fact the same in each department. Teams no matter what size, have a Team Leader that votes on the relevant department coordinators. If you would like to abuse the system, you would need many people to be involved in your plan. Keeping in mind that Team Leaders get chosen by Team Members. If a couple of those Team Members don’t like your plan, they can easily decide to not vote for a certain team leader that goes along with your plan. In the worst case they could even report it as abusive and in consultation with the Department Coordination Team remove a Team Leader. The system has a level of social controlling in it, where abusing it would involve to many people. The greater the group of people that can influence something, the better balanced it is.
Btw. I’d certainly encourage the collaboration across teams, but on other subjects than who to vote on :)

Funny thing is, what you are suggesting here, is exactly what Leadership today is accused of often. Only voting on friends or people we know. Something that to my knowledge doesn’t happen, but I have no proof for that, just to state that nobody on the board really knew me when I was elected the first time. And on my turn I voted on people that I had no knowledge about, but were nominated and I learned about from the information that was provided or by interviews. On the counter aspect, there is no proof either that it does happen, just assumptions. The system in the proposed structure will provide more credibility that making policy like that will be very hard to accomplish.
infograf768 wrote: Case 2: Let's say we have a French (fr-FR) volunteer who is not member of joomla.fr. He will be member of the French (France) country team. One voice. Therefore if joomla.fr wants to have the weight that corresponds to its real community, the only way would be to get 50 people from joomla.fr to sign as volunteers (easy enough) in order for the French (fr-FR) team to be correctly represented...
My very first reaction on reading this is, why would you need 50 people from joomla.fr to outnumber one volunteer who is not a member of joomla.fr? Wouldn’t you rather like to collaborate in all equality on the same level?
My second reaction is, please bring them all in the project, this is exactly why we need this department, to get more involvement of those people that now stay on the “safe” side of the local community and don’t interact in the international community.
Bringing them in as volunteers (contributors) has no effect on voting though. Only Team Members vote for Team Leader, contributors don’t vote. It will have effect if they start contributing to other teams and become Team Members - Team Leaders or even Coordinators. So while with bringing them in, please make sure you encourage them also to stick their noses outside of this department and start interacting on an international level. Since this is what the department aims to do along with having a Department Coordination Team Leader who sits at the table of the board to make sure that this part of the community is also represented at that level.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Webdongle » Mon Apr 20, 2015 12:28 pm

MarijkeS wrote:Yes, with that remark that it is the Team Leader of each team, that casts a vote for the Department Coordinators, and in case vacant the Department Coordination Team Leader. Additional all Department Coordinators can vote also for the Department Coordination Team Leader.
Team A has 3 members
Team B has 4 members
Team C has 8 members

Teams A and B vote option 1 Team B votes option 2. Option 1 wins even though more team members wanted option 2 ???
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by infograf768 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 2:28 pm

MarijkeS wrote:My very first reaction on reading this is, why would you need 50 people from joomla.fr to outnumber one volunteer who is not a member of joomla.fr? Wouldn’t you rather like to collaborate in all equality on the same level?
The issue here is not equally collaborating. As I said above —and again—, to collaborate needs only better communications tools. Should this be implemented, it does not matter anymore if some individuals are part of not of a larger group and if they do the job they applied for or not.
The issue is voting power and I am not convinced at all by your demonstration, and this is an understatement...

Also, as Teams have to be accepted by the Department Coordination Team (or even further up if I do understand the said "proposal"), what will happen when this new structure is implemented? Who is going to designate the "lawful" teams for the Local Communities Department? Who is going to form this new Department Coordination Team?

Concerning Core Translation Teams, as they depend from the Translation Coordination, itself depending from PLT (Production in the "proposal". I use quotes as other proposals are judged "insane" by this structural group), they represent only one Team in the Production Department (the existing Translation Teams Coordination/workgroup). Therefore no issue... normally.

Or, have you decided that they would not anymore depend from Production Department?
Or are we going to get a redundant structure where Core Translation Teams would also be, as organized as they are now, in the Local Communities Department?
MarijkeS wrote:My second reaction is, please bring them all in the project, this is exactly why we need this department, to get more involvement of those people that now stay on the “safe” side of the local community and don’t interact in the international community.
On the "safe" side? I hope this is a joke... Most people from local communities do not participate much in the "international community" (sic) just plainly because they can't express themselves in English which is the lingua franca of the project.
You should know that as well as I do.

My conclusion has not changed. The project does not need a new "Local Communities Department" to increase collaboration and involvement. The way it is proposed is just adding a supplementary level of bureaucracy that is unwanted for.

If I was going further, I would also state that putting on the same level this "Local Communities Department" and Operations or Programs (unclear notions to me and many others I guess) looks weird.

Maybe, to help clarify, should be stated what are the tasks of these Departments and who would first be designated in the "Department Coordination Team" for each of them to form the 7 Department Coordination Team Leaders group.
What these people are now doing that would make them good to be designated ?

