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From Noirin Shirley <>
Subject Re: Board process
Date Tue, 29 Jun 2010 16:37:51 GMT
My version (envisaged as an additional page as part of the "How it
works" series) is at

I assume apsite is RTC? :-)


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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