[OOTB-hive] Organizing our efforts

Jeff Potts jeffpotts01 at gmail.com
Tue Aug 19 04:16:08 BST 2014

We have a lot of work to do. But we also have a lot of interested people
who are ready to help out, which is great!

This email is a proposed organizational model for the Order aimed at making
sure the people who are most passionate about a particular area are able to
dive in and move forward as quickly as possible while still maintaining
some level of visibility and oversight throughout the larger group.

This is a proposal. It seems roughly-right to me. It can be fine-tuned and
made more formal over time if necessary. Hopefully it is good enough for
now. If not, say something.

*Establish Committees Aligned with Our Goals*

I propose that we organize committees aligned with our goals. Each
committee can select a committee chair. The committee chair keeps things on
track, delegates tasks, and reports progress to the community. How the
chair is selected is up to the committee. I suspect someone may volunteer.
If more than one person feels strongly that they should be chair, put it to
a vote (see "Voting", below).

I'll provide a list of proposed committees at the end.

*Committees Are Empowered to Get Stuff Done*

Committees are expected to act mostly autonomously to accomplish their
goals. Committee chairs can use their judgement as to what requires the
entire community to make a decision on and what the committee can move
forward with on their own.

The whole point of dividing into committees is to prevent overly-broad
discussion, single-threading, paralysis, or overwhelming a small number of


Committees are encouraged to get consensus amongst committee members
through discussion. Communication can take place using the public list or,
if the committee wants to, they can use a committee-specific list.

A committee may have major decisions that face the group that need to be
put to a vote. When a decision is put to a vote, I propose a 48-hour voting
period during which the committee members respond with +1, -1, or 0
(abstain). After 48-hours the person initiating the vote closes the vote
and announces the voting results.

Don't over-use voting. It's tedious and drags things out. Use it for major
decisions or decisions where there is a lot of discussion and consensus
appears to be murky or hard to achieve.

Example: The web site committee is thinking of changing the theme from
yellow to orange. After an email to the group, a few people are strongly in
favor and most don't reply at all within a reasonable amount of time. No
one appears to be strongly opposed. No vote is required. The committee
should push forward.

Example: The web site committee is thinking of eliminating an entire
section of the web site. A few people are strongly in favor. A few seem
opposed. The person proposing the idea sends an email with the subject of
"[VOTE] Let's remove section XX from the web site" and describes their
position in the body. Committee members have 48 hours to reply all with
their vote. At the end of 48 hours, the person initiating the vote sends a
second email with "[VOTE CLOSED] Let's remove section XX from the web site"
and in the body gives the vote count and whether or not it passed.

Exactly who gets to vote is still up-in-the-air. Perhaps we are still small
enough that whomever sees a vote take place and feels strongly enough to
vote can do so. The Governance committee should tackle this issue early.

*Initial Committees*

I suggest we keep the list of sub-committees to 6 or less initially,
aligned with the major goals of the Order.

I propose the following sub-committees to start:

- *Governance*. Draft a charter and some simple by-laws. Figure out voting,
member levels, vouching (business requirements), board election procedures,

- *Web Site*. Define an architecture, select tools, maintain the site.
Implement business requirements given to you by the other sub-committees.
For now, I think the Live Showcase idea should fall under Web Site.

- *Distribution*. Work on how the Order-specific distribution will work.
Establish standards, source code control, QA. Set milestones. Pick a name
(other than "OOTB Edition"). Do the work.

- *Add-Ons*. Determine the criteria for how Order-endorsed add-ons will be
selected. Work with the Distribution committee to determine which ones will
be part of the standard distribution. Engage developers to encourage them
to maintain their add-ons, follow best practices, etc. Could be combined
with Distribution.

- *Marketing*. Collect customer stories from those using CE and the
Order-specific distribution. Publish these stories on the web site and in
other channels. Try to get speaking slots at conferences. Find people to
donate marketing schwag. This committee should also be responsible for the
social accounts. Could be combined with the web site.

- *Professional Services Network*. Figure out how SI's should be listed and
what, if any, vetting the Order will do. Proactively seek out individuals
and companies who meet the criteria and get them added to the list.

*Get On a Committee*

If you are hoping to do more for this cause than simply lurk, you need to
pick 1 and no more than 2 sub-committees, add yourself to the list, and get
to work.

Maybe people should just send an email to the list and say which committee
they want to focus on.

*Let's set a date*

Let's set a goal of having committees formed and committee chairs selected
by September 1. The committee chairs will start reporting progress at the
end of September and then monthly after that.

For now, at our size, let's have the committee chairs report status via the
public list. If there is a sensitive or confidential issue that needs to be
addressed, talk to a board member and we can handle it off-list.

What do you think? Shall we give it a try? Any alternative suggestions or

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