Could someone clarify were the forum goes in this new structure?
(I think I do understand Production, Legal & Finance, Marketing & Communication, Events)
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Jenny » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:00 pm

I am uncertain if all existing WGs will be demanded dissolved in the transition and all WGs/teams will have to reapply and be approved. Who will be doing the approvals?
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Webdongle » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:48 pm

infograf768 wrote:...
My conclusion has not changed. The project does not need a new "Local Communities Department" to increase collaboration and involvement. The way it is proposed is just adding a supplementary level of bureaucracy that is unwanted for...
Then who benefits from the changes if it does nothing for the efficiency for the project ?
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by alikon » Mon Apr 20, 2015 5:08 pm

i'm afraid we are going all to loose if in the name of democracy we gain only burocracy
please don't copy the "italian way"

we have a lot of democracy , a lot more of burocracy and a lot of laws, rules ect
but at end "things" are not done and even if something is done, well, then is done in the worst way

I hope my impressions are wrong
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by mandville » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:30 pm

but it all comes down to the people and their willingness to execute it in the way it is intended.
and if they dont? or cant?
. In the worst case they could even report it as abusive and in consultation with the Department Coordination Team remove a Team Leader. The system has a level of social controlling in it, where abusing it would involve to many people.
so in the time that the ddept controller/ombudsman investigates, is the voting point put on hold?
Wasnt there meant to be a transitional period or some such nonsense where the two systems worked side by side? i am sorry that you havent encountered the buddy system, or the community pacification programme, there are many in the community who believe exists
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by agrevet » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:32 pm

Hi Jenny,
Jenny wrote: I am uncertain if all existing WGs will be demanded dissolved in the transition and all WGs/teams will have to reapply and be approved. Who will be doing the approvals?
There is no plan to disband the WGs. They would remain intact, and just be renamed "Teams" instead of "Working Groups". There is no need for an application/approval process for the Working Groups.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Duke3D » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:40 pm

To make reading easier, a non-public copy of this post is also on Medium at:
https://medium.com/@Duke3D/this-article ... a6bfc9545e

I am very appreciative of the hard work by the Structure Committee. It has been a long process to get to the point where a proposal is before the community.

I am also grateful for the many thoughts that have been shared that have helped to crystallize some of the issues and have reinforced some of my thoughts about the path we should take from here.

Since context is important for some, know that I have not served on a Leadership Team and I did serve actively on the latest Governance Working Group that reported out at Jab14.

My feedback on the proposal? If I had a vote, I would vote it down and the primary reason is that it removes a natural tension that comes from having an independent board and it is a huge painful big-bang change that I view as an excessive response to our situation that could break us instead of making us better. From an academic perspective, the proposal embodies some very lofty ideals that would improve the democratization and potentially some of the workflows of the project. From a practical perspective, it tries to fix too many things at once, some of which are not all that broken, and in doing so the organization will be excessively disrupted to the brink of having management forked when we try to shove some of our square peg volunteers into some of these round holes - I foresee and don't want to risk abandonment of the project.

But do I want this proposal to end here? Absolutely NOT!

We can question the process (as others have) by which this was rolled out as a single “silver bullet” solution, the lack of consensus building in the process and any possible COI of the leaders that will have to vote on this, but that is not getting to the issues either.

CAN WE TRY A PLAN-B?
So, in the spirit of trying to improve the proposal into something that can and should be approved, allow me to A) walk through the issues that are motivating change, and B) see if there is a Minimum Viable Proposal (MVP) that the Leadership could and should consider as a Plan-B if the currently proposed Plan-A does not get the votes it needs.

On the one hand, I fully appreciate the desire for absolute clarity about all the details of the plan. But, a plan completed to that degree is like the waterfall approach to programming. I feel we could get locked in to early and cannot adjust the plan because the details were already voted on and therefore an amendment and another vote would be required. But on the other hand, we have a culture of distrust when it comes to how the legal part of our organization gets managed. Some of this is due to echoes of Miro’s footsteps still being in the hallways, and some of this is just healthy testing of the envelope.

The structure team has placed at the beginning of the proposal, a comprehensive Design Brief for issues that we all want solved. Some are due to structure, and others are due to culture, community behavior and good business processes that are independent of structure. The good news is that by doing so, the members of the community that need to see more of the finished big picture concept of the long term objective, have some idea of the grand design that some of the Structure Team members have in mind. The bad news is that the proposal is not written as a complete and actionable implementation plan and so there is a huge disconnect. People are being asked to approve taking the first steps of an implementation plan without feeling like they have those steps defined clearly enough to vote on. Complicating this is seeing Structure Team members who interpret the same Proposal differently with regard to some of the less defined details and that causes concern about the authority being delegated into an undefined, large or small transition group to make it up as they go along. It's not that we distrust the volunteers on that team; it's that more eyes and input leads to better results and this task is too critical to our survival to settle for 'close-enough.'

We cannot get to a fully defined plan before a decision is made to begin the project — that’s taking the waterfall approach — if we wait for every detail to be developed before we start, we will get mired. Instead we should approach the restructuring just like we approach the Roadmap for the CMS. We put the objectives out there. We prioritize and sequence them. But we only take Pull Requests related to the issues and features in the upcoming release and nothing more. Advance work can be done in a separate branch, but it doesn’t get merged for implementation (and voted on) until we get to that important but future step in the sequence.

Let’s step back a step — 
Why do we need to “do something”? First, know that I am not on an LT so I have an outsider’s perspective. But, I have worked on several Working Groups and I have seen the dysfunction. There is a reason that in the last four years, three restructuring plans have been proposed and considered by the Leadership. It IS because something IS Broken. It is because we have issues that are keeping us from being as nimble as our marketplace. Cross-team decisions are made at the speed of glaciers despite the best intentions of very dedicated volunteers.

