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From Noirin Shirley <>
Subject Re: Board process
Date Wed, 30 Jun 2010 20:15:53 GMT
This started out on ComDev, but I think it possibly belongs more
properly on Site-Dev.

I've written up how board meetings work (you can see a version at - I'll get it into proper XML
before I post of course!), at Greg's suggestion.

I'd like to do a whole series of "How it works" (Hen came up with a
list at some point - "for Users", "for Developers", "for Lawyers",
etc, etc - and I have a few other ideas for encouraging
contributions/"How it works for writers/designers/" etc stuff).

To that end, I'd suggest making a foundation/101/ directory, and
putting this in there, then linking it from the existing "How it
works" in the left nav. We can work out later if/whether/how to
restructure the existing content.

Please let me know if you have any additional edits to the content, or
you think it belongs somewhere else in the docs :-)



On Tue, Jun 29, 2010 at 6:37 PM, Noirin Shirley <> wrote:
> My version (envisaged as an additional page as part of the "How it
> works" series) is at
> I assume apsite is RTC? :-)
> N
> On Mon, Jun 21, 2010 at 10:27 AM, Ross Gardler <> wrote:
>> 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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