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From Ross Gardler <>
Subject Re: Board process
Date Mon, 21 Jun 2010 08:27:08 GMT
This is great Greg. I'll do something sensible with it once I get some  
free cycles (unless someone bears me of course)

Sent from my mobile device.

On 18 Jun 2010, at 23:14, Greg Stein <> wrote:

> Hi ComDev!
> A couple days ago, I wrote a message to somebody describing some of
> the process that the Board uses for its meetings. I thought this may
> be a helpful start for you guys to write about "How the Board Works".
> I've snipped/summarized commentary from the other person, but left in
> my text in full (minus a couple snipped references).
> I hope this helps!
> Cheers,
> -g
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> [snip: noting that board@ is a "fire hose" of mail leading up to  
> Board meetings]
> The authoritative document is the agenda in Subversion. For years now,
> I don't actually track the mailing list, but just peruse the agenda a
> day or two before the meeting. Thus the "fire hose" is not something
> that bothers me.
> Those emails *are* there, however, for the people who subscribe to
> board@ but may not want to review the agenda. They can pick/choose
> reports as they come in. Many other people watch for comments the
> Directors make in the agenda (in Subversion) and will respond to those
> comments (in the agenda, or on the mailing list).
> This is one reason we ask the VPs to put [REPORT} in the subject line:
> I know they are redundant with the agenda, and can "safely" be
> ignored. I just look for people responding to them, or for other email
> threads to start.
> [snip: other boards' process]
> Yes. This would be equivalent to reviewing the agenda file in
> Subversion a few days in advance. In fact, we tell all PMCs to get
> their reports in 48 hours before the meeting for *precisely* this
> review aspect.
> [snip: report submission process]
> In our case, you forward it to board@ [...]. If you have
> Subversion access, then you'd also copy it into the agenda. If you do
> not, then another Director will eventually see that and copy it into
> the agenda.
> [snip: reviewing agenda to prepare comments]
> Yup. And we put the comments *into* the agenda (clearly delineated;
> [...]). That way, all the
> Directors can see/respond to them *before* the meeting, rather than
> worry about needing to keep personal notes during the meeting and
> raising them at the appropriate time (and, thus, giving no prep time
> for other Directors about the comments that will be raised).
> [snip: minutes at next meeting]
> We sometimes don't get the minutes in time for the *next* meeting (we
> are volunteers), but they pretty much unfailingly show up for the one
> after that. We then approve them, and they get published.
> [snip]
> I think it is simply that our workflow has not been apparent. [...]
> The agenda this month covered over 50 reports and was more than 3000
> lines long. Having the agenda in version control, where we can
> cooperatively expand on it, review it, and comment on it, *before* the
> meeting greatly reduces the time-cost of the meeting. We covered that
> *entire* agenda in a mere 70 minutes. And the amount of
> review/coverage is much more than you'd expect. The Directors are
> reviewing all of that over the couple days leading up the meeting, so
> that 70 minutes is just the parts which require vocal discussion.
> [snip]

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