The first driver does have to do with OSM changing its charter in 2010 and having to follow through with implementing some changes. But, that ONLY AFFECTS OSM as a legal board. It has no impact on CLT or PLT. The Governance Working Group (GWG) that met prior to JAB14 was tasked with solving only OSM’s issues. It was when OSM took the matter to CLT and PLT that the idea came up of also solving the siloization problem between the team. Had CLT and PLT not jumped into the discussion and entertained the idea of improving how ALL THREE teams operate, OSM would have solved their issue by now and we wouldn’t be sitting here. The suggestions that OSM is power mongering are completely out of place. In fact quite the opposite. If the good volunteers that we all nominate to serve on OSM had power accumulation as their intention, they would have not supported a proposal that states that members of the Board will be elected by members representing all three teams. There is no scenario where the current board is choosing to gain power. (Don’t confuse the current self-elected board with the board we will have after an open election by the membership, meaning “us.” If we vote in some power mongers, that is not the fault of the structure, only of the voters.

The point of this long aside is to ask fellow community members to quit making accusations about motives and conflicts of interest of the people working so hard to develop a solution. Instead deal with the structure that is being proposed and how we can all improve on the proposal or suggest an alternative, with an eye toward making sure it cannot be abused if (and that’s a big IF) we elected someone that does not support our community values. Our current structure is equally prone to being abused, so let’s set this issue aside for now.

So, we need to do “something” but is this proposal the correct “something?” I appreciate the comments that say no proposal will be perfect, the real question is whether it moves us forward and is it better than what we have by a sufficient enough margin to be worth the cost of implementation.

Having worked as a change agent, I hate big bang rollouts, whether for software or for structural change. Having a big visionary picture of what we might find at the end of the road is important. It helps us all have confidence that the journey will be worth it and that the leadership putting forward the vision are aiming for the same goals that we all want to aim for. The current proposal’s list of objectives are ones we all seem to agree with. So, it has accomplished that purpose. It has painted a somewhat detailed plan of how our structure will eventually look and operate and for the most part, that too is good.

There are a couple areas in that big picture that all of my experience tells me will cause major failure of the project. We had a round of trying to have the vision adjusted in that one regard and the proposal leadership chose to reject the suggestions. So the question put back to me is
a) Can we adopt the proposal with these predictable issues included in it, and count on the fact that the structure is a work in progress, and that mid-course corrections can be made, or
b) Can we still get the leadership to break the decisions apart so they are not bundled and allow the specific problem areas to have their own focused discussion and vote, or
c) Is the only option to encourage the LT members to vote down the proposal, even though it risks complete loss of momentum and discouragement in the Structure Team.

I think keeping the proposal as one monolithic “silver bullet” bundle is a recipe for failure because there are specific issues that many people are pointing out, AND I think they are all solvable if addressed in a focused manner and voted on one-by-one.

UNBUNDLE -
So here is my suggestion. Following in line with Andrew’s counsel to find simple solutions, I suggest the proposal be broken apart. At its heart is a Minimum Viable Proposal (MVP) that contains the core change the structure team wants to see implemented along with any structure-related features that there is little dispute over.

Peeling off layers of the onion, take out all of the features that have nothing to do with our actual structure. That’s not to say they are not important or shouldn’t be on the agenda. Quite the contrary, they might be placed first on the agenda or they can be tabled because they are lower in priority. But, separate them out to reduce distraction when discussing the MVP.

REMOVE THE DISTRACTIONS —
REMOVE THE STRUCTURE-AGNOSTIC RECOMMENDATIONS
AND PLACE THEM INTO SEPARATE PROPOSALS

Some specifics:
Ombudsman — As has already been acknowledged, the concepts of Code of Conduct, Conflict of Interest and Ombudsman are procedural, and NOT structural. Resolving interpersonal conflict and improving harmony and teamwork in our community is important to the health of our culture and growth of our community. This is a good thing to do, and applies equally in any structure. So, sever it from this proposal as irrelevant and off-topic with regard to structure and let it be implemented on its own schedule and it can work out its own details. This is not to minimize the concern. Quite the contrary, leadership may want to prioritize implementation of these concepts well ahead of structure changes.

Working Group Operating Procedures — The Volunteer Portal is a huge step forward, and procedures for recruiting and reporting to the community are important and improving, but they are largely procedural and not structural. They apply equally to our current working groups and the proposed ones so they can be implemented now or a year from now. Good thing to work on, but not a structural change to include in the MVP.

Advisory Board — whether village elders or outside advisors — great idea but again, it does not affect internal relationships and procedures. It can be implemented now or a year from now, regardless of our structure, so it is off-topic to this discussion and should not be shoehorned into this proposal. This isn’t the U.S. congress where we want to be sliding unrelated projects inside an 8,000 page piece of legislation. I appreciate how the Structure Team tried to paint a rather complete and lofty picture of their long term vision, but when it comes to the actual proposal, let’s allow each initiative to have its own turn on the table, avoiding dealing with a complicated mashup.

Don’t get me wrong, I think these are very worthwhile initiatives, but they are confusing the issues and causing distraction in the conversation about structure.

