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From Leo Simons <m...@leosimons.com>
Subject Thoughts about reporting (was: Re: [RT] Community over policy...)
Date Tue, 17 Jan 2012 01:06:18 GMT
On Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 6:42 PM, Sam Ruby <rubys@intertwingly.net> wrote:
<snip/>
> We may also have semantic gaps.  Leo's [RT] may be presuming that a
> podling's "board report"[sic] is merely a bureaucratic requirement.
<snip/>

Hmm :-)

And so the threads collide...

...I guess I'll allow it. But since we're in my thoughts now, I'll go
ahead and say something :-)

I would say that
    you need to provide a quarterly report using this template
    and add it to that wiki page
    and then get it signed off by a mentor [1]
is a somewhat bureaucratic expression of
    your community needs to be self-reflective
    and periodically tell us how things are going,
    because of [X] and [Y]" [1]
and that the expression of the latter is perhaps more important than
the expression of the former. It's definitely more interesting!

I think as far as requirements go, submitting written reports to be
collated and read and then discussed in a conference call is not the
best way of overseeing stuff. If I chaired a group of people that had
to oversee something like apache I'd probably try and change how to go
about that. Something involving green flags in checkboxes I think.
Similarly, if I had to report into those people I would make a point
of changing the style of the report every so often, to keep them on
their toes, and make their oversight job as pleasant as possible.
Fortunately, I don't hold any furniture-related titles.

Having said that, I think incubator reports are good practice for
board reports so as long as board reports function the way they do,
podling reports should function similarly. Which is why I've been
happy enough for current, former and future board members to present
their opinions [2] on the subject and stay silent myself :). Fail.

In fact, my personal plan [3] was to stay out of this discussion, and
continue to do as little reading of reports as I can possibly get away
with. My talents lie elsewhere. Benson can be the deals-with-reporting
mentor, I can be the deals-with-license-headers mentor, and yet
someone else can be the
I-critically-review-30-incubating-projects-including-the-report-Benson-already-signed-off-on
[4] PMC member. I will thank you for your reviewing and
signing-off-ing efforts, and I will ensure my mentorees all buy you
beverages.

Come to think of it, I guess a good plan for the future is to
co-mentor with at least 2 people that are on the board, since they
read all the reports anyway eventually for their meeting, and if they
don't, there'll be people frowning at them over the conference call,
so they'll be much more motivated than me to do it well. Even better,
I could try and make my co-mentors into board members, and I guess one
of them should be the incubator PMC chair, too.

Yes, that sounds like a plan. Mwuhahah. Hah?

> In any case, I hope somebody beats me to a thorough review of next
> month's podling reports, but if not, I intend to repeat the the
> process where I provide feedback here before providing feedback that
> will ultimately be published on the ASF web site as a part of the ASF
> board meetings.

Thank you, Sam. I doubt I will beat you, though I may have a go :)


cheers,


Leo

[1] these are imaginary quotes, no one said these things! I'm
inventing them and/or paraphrasing from memory.
[2] yes yes yes, not necessarily acting in their board member
capacity. Still, people doing the work (reading the reports, doing the
oversight), that know a lot about doing the work, they get to have a
say.
[3] Warning: I'm perhaps partly joking. I do read a lot of reports,
but I don't quite do 'critical review' most of the time.
[4] the last report I read for the podling I mentored was signed off
by either Benson or Ross, I forget. But the example is stronger if I
stick with Benson. Sorry Ross, I'll buy you an extra beverage.

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