REMOVE THE OPTIONAL AND DISPUTED FEATURES AND
MOVE THE CONTROVERSIAL STRUCTURE RECOMMENDATIONS INTO A SEPARATE PROPOSAL AS AN AMENDMENT FOR INDEPENDENT VOTE

Local Communities Department — I am one of the people that spoke up right after JAB14 saying that we should formally elevate our attention to globalization and localization instead of leaving it solely in the domain of the PLT to the extent it affected code translation and the JUG and Events teams to the extent it represented global outreach. Our country-level communities are an important part of our DNA and success. That said, a juxtaposition of formal hierarchy and voting power has warped the concept to be far different than what I had in mind. This is a discussion that deserves its own thread, and more time, and will be much more relevant if held AFTER the rest of the structure was worked out so there are fewer variables to wrestle with. So, in my mind, whether this is a full voting department, a managerial department, top layer, or one layer down does not make or break the general concepts we are discussing for structure. So, again, I would this as a TBD item requiring a subsequent discussion and vote. Until we have a context that this department is trying to find a home in, we can expend a lot of energy, cause a lot of confusion, and not have made any progress on the core governance issues. I also think this will have its implementation challenges that might be better off running on its own schedule and prioritization. So, as much as I feel it’s important and part of our long term solution, implemented in a way that doesn’t marginalize anyone as Brian rightly points out, this too should be severed from the proposal and made into an independent item for consideration. Approach it as a post-approval addendum or amendment. There are many many issues worthy of discussion as JM and Marijke have pointed out.

I believe separating this out is feasible as the impact is only the number of departments –either 6 or 7. Make the MVP about adopting “six or more” departments, and after it passes get into whether 6 or 7 is better. The other impact is the number of votes in the management team and concern over having n even number of voters. Again that is a detail that can be solved such as making the President non-voting unless there is a tie vote or adding other members to make an odd number.

Now that a lot of the noise is removed, and we have accepted that some of the details described in the proposal have to do with painting a more complete vision and are not what the specifics that are being voted on at this time, now sequence out the changes just like a software roadmap.

-Continued-
Last edited by Duke3D on Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:59 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Duke3D » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:43 pm

- Continued -

ROADMAP –
Now maybe we can prioritize the issues being solved and therefore the sequence in which implementation should occur. Implementation can be laid out in phases with the idea that the vote is an approval in concept for the entire Roadmap, but that each future release can be adjusted or even revisited and not approved if the details are not working out. Whatever ends up being a future phase implementation does not need to have its details worked out now. But whatever is a phase 1 implementation, it does need its details worked out as several have pointed out. This is too important a change to give an implementation team a blank check. They need some boundaries — they need to know the envelope they must operate within to remain in their delegated authority without an additional vote, and then to be trusted while they work within those boundaries.

Keep in mind during Roadmap design that a future phase might not be implemented. Stuff happens and support might change so that each release along the roadmap (or separate phase of the project) needs to be a stable platform that we might choose to just live with if the pain of change is getting to high and we are bleeding volunteers.

The Structure Team could unbundle further and treat the approval of the Roadmap itself as a separate vote from the approval of implementation of the Phase 1 plan. Because the documents are silent on this, many are perceiving that the next vote is a vote for “everything” whether worked out or not, so I feel it would help to define with exquisite clarity what is up for vote and being approved now, what is deferred for future votes, and how the community will have input or be involved in planning and development or each Phase. Other organizations I work with facing such issues stream every meeting, immediately after the meeting post minutes that were written during the meeting and are approved before the meeting adjourns, and have open chat channels for community comments and questions. That way no one is surprised by what is in the pipeline.

NATURAL TENSIONS -
I fully embrace Robert’s desire to maintain our hippie culture. As an organization, it keeps us more nimble and responsive when we are in the midst of causing disruptive innovation. It supports the volunteer spirit and helps to keep some of our tasks from becoming too much like work — something we are obligated to do. That is why I really like formalizing a model for working groups that has both named members that are undertaking a longer term responsibility to do the work that must be done, and contributing members that drop in to work on a task they find interesting and can then move on. It balances some of our ability to have free spirits that follow their passions with the need to do the maintenance tasks that keeps the lights on and the phones answered.

Natural tension occurs in organizational structures when you intentionally have two teams with competing objectives having to share and manage a resource. One resource that is a frequent subject of tension is money. Each team needs to make their case about how much budget they should get and what will be accomplished with it. In any organization, one of the arbitrating forces is the Treasurer whose function is to prevent the money from being overspent, to keep a reserve in the bank accounts, and, along with a Finance Team to invest those reserves for the long term. Another arbitrating force is the Controller who manages the accounting function and lobbies against the Treasurer to invest more funds into the business instead of holding them in reserve, to channel funds toward the speculative projects and to spend those funds in a manner that accomplishes the goals of strategic budgets. In Joomla today, the people seeking to launch a new project and spend funds or any other resource do not sit in the same room as the people whose job is to either resist or redirect and re-prioritize that spending. Many times budget decisions are made in a vacuum and then locked in as our strategic policy for a year even though not much strategy discussion went into the process.

Natural Tension is what balances the innovative ideas against being fiscally responsible so we do not overspend our monetary or our volunteer resources. Whether or not money is involved, it balances those new ideas against our mission, our strategic plan, and our community values. It is the moderating force that keeps the project on course and in control. It constantly tests new ideas to make sure they are “Directionally Correct” in that they will move us in the right direction toward our goals.

A very important natural tension is the balance of the needs of the public we serve, our community, and the sometimes sound and sometimes half-baked ideas of a management team that is passionate and eager to embrace the “new shiny” management idea du jour. The needs of the larger community must be represented. They must have an unconstrained voice as a condition of receiving the social and tax benefits of being a non-profit corporation that by being non-profit is representing that it is serving a public interest. In the corporate world, the tension is maintained by Boards of Directors elected by the stockholders to represent their long term financial interests against the management team with their innovative new ideas. In a non-profit it is the public or community being served that needs representation and that representation comes from an impartial Board of Directors that are not employees of the organization and who are elected into position by the community “members” that they serve.

The natural and logical way to organize that meets this goal is to have a forward thinking and passionate Management Team that is moderated by an independent Board of Directors that takes on a conservator’s oversight role and exercises a legally mandated fiduciary duty. The Board does not micro-manage, but they do make sure that a dispassionate, calming and protective eye is kept on the assets and to make sure that the rules are followed and that everything is legal. For most non-profit boards, that job does not take a lot of time. For most boards it take an hour a month or an hour a quarter. This is because all the managerial duties are performed by the (sometimes unpaid) staff that makes up the Managerial Team. This Board structure almost appears to be superficial and ceremonial, but it is by no means “weak.” Instead it is there to keep the project out of harm’s way, to minimize risk, to audit the finances, and hire or fire the top level of management if it was not performing. Funny, that sounds a lot like our old COC! (Community Oversight Committee) By design, serving on the Board should not take a lot of time. That is, unless, the Management Team becomes dysfunctional, wanders off of mission, or is not embracing the needs of the community that it is serving. It accomplishes an essential (and legally mandated) checks and balances role.

SEPARATE LEADERSHIP, MANAGERIAL FUNCTIONS,
AND UNPAID STAFF RESPONSIBILITIES
FROM OVERSIGHT AND FIDUCIARY DUTIES -

The OSM Leadership Team is fulfilling two non-complimentary roles which is why it experiences dysfunction. Some board members align to the fiduciary duties of a Board of Directors, some align to fulfilling the managerial roles that OSM took on as one of three peer Leadership Teams (Accounting, Trademark & Licensing, Contracting, Magazine*, Events*, Public Relations*, and Sponsorship/Fundraising) and some align with the traditional role sometimes expected of non-profit Boards, to establish long term strategies that supports in the case of for-profit corporations the CEO and top management’s vision resulting in profitability for shareholders, or in the case of non-profits, the community’s expectations of community betterment through charitable activities in the case of a charity, or member service activities in the case of being a mutual-benefit membership association. (Legally, OSM as it was chartered in 2010 and operates today IS NOT a charity and IS a membership association. I am one who supports changing our legal foundation, particularly in view of changes in New York law last summer, but that is another topic.)
* These roles are currently or already have shifted to/under CLT since 2010.

In the Roadmap toward the objective of both legal compliance with the spirit, if not the letter of New York law, and to restore proper Natural Tensions, the first step I would suggest is to split OSM into two bodies.

One body is the Leadership Team where the real work gets done that sits as a peer to the other two leadership teams. It would either undertake directly or delegate to a Working Group that they supervise, each of the managerial functions (Accounting, Trademark & Licensing, Contracting, and Sponsorship/Fundraising) in the exact same way that CLT and PLT undertake directly or delegate the managerial functions that they are responsible for. This is simply continuing the trend that has already started of moving Magazine and Events from a Board level to a Leadership Team level.

The other body is the Board of Directors that has no direct influence over any specific managerial function.

The major impact is that under the current approach, someone serving on OSM is expected to be somewhat schizophrenic. On the one hand, the job of being a Director requires someone that has the traits of being a Maintainer. For example, the Treasurer position is best fit by someone that has a low tolerance for risk and an interest in diversifying a portfolio. A director is a watchdog that monitors for, mediates and corrects impropriety such as harassing behavior or misappropriation of funds. These functions all fall under the term “governance.” The Directors act as governors; they keep order, manage risk and keep the organization in compliance with laws and regulations. They serve the public trust and must be uninvolved with the detailed working of upper management and remain dispassionate to exercise their fiduciary obligations well. Note that in charities, the primary job of a Director, besides governance, is fundraising!

The top position in the Board is the Chairman of the Board (Not the CEO of the organization! Ignore for the moment that New York statutes have a different name for this position — that is solved in By-Laws.) There is Natural Tension between a driven and passionate CEO/President of the organization and a stabilizing Chairman of the Board of Directors.

The financial watchdog is the Treasurer, who reviews the books and sets investment policy. The Management Team position that actually supervises the accounting activities and proposes budgets is the CFO — who NEVER sits on the board. This maintains the Natural Tension between community supervision of spending via board members and the person they elect from their ranks to serve as Treasurer and organize audit committees, and the CFO and accounting team that is proposing budgets for Management Team approval and then Board approval, administering spending to approved budgets, collecting funds, writing the checks, and keeping idle funds properly invested according to the Treasurer-approved investment policy

- Continued -

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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Duke3D » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:45 pm

- Continued -

GOOD DESIGN PATTERNS (WITH AN INDEPENDENT BOARD)
EXIST FOR A REASON

This is a design pattern that works well in both corporate worlds and in non-profits and charities, including innovative startup organizations that want to embrace their creative, disruptive and innovative hippie culture. It’s because the qualities that make a great Director also makes for a lousy Leader in a management team. Promoting the most stellar team members into management might incur the Peter Principle because great workers usually have weak management and leadership skills. Moving the best leaders in an organization out of the Management Team and into a fiduciary role as a Director results in unhappy and discouraged Directors and is a waste of good leadership talent.

The current proposal, by collapsing the fiduciary function into the management layer, in an effort to “flatten the organization” will result in very frustrated people trying to work in those roles because the job will demand them to “work to their weak side.” It is a waste of talent to take our most visionary code architects and make them sit in a meeting that is reviewing financial statements every month worrying about budget variances, looking for defalcations, and dealing with whistleblowing, disciplinary or teamwork problems in the management departments and among the unpaid staff.

MISUSE OF LIMITED RESOURCES
It is disruptive and a waste of resources to have the top couple code people in a software company being in the minority within the decision making body and having to justify new project initiatives and decisions to “stay the course” on underperforming projects to non-coding managers. It is also unrealistic to expect the productivity of what is normally in the corporate world a full time management team from a group of people that are volunteers being asked to be lead project workers, managers, and leaders, while at the same time also be directors, and at the same time also serve as communication outreach and multi-team coordination channels.

A Human Resources director looking at the job description of the proposed top layer will say it is doomed to fail — you can’t hire someone that has such a broad renaissance background and bipolar or nearly schizophrenic personality to fill all aspects required of the role and put in the hours it would demand to perform well on the salary we are not paying. From a risk perspective, this layer will suffer high burnout and turnover, institutional memory will be lost, and continuity in program direction will be at risk because the layer is likely to have significant replacement in each annual election; especially is succession planning and term limits are also imposed. The leading projects in our field are leading in part because they have benevolent dictators that provide long term stability in vision and focus. While we don’t need to jump clear to having a dictator (unless Andrew is available!) we do need to balance the need for bringing in new blood with having long term stability of vision. It is predictable that every forced annual change in leadership WILL result in an annual shift in focus and priorities. That is an additional friction in an organization that already suffers from poor vertical communication, which will impair all but the shortest-term initiatives that can be planned and implemented in one management season.

To summarize, good leaders are good because they are passionate. Good fiduciaries are good because they are dispassionate and distanced. Don’t expect one person to do both jobs. They will naturally fail to meet one of the two requirements of their position. (Not to mention that good lawyers could have a lot of fun fighting over whether our unpaid management staff would be considered employees under New York law and whether we do enough fundraising solicitations combined with our Type C registration to be deemed a charity, despite our careful efforts to not act as one, and therefore our managerial level employees are by law ineligible to serve on our board.)

ROADMAP RESUMED — PHASE 1

So, if you buy into separating the Independent Board from the self-governing management team that works like the other two self-governing management teams, step one is to make the current OSM the starting group that makes up the Project Administration Team (for lack of a better name — shoot at the name later).

This makes the PAT, the CLT and the PLT equal-level peer teams and keeps current operations and operational reporting relationships uninterrupted.

Take nominations and conduct elections to fill the new Board of Directors. This election is administered by the Corporate Secretary who may form a committee to assist her in gathering and presenting to the electorate information about the nominated candidates.

As a starting point, define the Membership that can vote for a board member as anyone that has been serving as a named member of any existing working group for at least 60 days before the announced election date. The information concerning current team members loaded for each team in the volunteer portal shall serve as the Roster of Members that the Secretary will acknowledge as Members of the Association and therefore eligible to Vote. Details can be worked out concerning the minimum and maximum number of nominees to present for each board position and the staggering of multi-year terms to maintain stability. In doing so, current directors could be made eligible to run in a separate transition class of directors in order to provide continuity. (Designate that for this transition election only, one-third (if 3-year terms) or one-half (if 2-year terms) of the board seats could be filled by current directors, if available and willing, to provide continuity and pass on institutional memory. All other seats are open to be filled by anyone that has at least one year of service as a Leadership Team member or Working Group Leader, or three years of service as a working group member. This requirement reflects the value we place in being a meritocracy and ensures familiarity with The Project. These are suggested details that can be refined or rejected.)

The New Board meets to elect its officers, specifically a Chairman of the Board of OSM (that assumes the duties of a President as defined in New York law,) a corporate Secretary and a Corporate Treasurer. Naming a Vice Chairman is optional and nice to include.

Next, the three Leadership Teams meet as one unified transition Management Team for the purpose of nominating from their ranks the officers of The Joomla Project’s Management Team. They would elect the President who will serve as the figurehead of The Project, a Vice-President and President-Elect to fill in when the President is unavailable and who will succeed into the role of president, a CFO or Controller who would head the Finance Working Group that does the accounting work and prepares the financials for the Treasurer and Board to review, and possibly other managerial positions as things get sorted out such as a Community Development Manager.

At the conclusion of Phase 1 we have an elected independent board representing as broad a membership base as can be easily defined and administered. We are in compliance with New York law. We have a President of The Joomla Project that reflects the entire project’s Management Team instead of only the Board. And we have a Unified Leadership Team plus the three sub-teams as needed to continue into Phase 2.

PHASE 2
In Phase 2 the three teams may be reorganized as 6 or 7 teams and identify and/or replace their designated representative on the Unified Leadership Team that is not distracted and demotivated by attending to necessary Board duties. At this point a decision can be made whether there will be any ‘at large’ LT members that do not directly represent or are elected by a team (as there are today in each of the three teams) and whether a certain number of at-large positions will be maintained after the transition. Also, the decision can be made how many seats will be filled on the Unified Leadership Team and whether some of those seats are self-governed in order to ensure team harmony and cohesiveness, and to fulfill functions and duties that do not warrant creating another three person sub-team.

As we address Phase 2, I strongly hope the concepts put forward by Nic Dyanosopolis in his blog are taken to heart as they too influence the natural feedback loops and tensions we need to have as we keep growing. Delegation requires trust and trust is elevated by having reporting functions in place with the Volunteer portal being a huge step forward in this regard, but not a complete one. There are many places in the project where if we don’t do a careful job defining the position and expectations, it is easy to place the wrong person in the role, causing discouragement and loss of volunteers.

It will take a lot of work to flesh out Phase 2 and hopefully that will be done with more community involvement. And before we get to a fully defined phase 2 and its transition plan, we can also vote whether to adopt and implement the non-structural initiatives such as the suggested model for all teams having named members and contributors, procedures for conduct and conflicts, an ombudsman, and so on.

Hopefully this meets the goal of a smaller scale and less scary MVP for transition that helps to get the OSM governance problem solved, gets some of the work started, and serves as a stepping stone toward the grand plan that the Structure Team has presented if the will of the community is that we want to go to full implementation of that Proposal.

Again, great work has been done so far. I am not in agreement with all of it, but I don’t need to be in order to be supportive of getting started with some of the necessary change we need to see to restore more joy and passion in the project. I have pointed out the one key area that I think is a critical flaw in the plan, despite assurances to the contrary, and I hope that will be taken to heart. If a Plan-B cannot be put forward, my hope is that Leadership will not eliminate having an independent board function by adopting the proposal.

I welcome and encourage the discussion of a Minimum Viable Proposal approach with Phases. Sorry for the TL;DR - obviously I have been thinking about this ALOT!

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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Jenny » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:09 pm

That is a very detailed and well thought out post Duke. I agree with 99% of what you are proposing. The only place where I would disagree is the importance of the Code of Conduct, Grievance Procedure and Conflict of Interest documents. I agree with Andrew in that all three of these should be as simple as possible, and applied equally to all. I think they need to come first.

Well done Duke!
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Webdongle » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:47 pm

Given that so many are against this extra bureaucracy and the majority do not want Joomla controlled by bureaucrats who don't understand the coding .. why are a handful of people pushing for the power ?

The project (according to the majority of posts) will not benefit from the proposed changes. So why are only a handful of people 'pushing' so hard for the changes ?
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by JacquesR » Mon Apr 20, 2015 10:58 pm

@Webdongle, no one is pushing for the power. You cannot find that in the proposal.

@Duke: Epic post! :)

Thanks for sharing your ideas. It's a lot of information to take in. I do think I understand your explanation of the different roles (and personalities for those roles) that we are wrongly (as you argue) attempting to merge into one.

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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Webdongle » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:33 pm

JacquesR wrote:@Webdongle, no one is pushing for the power. You cannot find that in the proposal.....
Admitted was badly phrased.

From reading the proposal and reading the posts it appears that the proposal it will allow more power to few people. Why is it that only the minority are 'pushing' a proposal that apparently gives more power to fewer people ?
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by jgress- » Tue Apr 21, 2015 1:56 am

JacquesR wrote:@Duke: Epic post! :)
+1
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by masterchief » Tue Apr 21, 2015 2:18 am

@MarijkeS - thanks for the replies. I still think there is a fundamental problem with coupling votes to teams and I can only see that increasing drama levels. Each contributor (however you define the minimum requirements thereof) needs to feel they have an equal voice in any decision compared to any other contributor.

@Webdongle - if the agenda was to give fewer people more power, there are much easier ways to do it :) That's apart from the fact that you don't define what that "power" really is ;)

@Duke - great post. I think there's some great direction there. But however much I might agree or disagree with the original proposal, I'm still not convinced that structural reform will make a deliberate positive impact on the slowing momentum of producing the software itself, but hopefully it's a step in the right direction.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Duke3D » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:42 am

@Andrew
"I'm still not convinced that structural reform will make a deliberate positive impact on the slowing momentum of producing the software itself,"
I couldn't agree more hand hope the construction zone of whatever becomes the final result is not located right outside the windows of PLT => Production. It seems that area/department will not be affected as much by the proposed restructuring as others except as an ongoing source of distraction and a pull on a couple people in Leadership roles. At least I hope that will be the case.

@Jenny
I agree concerning COC and COI and with Andrew's suggestion to keep it simple / merge it into the Vol. portal signup process. One reason to Unbundle is to let initiatives like this that are important, structure-agnostic and obviously well supported by the community to not get caught up in and delayed by the Structure debate. No reason the COC/COI development process can't be fast-tracked under a separate dedicated team that is not overloaded by Structure proposal rewrites.

@Webdongle - I appreciate your concern but I don't think the proposal supports your conclusion.

If this was about grabbing power and retaining self-governance, then there would be no effort to initiate a broader community-involved vote for Directors.

If your point is about the number of people in the top-most management layer, then make a suggestion about what you think would be optimum. The current proposal is 11 people (7 departments + 4 officers) based in part on the idea that smaller committees are more effective. The status quo at the moment for all the LTs meeting as a Unified Team is about 29, and except for live Summits that can have breakout groups, I think the consensus of everyone that has attended a joint LT online meeting is that it is too many and is unweildy to have effective discussions. I would certainly expect that as you add attendees over 15, it begins to break down the efficiency of the group geometrically. I believe that is why the OSM By-Laws currently sets the maximum number of Directors at 15. That said, with a true non-profit board operating in a governance role as suggested in Plan-B, there is little harm is having very large Boards at the governance (and fundraising) level. They frequently chose to delegate much of the preliminary governance work to an Executive Committee and/or Audit Committee that is a smaller subset of the Board.

When it comes to the full Management Team being made up of all 29 or so LT's similar to the Unified Leadership Team proposals Brian, JM and I put forward last year, the idea of an Executive Committee makes sense here as well. Getting 29 people to reach consensus (preferred over voting) on every issue that comes to that level is simply impractical given the limits of available volunteer time. That's when it makes sense to have sub-committees such as an Executive Committee that debates the issues, comes to consensus, reports their findings to the larger group, and the larger group either ratifies the decisions and actions of the committee or if someone has an objection then the issue is revisited with the full group of 29. This approach allows committees to be formed by special interest such as those focused on Software, focused on Community interaction and user support, or focused on Administration (PLT/CLT/PAT?), but with membership on those committees being more fluid (any one LT could work on more than one leadership sub-committee as time, talents and interest permits) and not necessarily dictated by the specific Working Team they provide leadership and liaison service to. In my opinion, some level of decoupling is valuable to make the jobs fit better to a volunteer's interests and availability. This can be balanced by term limits to keep at least 33% fresh blood coming into the Unified Leadership Team / Management Team layer each year.

So, I fully agree with Andrew - if any of this was a power grab, there are a whole lot of easier methods to accomplish that agenda including doing nothing and leaving OSM self-elected. On the contrary, people are thinking hard about how to improve involvement by the community at all levels and PLT and CLT opted in to consideration of having the changes affect their areas of the project.

The reason I do not support the proposal as-is has noting to do with anyone's motivations. Smart people are trying their best to improve the way the Project operates and it seems many involved are very open to fresh ideas. There are no silver bullets or we would have solved this long ago. Unwarranted character assassination of well-intentioned and hard working volunteers is not doing anything to help anyone solve the challenges we are facing. Instead of being the CMS market leader we once were, the market is leaving us behind at an ever-increasing pace and we need to reinvent ourselves quickly or become extinct.

====

I see the portal being the easiest way to track who is a "Member" and can vote on Directors while extending the vote to as broad a base as practical.

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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by masterchief » Tue Apr 21, 2015 4:01 am

Duke3D wrote:I couldn't agree more hand hope the construction zone of whatever is the final result is not outside the windows of PLT => Production. It seems that area/department will not be affected by the proposed restructuring except as an ongoing source of distraction and a pull on a couple people in Leadership roles, at least I hope that will be the case.
The PLT being untouched does, oddly, concern me for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, and admittedly debatably, it's the most important department in terms of Joomla executing it's mission - it is, after all, a software project. That is not to say other areas aren't important, but when the grim, hard realities hit, JUG's and events will self-manage, the forum will operate as long as someone is keeping the server on, etc and so on. But if the software is struggling (and more opinion is since the release of 3.0, there has been a steady decline in the momentum of software production), every team has a problem. Yet, all the fine tuning seems to be outside of the PLT. Something doesn't add up here (if the engine room is running fine, why distract it - if it's not running fine, why are we reforming it?).

Secondly, I'm concerned that the PLT remains while, more or less, the CLT and OSM get split up. On paper, at least, it appears that the PLT's "stake" (for the want of a better term) is reducing from probably better than a third, to less than half that. I would content that in terms of effort and representation, software production needs to retain, in my opinion, a stake between one-third and one-half of the project in order for the software to flourish. Now, in reality it might be different but in terms of official voice, software production is definitely quieter in the new structure and that's a concern.

It's something that's been bugging me since the proposal came out.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by Webdongle » Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:15 am

masterchief wrote:...
Firstly, and admittedly debatably, it's the most important department in terms of Joomla executing it's mission - it is, after all, a software project. ...
Exactly ... and everything else in that paragraph.

masterchief wrote:...
Secondly, I'm concerned that the PLT remains while, more or less, the CLT and OSM get split up. On paper, at least, it appears that the PLT's "stake" (for the want of a better term) is reducing from probably better than a third, to less than half that. I would content that in terms of effort and representation, software production needs to retain, in my opinion, a stake between one-third and one-half of the project in order for the software to flourish. ....
That is what I mean when I say "From reading the proposal and reading the posts it appears that the proposal it will allow more power to few people." The 'power' to make decisions about the Joomla software project will be focused in the wrong place.

masterchief wrote:... but in terms of official voice, software production is definitely quieter in the new structure and that's a concern ...
Dito for the end user as well. The 'power' to make decisions about the Joomla software project will be more unbalanced than it is already.

N.B. it is in everyone's best interest to keep the 'power' to make decisions about the Joomla software project balanced.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by masterchief » Tue Apr 21, 2015 10:53 am

Webdongle wrote:The 'power' to make decisions about the Joomla software project will be focused in the wrong place.
If that's what you meant, then yes, I share that niggling concern. I know such a comment could be taken as typical developer snobbery, but I think it's warranted where software is your product.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by porwig » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:13 pm

Thanks a lot Duke for weighing in - you have shared lots of valuable insights and observations, and given them the level of detail that is needed for this complicated initiative.

I especially like how you proposed a "roadmap" concept for this initiative - making a committment to an overall vision and strategy, but breaking it out into a set of smaller objectives that can be worked on separately.

I think the approach you proposed addresses a lot of the issues and concerns raised in this thread, and gives a better chance for a positive long-term outcome.
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by brian » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:16 pm

Unfortunately the structure team are only offering one proposal and the leadership teams are only being given the choice of voting yes or no to that proposal
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Re: Community Feedback on the Proposal for a New Organizatio

Post by rdeutz » Tue Apr 21, 2015 5:57 pm

@Duke, great post with a lot of things I fully agree.
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